Pederson Looking for More Ways to Utilize Jalen Hurts
With the ability to line up in multiple positions on the field, the Eagles can use second-round pick Jalen Hurts in some unique ways.
He saw his biggest role in Sunday's Week 6 loss to Baltimore, rushing twice, picking up 23 yards. Through six weeks, Hurts has seven rushes for 49 yards and one catch for three yards and completed one pass for 18 yards.
“In the case of Jalen, obviously you saw some of what we call X plays or plays that are sort of unscouted with him have been productive for us in the last three or four weeks," Eagles head coach Doug Pederson explained.
"He's part of the game plan every week. Just felt it was the right time to get him in the game. At the time we had been struggling a little bit offensively, especially running the football and gave us an opportunity to do that with him. It kind of calmed the defense down a little bit, too. There wasn't as much pressure when he was in the game at quarterback. Just had to find a spark and got him in the football game."
While Pederson is looking for more ways to keep Hurts involved, every snap at quarterback for Hurts means one fewer for Carson Wentz, but it seems Wentz is fine with that, if its going to help the team.
“I think Jalen’s a playmaker," said Wentz. "You bring him in off the bench and defenses have to be ready for him. He’s at where I’m at and all of the above and I think it puts a little stress and a little pressure on the defense. There are some exciting plays potentially there to be had. It’s something that we’re going to keep repping, keep working on and hopefully find ways to supplement our offense and find ways to get some big plays that way.”
This week, with the Eagles short-handed Thursday night, without Miles Sanders, Pederson opened the door for more of Hurts in the game-plan.
"I think it's something that we've got to continue to explore. It does give us the ability to run the football with him, so he's like another -- I don't want to say he's another running back, but he's a quarterback that can run the zone-read plays from the quarterback position."
"It's something that we're definitely going to continue to explore each week, if it's conducive; it has been successful for us, and I could see things continuing each week that way.
“Again, I guess I could have put him in there one or two more times," Pederson continued. "He gave us a spark at times and that was good to see, and we'll just continue to keep him involved.”
In the offseason, the Eagles selected Hurts in the second-round, causing some to question the pick. Is he the Eagles quarterback of the future? Is he a gadget player the Eagles are trying to find more ways to use? Or is he part of a team that places extra value on the backup quarterback position?
Time will tell, but lets hope Pederson finds more way to get him involved in 2020.