June 8, 2024   6 MIN READ

New Beginnings, Again

Hurts Aiming To Master Yet Another New Offense

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Plenty of instances this spring Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts has showcased his ability to thread a needle, ripping mid-range passes – albeit mostly in 7-on-7 sessions – to familiar faces while also forging a rapport with his new cast of pass-catchers ahead of a critical 2024 season, Hurts’ fourth as a starter.

Of course, there have also been moments of learning and processing, which has manifested at times in indecision and spotty timing while he navigates through major schematic alterations.

Standard procedure, to be sure, when considering all factors.

“I think this whole, entire offseason has been about learning,” Hurts said Thursday. “Learning, and taking in the new knowledge, new perspective of the minds we have in the room.

“You get to a point where you kinda feel, ‘Hey, I’m gonna feel comfortable with this, I’m gonna like this.’ But that time comes, where you can rep it, rep it, rep it later on. But right now, it’s been a lot of new inventory in – majority of it, probably about 95 percent of it – being new.”

Jalen Hurts

GETTY IMAGES: Jalen Hurts (1) is trying to master another new offense, this one presided by new OC Kellen Moore (left).

Hurts added that he’s accustomed to new scheme changes, with Kellen Moore being his third fourth coordinator since being drafted in 2020, and having to learn an entirely new offense before he can master it and eventually take some autonomy.

“By the end of it, I want it to be mine and have it in my own way,” he said, noting the lack of continuity. “And it being a thing where I’ve kind of had to take all these new things and new voices and still go out there and be successful and efficient. So, I think that’s exactly what’s gonna happen again.”

Moore, Hurts’ latest offensive coordinator, is the quarterback’s seventh in eight years going back to college. He comes following a year of calling plays for the Chargers.

The 35-year-old coach has been identified as the maestro entrusted with delivering a reimagined offense primed to make the Eagles explosive again, with fresh ideas to rescue a stale and static unit.

Moore brings with him veteran quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier, with whom he worked with in Dallas and Los Angeles. Along with Moore, Nussmeier will be mainly tasked with restoring the Eagles’ franchise quarterback to MVP form.

“I think any time the quarterback room, you always have to be conscious of how many voices are with the quarterback,” Moore said in May. “Fortunately, I’ve been around Doug [Nussmeier] for a number of years, really since he joined our staff in Dallas in 2018. But in 2020 he became the quarterbacks coach. We’ve kind of done this thing together for a number of years now.

“We kind of complement each other in certainly personalities and the way we coach. We can kind of play off of each other, feed off of each other really, really well.

“He does a phenomenal job with the details and the fundamentals just of playing the quarterback position, and he does a great job with that. The more you’re around him, you see him out on the field, the drill work and all the things that he does to tie the pass game together for the quarterback is huge.”

Modern wrinkles in the Eagles’ offense – such as jet motion – were apparent during spring practices, along with bunch and trips formations. Notably, Hurts has peppered the middle of the field with targets, an area of his game that has largely been absent.

Unlike his predecessors, Nessmeier boasts an expansive resume of working with quarterbacks and enhancing progression.

While Nussmeier most recently oversaw the development of Dak Prescott in Dallas and Justin Herbert in Los Angeles, he’s also prepared other notable backups, including Cooper Rush and Easton Stick.

Cognizant of Hurts’ coaching carousel, Nussmeier has tailored his approach to establishing a relationship and taking the proper course of action with the Eagles quarterback.

“The first thing is trying to get a little background from the player themselves,” Nussmeier said Monday. “You get a lot of different perspectives from a lot of different people but like anything else in life, when you go on to something, you go in with an open mind, and you try to learn and take in information, as well as have opinions on certain things.”

Nussmeier echoed Moore’s philosophy of the importance of a procedural, clean operation and communication.

That communication, Nussmeier said, extends from Moore to Hurts, from Hurts to the offense. Alterations will be made pre-and-post snap, so the directives must be concise and unwavering.

While his working relationship with Hurts is in its early stages, Nussmeier’s initial impressions of the quarterback are that of a strong-willed leader, the antithesis of complacent, someone wired to absorb knowledge and vault his game to another level.

“The one thing that’s impressed me about him – and I’d heard this before – but extremely hard-worker,” Nussmeier said. “Very diligent in how he prepares.

“It’s important for him to understand the details of everything we’re doing. He’s gonna ask all the right questions. It’s really been a fun process to date.”

As for Hurts, the climb toward the NFL’s apex has only begun.

Turbulence is to be expected amid the acclimation period, but that’s not new to Hurts, who’s accustomed  to change.

While he works on mastering a complex offense, the Eagles’ franchise quarterback is doing his part in leading the way, carving out reps with his pass-catchers to fine-tune timing, ensuring that the offensive engine is prepared to roar when training camp opens.

“I think there’s a ton of good in all the reps that we got,” he said after the mandatory minicamp. “Just going out there and competing and getting as close as we can to 11-on football – obviously, just doing the majority 7-on-7 – but I thought it was a great time.

“I thought I had a great offseason here just learning and taking in everything. Now the next step is just to build and spend some of the time we’re gonna spend together in the offseason, with the receivers and whatnot. But coming back to training camp ready to go.”

– Andrew DiCecco (@AndrewDiCecco) is a Staff Reporter/Content Producer for InsideTheBirds.com.

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