NFL News: Nick Sirianni Lauds Jalen Hurts' Pocket Awareness After Preseason Opener

Jalen Hurts
Wikimedia | Dissident93

Ernesto Cova

Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts will be in the spotlight now more than ever.

The team went to great lengths to put him in a position to succeed as he enters his third NFL season, so he'll need to pay back that confidence after all the rumors and rumblings about them looking to replace him in the offseason.

And, even though it was just a series in pre-season, it couldn't have gone any better.

He Was Solid In And Out Of The Pocket

Jalen Hurts
Giphy | The Undroppables

Hurts went a perfect 6-for-6 for 80 yards and a touchdown in his preseason debut vs. the New York Jets. But more than that, his pocket awareness is what stood out the most for HC Nick Sirianni:

"I thought he was great. He made plays in the pocket when he needed to make plays in the pocket and when he needed to escape, he escaped," Sirianni said.

Sirianni Liked His Reads

Jalen Hurts
Wikimedia | Superbia23

The coach gave Hurts credit for knowing when to leave the pocket. He trusts his instincts and knows that it goes beyond poor pass protection:

"I think it's interesting; I think it's also to be known that leaving the pocket isn't just something that you see when the protection breaks down," Sirianni added. I think that people think like, 'Oh, we left the pocket early, and the protection was good.' Well, sometimes nobody is open. And sometimes the defense calls a good play and it's not a good look in the coverage."

Hurts Was Solid

Jalen Hurts
Wikimedia | Pennsylvania2

Sirianni also said that Hurts made a great job of realizing when the opposing defense made good coverages or if one of his wideouts slipped or ran the wrong route:

"It's not as easy to say that the protection broke down, so he left, because that's obvious. I think the thing that is not as obvious is, again, what I said, somebody slipped on a route out or the defense played a good coverage and there wasn't anybody open and he's trying to create with a scramble. I thought he did a great job of that," Sirianni added.

Hurts Is Always Unfazed

Jalen Hurts
Wikimedia | Pennsylvania2

The coach also lauded Hurts' ability to shut down all the outside noise and just focus on playing. He's been widely criticized since entering the league, yet he doesn't let that affect his game:

"It doesn't matter if he threw an interception or I'm screaming in his face; the people in Washington fall out of the stands and almost break his leg, he's pretty unfazed and that's a great quality to have as a quarterback because he's going to be unfazed in the first quarter, he's going to be unfazed in the second quarter, third, fourth," Sirianni concluded. "That is a great quality to have in a quarterback."

So, will he finally take a leap in 2022? It sure seems like it.