By Bob Cooney
The evolution of the current Philadelphia Eagles football team is one that we looked forward to, and in different ways, this past summer.
Could Nick Sirianni continue the success that he had in his first season which led to a playoff appearance? Was Shane Steichen the reason the team turned a 2-5 start into wins in seven of their final 10 regular season games after he took over play-calling? How would Jonathan Gannon handle his revamped defense?
But those are all sidebars to the biggest story that surrounded, and still does surround this team, and that is the maturation as a quarterback by Jalen Hurts.
The questions were rightfully being floated around after his first full season as a starter as to whether or not he had the arm strength, or the pocket presence, or the ability to read defenses the way a good NFL quarterback should.
Now after three wins this season in which Hurts has thrown for over 900 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for another 167, those questions can still be asked. It is three games after all. But if your close to signing off on him being the quarterback of the future for this team, I’m right there with you and the first half of yesterday’s game proved to me why I’m comfortable doing it.
Hurts completed 18 passes for 279 yards in the first half against Washington yesterday. Terrific numbers indeed. But even more impressive when you consider all of those completions were accomplished with Hurts in the pocket. In fact, of his 27 first half attempts, 23 of them came in the pocket.
Hurts is a phenomenal athlete, we all know that, with an ability to escape pressure that few in the league can match. And he’s shown that again in this early season. But if the pocket presences stays as real as it has the past couple of games, Howie better start getting that contract ready.