October 21, 2021   3 MIN READ

“The RPO Means Nothing”

Q&A: Hurts, Sirianni Pairing Not Working So Far


After falling down by 21 points to Tom Brady and the Bucs in prime time last Thursday, Jalen Hurts led a second-half comeback that fell short and the Eagles lost 28-22, falling to 2-4.

Between the team’s sluggish start and the one-dimensionality of the offense, there are major problems within the offensive scheme and the direction in which the team is headed.

(Jalen Hurts is struggling to see open receivers and fleeing the pocket early)

Former Eagles safety Quintin Mikell and former Eagles wide receiver Jason Avant discussed the lack of creativity on offensive scheme and Hurts shortcomings in the latest “Q&A” on Inside The Birds.

“ Early in that game, he was leaving the pocket with [minimal] pressure,” Avant said. “Even though they were sending some stunts and one-man [extra] blitzes, the line had them stoned. They backed up a yard, but that’s still good protection. But he was out before anyone could get open or anything could happen.

“It’s almost like he’s seeing ghosts a little bit, and that’s not what you want from your quarterback. I know he’s not a scared quarterback, I know that’s not the case. You just wonder if he has command of the offense.”

Mikell agreed and discussed why the scheme isn’t built well for Hurts while also touching on Hurts’ struggles with accuracy. 

“ When you have a young quarterback, the best thing to do is give them more in-breaking routes because the routes are right in front of you and you can see everything,” Mikell said. “When you have a quarterback that’s pushing the ball down the field outside or on corner routes, it’s much harder. Those are some of the hardest throws to make. The offense needs to slow down a little bit, and refocus their scheme on getting him more inside breaking throws.”

“Watching the tape, Jalen missed a lot of throws. He missed a lot of open throws and [had] a lot of bad reads. It’s to the point now where I think the best thing to do is go back to square one, go back to the beginning and rebuild him as a quarterback.”

Also discussed: The heavy use of RPOs, lack of running plays, taunting and the Zach Ertz trade. 

“ RPOs usually work when [you’re facing] zone,” Avant said. “ Guess what teams are doing to us? They’re playing man-to-man, so the RPO means nothing.”

Mikell echoed a similar sentiment.

“Miles [Sanders] had nine carries and Jalen had 10 carries because defenses are forcing the pull,” he said. “The RPO stuff doesn’t work at this level because teams have figured it out. The funny thing is that the offense thinks they’re optioning off of the defense but it’s actually the other way around. The defense is actually forcing your hand by making you pull.”

Check out the full show on the Inside The Birds Youtube channel.

– Tyler Strasser (@tylerstrasser7) is a staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.

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