Q&A: Hurts-Goedert Connection Emerging
The latest victory by the Philadelphia Eagles showed that, while undefeated, there is still room for the team to improve.
On the latest episode of “Q&A” on Inside The Birds, former Eagles Jason Avant and Quintin Mikell discussed the highs and lows from the 29-17 win over the Houston Texans.
Quintin Mikell: “In games like this when things aren’t necessarily going how you planned, the best quarterbacks always work the middle of the field. They find their sure-handed, big, strong targets. Dallas is one of the best in the league in terms of working through the middle, working on the outside routes, giving Jalen (Hurts) a nice big backboard to catch the ball and then making something out of it. When things weren’t going well early and they had to adjust, Dallas was on the spot to really take over the game and get the chains moving a little bit.”
Jason Avant: “I think it’s growth and development. I always viewed Dallas Goedert as a great talent that lacked the awareness for the game. When you can perform like this against zone coverage and find windows and understand how to set up routes, they had two corner routes against Cover 2 and the way that he set up the route by stemming outside and making the guy jump outside so he can get up and had a free lane, there were certain things that he was doing that understood the tactfulness of the game, which I appreciated.”
Mikell: “One of the most difficult things about a guy like him is they line him up everywhere. They split him out, they put him in three-point stances, they have him run a screen. He’s a player that can do so much. He can block, he can catch screens and run, he can run after the catch, he can run down the field. He’s a lot like (Travis) Kelce in terms of his ability to run routes and get out in the open field.”
Mikell: “This last game was a testament to his growth. You could see early on the gameplan wasn’t there, you could see that they were taking away A.J. (Brown) and Devonta (Smith). They were taking away his weapons and there were times in that game where he just found a way to make a play, found a way to find the open man and overcome. To me, this game is as important as any game because of what he was able to achieve in not an ideal situation.”
Avant: “I like that he’s not putting the ball in harm’s way. Even when he’s throwing 50-50 balls, they’re in a position where guys can make a play. I thought he short armed his first two throws down the field, one to A.J. Brown on a hole shot in Cover 2 and then one on a Detroit route, that’s across the field and come back, to Dallas Goedert. Those are two pretty easy throws that he missed early in the game that could have changed the outcome. Early in the game, you hit those plays, it makes the Texans realize this is a different juggernaut. I’m talking about very minor critiques, he’s playing extremely well.”
Avant: “Jordan Mailata was late out of his stance on both of those sacks. Jerry Hughes did an extremely good job of bending and lowering his shoulder. You put those two things together Mailata on the road and on silent count, he was an entire step behind on both of those plays. Hughes around him before heaven got the news. There were a few times where there was frustration between the guard and the center because usually, in silent count, the guard taps. The guard wasn’t tapping every time, so there was some confusion between (Jason) Kelce and the right guard.”
Mikell: “It’s been proven all year that the second level has to do a better job of tackling. Just get them on the ground. For me, that was the saddest part, that this team is right at the cusp and the one thing we have been hitting on all year is they have to do a better job tackling and being more physical.”
Avant: “We don’t have a problem covering. We’re the number one coverage team in the National Football League, have the most PBUs, the most INTs. We have to make tackles and we have to be willing to tackle. This is not just a (C.J.) Gardner-Johnson thing, this was an entire secondary thing the entire game. There were times where (Darius) Slay waited to be blocked by somebody. Those are things that you can’t do. You have to go make a play. Usually, (Marcus) Epps is on it. Epps missed a lot of tackles this week. You’re going to miss a lot of tackles if you sit there and try to dive at somebody’s legs. You have to put your body in front and we can’t be reluctant to do that.”
Mikell: “It gets fixed in the film room…When you’re in that room and you’re looking across and everybody else on that field did their job and that comes on the film and you see yourself go through that hole like you’re supposed to and you turn down that play, that peer pressure starts to kick in.”
– Benjamin Paul is a staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
Listen to the latest “Q&A” podcast featuring former Eagles standouts Quintin Mikell and Jason Avant:
Or watch on YouTube: