A year ago, Nick Sirianni spoke constantly about how much he expected Jalen Hurts to improve in so many areas.
Last year this week as OTAs came to a close, he said this: “Jalen is, in my opinion, more comfortable in the offense. That's just part of the process the second year.
“He knows where the receivers are going to be vs. different looks. He knows where to go with the football a little bit quicker.”
And we all saw what happened.
Hurts had a magical, breakthrough 2022 season, evolving from a promising and exciting young quarterback to an MVP runner-up and Super Bowl record setter.
Hurts did things no other quarterbacks had ever done, and his improvement in every key area was astonishing.
But that doesn’t mean the improvement won’t continue. We may not see the leaps and bounds like we saw last year, but Sirianni said Thursday nothing changes when it comes to Hurts finding ways to get better.
“Jalen may be the most coachable person I've ever been around in my life,” Sirianni said as the Eagles finished up spring OTAs. “He's just always looking to get better.”
Hurts took his game to such an extreme level last year it’s easy to forget it was only his second year as a starter, his second in the Nick Sirianni offense, his second with DeVonta Smith, his first with A.J. Brown.
When Donovan McNabb was getting started here a quarter of a century ago, Andy Reid used to say it takes five years for a young quarterback to really master an offense, to really understand where all the answers are and how to draw on them.
Hurts is going into Year 3, so you can only imagine what’s possible as he continues to grow and evolve.
And you know nobody is going to outwork him, so whatever his ceiling may be, it’s hard to imagine him not reaching it.
Sirianni said all these things jumped out at him during OTAs the last couple weeks.
“I do see another jump in everything that he's done with accuracy, with the decision making,” he said. “We're doing 7-on-7, so there is no (pass) rush … except for the guys that are walking at him with the bags. But (assistant equipment manager) Peter (Gould) is not going to make a sack on him in that particular case.
“But I do see his development continuing. That's what we talk about with Jalen all the time. I don't know what his ceiling is because he just keeps getting better, and he's going to continue to do that.”
Hurts may have his strongest group of skill players around him yet. With Brown, Smith, Quez Watkins and Olamide Zaccheaus, the Eagles go legit four deep at wide receiver for the first time since maybe 2012? With DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant and Riley Cooper.
And with DeAndre Swift and Kenny Gainwell, he has something he’s never really had — a couple backs who are capable receivers.
And a top-five tight end.
Somebody is going to be open.
“Now, our job as coaches (is) to make sure we're feeding him good information,” Sirianni said. “He's so coachable, he just keeps getting better, and he keeps getting better and he keeps getting better.
“So I've seen that same jump (as last year) — the speed with which he makes the decision, the accuracy of his throws. He's really had a good spring.”