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.
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