Eagles

How one former Eagle sees Doug Pederson using Jalen Hurts in his rookie year

How one former Eagle sees Doug Pederson using Jalen Hurts in his rookie year

Former Eagles great and current Eagles radio analyst Mike Quick spends plenty of time around the team, both in- and out-of-season.

So when Quick chooses to hop on NFL Network and offer up his thoughts on the Eagles' 2020 plans, it's worth stopping and listening.

Last month, Doug Pederson turned a few heads when he effectively guaranteed the backup quarterback position to Nate Sudfeld, even after the Eagles spent valuable capital in a second-round draft pick on Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts.

Which brought up the question: What will Hurts' role be, exactly, when the Eagles begin their season in September?

Here's what Quick had to say about what he thinks Hurts will be doing as a rookie:

QUICK: So I think that, initially, [Pederson] will use [Hurts] pretty much as a gadget guy. You look around the NFL, and all of these guys that are smart play callers, and guys who plan plays, they do a lot of things now that we haven't seen in conventional football. Doug Pederson is one of those guys who likes to come up with things that no one's seen, so I think they'll use Jalen Hurts in a number of ways.

It sounds like Hurts' rookie year will be more smoke and mirror, and less substantive quarterback play.

The Eagles will likely benefit most, long-term, from using Hurts as a true quarterback rather than an offbeat gadget play in the Taysom Hill mold. In three years, Hill hasn't shown himself to be of much value outside a few snaps per game. If the Eagles plan on eventually moving Hurts for assets, they'd rather let other teams see him play like an NFL-ready quarterback.

But in the short-term, the chances to put Hurts in that position will be few and far between.

This certainly isn't the first time we've heard someone discuss Hurts as a potential gadget weapon in his first year. That was essentially everyone's first take in the days following his selection, before a wave of "No, he's going to be a real quarterback" followed.

But it's noteworthy to hear a guy like Quick, considering his relationship with the organization, say that he expects Hurts to take on a gadget-type role in his rookie year.

Earlier this offseason, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Dave Zangaro examined how exactly the Eagles can wiggle Hurts into their game plans, even as the third-string quarterback:

If there’s a chance for Hurts to even play any kind of a role as a rookie, the Eagles will probably need to keep three quarterbacks active on game day. But if they’re going to be using Hurts as anything other than a quarterback, that’s probably not a bad idea. 

The Eagles have tried to say multiple times that Hurts is a quarterback first and they’re going to develop him as a quarterback. But they’ve also dropped hints along the way that they have some plans for him as a non-traditional quarterback to begin his career. 

And NBC Sports Philadelphia's Reuben Frank predicted last month that Pederson will use Hurts in very specific situations this season:

7. What about Jalen Hurts?: I’m not sure he’ll justify where he was drafted, but I do expect Hurts to make an impact, mainly as a short-yardage and goal-line runner.

Prediction: Hurts becomes the first Eagles rookie with five rushing TDs in a season since Don “Heartbeat” Johnson in 1953. 

Hurts' role in Pederson's offense will probably be one of the more compelling storylines, all season long.

Subscribe and rate the Eagle Eye podcast: 
Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Stitcher / Spotify / Art19

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Eagles coaches 'never felt more safe' at NovaCare Complex

Eagles coaches 'never felt more safe' at NovaCare Complex

On Friday, two days before Eagles head coach Doug Pederson tested positive for COVID-19, several of his assistant coaches spoke about how effective they believe the Eagles’ safety protocols are inside the NovaCare Complex and how safe they consider the facility.

The Eagles, under the direction of vice president of football operations and compliance Jon Ferrari, reconfigured the South Philadelphia facility over the last several weeks to comply with NFL safety measures once the players arrived.

On Monday, the Eagles' so-called IDER plan – that stands for Infectious Disease Emergency Response plan – was approved by the league, meaning the team's plan to deal with the virus in the facility met the safety standards required by the league and the players' association.

Yet here we are.

Without knowing how or where Pederson contracted the virus, it’s impossible to determine whether the safety measures are working. 

If nobody else in the building contracts it, they’re working. If it turns out there are additional positive tests within the building in the coming days, it’s possible that even the strictest adherence to the safety measures isn’t enough.

We’ll know more in the coming days, but offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, running backs coach and assistant head coach (and interim head coach) Duce Staley and special teams coach Dave Fipp all spoke on Friday about how effective the measures the Eagles took to create a safe working environment appeared to be.

Stoutland: “Coming through the front door, going through the gate, getting tested each morning, I gotta tell you guys, I’ve never felt more safe in my life. I told my wife that, I told my kids that. Mr. (Jeff) Lurie, he cares about his team, his coaches, and just proves it once again with the group of people that he’s put together to organize this whole operation. It’s all different, it’s all new, (team president) Don Smolenski, Jon Ferrari, it’s unbelievable. Every little detail that’s going on right now, the door handles, everything that I notice, I’m like, ‘Oh my goodness, they think of everything to keep us safe.’ That part of it is great I think for all of us because it kind of lets you (know), ‘OK, let me just focus on my job and detail what I have to do and the other stuff, we’re good. We’re going to be in good hands.’”

Staley: “We have to be careful, that’s something that all coaches are being redundant with. We’re talking with our players, we’re talking amongst ourselves. We’re all reminding each other how serious this is, reminding ourselves as coaches and reminding the players. This is a different time for us and as a team we must make the adjustments so we can be successful down the road. We must make the adjustments. I think the Eagles, this organization, Howie, Jeffery, along with Jon Ferrari, they’ve got a great plan here for us while we’re in the building, so we feel 100 percent safe in the building. Now, we understand everything going on, how it can be contracted, but we feel safe.”

Fipp: “I think common sense is the biggest thing. Gotta be smart, obviously. There’s definitely an issue going on out there. I think we feel good about it as long as we wear masks and take care of our responsibility outside the building. I feel great about being inside the building.”

Subscribe and rate the Eagle Eye podcast: 

Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Stitcher / Spotify / Art19



Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson tests positive for COVID-19

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson tests positive for COVID-19

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has tested positive for COVID-19, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. 

Pederson, 52, is asymptomatic and is feeling well at this time, the source said. 

ESPN’s Tim McManus first reported that Pederson informed his players on Sunday night after a second positive test. 

The Eagles later released the following statement: 

Most of the Eagles' meetings are still virtual and Pederson will be able to lead them. But assistant head coach and running backs coach Duce Staley will handle any head coaching responsibilities in the building while Pederson is away, according to a source. Pederson will have to follow the NFL's protocols before returning to the NovaCare Complex. 

Pederson is the second known NFL head coach to test positive for COVID-19 after Saints’ head coach Sean Payton had it in March. 

Just last week, Pederson said he felt “extremely safe” inside the NovaCare Complex. 

“Obviously, coming into it there might have been some skepticism about the testing and the screenings that go on, but it’s very thorough,” Pederson said to reporters on a Zoom call last week. “When you’re here and you get tested in the morning, you’ve got a screening process that you have to go through to get into the building, wearing masks in the building, everywhere we go, I feel extremely safe.”

According to ESPN, it is believed Pederson contracted the coronavirus outside of the NovaCare Complex. ESPN also reported that QBs coach/pass game coordinator Press Taylor, who was in close contact with Pederson, was also sent home. He has tested negative but will follow protocol before returning. 

Last week, the Eagles placed three players — Lane Johnson, Jordan Mailata and Nathan Gerry — on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. The Reserve/COVID-19 list is for players who either test positive or who have been exposed to someone who has. Johnson later announced that he tested positive. 

In addition to the three players put on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, the Eagles also had one player opt out already. Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin opted out of the season because of family reasons. 

After testing positive, Pederson will obviously miss some time at the facility. Pederson last Monday stressed the need for contingency plans, not just for players, but for coaches too. 

“We have to have a plan for everything as you know,” he said. “One of the things that we've been faced with, and I think we've done a really good job here is we've overcome some of the injuries we've had the last couple of seasons. We've coached that next guy, or that next player has been able to go in and perform at a high level, but now I think that has to carry over to the coaching staff as you mentioned.

“I think there has to be a plan in place for any coach or any staff member that may miss a couple days or a couple weeks because of the virus.

“So those are all things that are running through my mind. Again, we are in a different environment and we all have to do our part to protect ourselves, protect our players and our families and hopefully we minimize any setbacks.”

Subscribe and rate the Eagle Eye podcast: 

Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Stitcher / Spotify / Art19



Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles