There’s always one thing you can guarantee from any Eagles reporter during training camp: propping up players because of their athleticism and eluding that they may be in for a huge season.
We’ve seen it throughout the years, most recently with cornerback Sidney Jones, where fans were told in each of the past two seasons that he looked the part, or that he looked bigger and faster than the previous season. Here’s some snippets from a piece on NBC Sports Philadelphia regarding Jones’ play during camp last year:
“He’s a different guy now… There are a bunch of guys who can make a claim for a starting spot. Jones is certainly at the top of that list… At some point he’s going to be a big-time contributor. At some point he’s going to be a starter. Don’t be surprised if that point is sooner than later.”
Jones’ play during camp obviously didn’t translate to the field last season. He was benched half way through the year and stayed on the bench for most of the season despite how bad the Eagles cornerback group was. To his credit, he did make some nice plays down the stretch for Jim Schwartz’s defense, but it wasn’t the kind of breakout season anyone really expected out of Jones.
This year, it looks like all the training camp praise is going to rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts. And it’s not hard to see why.
He’s easily the most athletic quarterback on the roster, his most valuable tool has always been his running ability. In another piece from NBC Sports Philadelphia, Dave Zangaro points out, “Hurts is clearly an electric player. He’s made some great throws early in camp but his ability to run is standing out even more. On Tuesday, he showed off his legs in the red zone… He’s a weapon down there.”
NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah has also reported great things from Hurts out of camp, stating that the team is “blown away” with Hurts so far. He went on to say:
“I am excited to see what they do with Jalen Hurts. All reports I have got out of Eagles camp are that they have been blown away with not only, everyone knows how athletic he is, but just how smart he is and how much of a professional he is. He just carries himself like a veteran. Everybody on the team has fallen in love with him.”
Now, I’m not arguing that Hurts doesn’t look good in camp. I’m not there, so how can I say for certain? I’m sure he’s looked solid.
Hurts’ college coaches always raved about his maturity and athleticism, this kind of stuff isn’t new. One of the only reasons you can argue the Hurts pick was a good one was because he was clearly mentally ready to be an NFL player.
All I’m saying is that we shouldn’t read into this buzz too much. I was duped into believing Jones would be a great corner the past two seasons, so I’ll wait until I actually see Hurts perform in game action before jumping on the bandwagon.