EAGLES

Former QB explains one big concern with Jalen Hurts' play

EAGLES

In his first extended playing time as an NFL quarterback, Jalen Hurts threw a touchdown on fourth and long, completed a deep ball with nice touch, and moved the Eagles' offense down the field.

It wasn't a perfect debut - he threw an interception late in the game, and the team lost - but it was certainly exciting for Eagles fans starving for anything encouraging, and now it has Hurts in competition with Carson Wentz for the starting job.

All good stuff, right?

According to one former NFL quarterback, there's still a large question mark looming over Hurts' abilities: the throwing.

NBC Sports' Chris Simms spent some time on his Unbuttoned podcast this week talking about the Eagles' QB situation, and when the conversation reached his assessment of Hurts, he kept returning to reservations about Hurts' throwing motion.

Here's why Simms is a little concerned:

"It's his first time playing for real, I don't want to be too critical. I know we all want an answer on these guys after four plays - 'Is he going to be great or not?' - well, I don't know, it's only been four plays. I've got to watch a little bit more.

"But, yeah, the throwing is still a concern. There are still throws where I just go, 'That doesn't look good.' It's a very slow, deliberate delivery. Even on the interception ... the ball took so long to gather and throw the ball. The guy was open. He should've gotten rid of it before he got hit.

 

"[...]

"If you're watching Aaron Rodgers or [Patrick] Mahomes, or any really great thrower, the upper body and lower body, they all work together to be a powerful thrower, to be a consistent thrower. ... If you do everything right with your body, your arm will slot itself in the right spot.

"With Jalen Hurts, he kind of sits there, no movement with [his body], and it's kind of all just in the arm. There's no shoulder movement, there's nothing else like that."

Simms spent five years in NFL quarterback rooms as a pro and is also the son of a two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback, so I'm going to take his word on QB mechanics.

And his analysis absolutely matches my eye test of Hurts' throwing motion. I liked a lot of what Hurts did on Sunday - the extending of plays with his athleticism, the accuracy and anticipation on his best throws - but there can be something a little unusual about his throwing motion. Simms' take on the motion certainly explains why it feels off.

But the spark that Hurts showed against the Packers, and Wentz's poor play this season, should still be enough to put the rookie in at QB on Sunday against the Saints. And then we'll get a full game of tape to see if Simms' concerns will hold Hurts back.

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