Eagles Training Camp: Hurts’ struggles are not an indication of what his 2022 season will look like
We’re about a week and a half into Eagles training camp now and the noise surrounding quarterback Jalen Hurts has grown louder by the day.
Nearly every reporter that’s been in attendance for practice has shared the same sentiment on the Eagles signal caller — he’s had his moments, but for the most part, Hurts has struggled throughout the early portion of camp.
The Eagles are still over a month away from their season opener and the consensus on Hurts could swing drastically by the time Week 1 rolls around. It’s still far too early to draw any kind of conclusion on Hurts’ 2022 outlook. Of course, that hasn’t stopped the fanbase from debating each other on how Hurts’ camp struggles could affect his 2022 season.
The central question at the heart of it all is, how much stock should we put into camp performance?
There isn’t a straightforward answer. In reality, a player’s performance during camp isn’t always an indication of how they may perform when the season begins.
Over the past decade or so, Eagles fans have seen their quarterbacks light it up during camp and the preseason, only to be let down tremendously once the games actually matter. On the other side of the coin, we’ve seen quarterbacks struggle during camp and look like a completely different player during the regular season.
The first name that comes to mind is Sam Bradford.
Sammy Sleeves lit the world on fire during the 2015 preseason. Not only were Eagles fans in awe of what this guy was doing, respected journalists and local pundits crowned Bradford before seeing even one snap of regular season action.
Remember when Bradford went 10-for-10 for 121 yards and three touchdowns in the Eagles preseason matchup with Green Bay? People lost their minds after this game.
Eagles sideline reporter Howard Eskin went as far as declaring Bradford the best quarterback in the NFC East following this contest. Remember, both Tony Romo and Eli Manning were still in the division at the time.
As we all know by now, Bradford’s miraculous camp/preseason performance was false hope personified. He went 7-7 as a starter in 2015, throwing 19 touchdowns to 14 interceptions and posted a passer rating of 86.4. Sammy Sleeves was promptly traded the following preseason to make way for the Eagles second overall pick, Carson Wentz.
Wentz’s camp performances were a mixed bag. Per 94WIP Eagles reporter Eliot Shorr-Parks, Wentz’s best camp came in 2017, when he threw a total of 31 touchdowns to just five interceptions while completing 68 percent of his passes. He nearly won the MVP during that 2017 campaign, going 11-2 as a starter while breaking the Eagles single season passing touchdowns record in the process.
Oddly enough, Wentz’s second-best camp outing, per ESP, came in 2020, by far the worst season of his career. He finished camp with 28 touchdowns to five interceptions with a completion percentage of 65. Wentz was arguably the worst starting quarterback in football that season, tossing 16 touchdowns to 15 interceptions with a completion percentage of 57.4 and a passer rating of 72.8.
Then we have Nick Foles in 2013, where he lost the quarterback competition to Michael Vick during camp. At the time it made plenty of sense. Vick was the ideal type of quarterback to run Chip Kelly’s up tempo, run-first offense.
Once Foles got the starting gig after Vick went down with an injury, he looked like the ideal gun slinger for Kelly’s offense. He finished the season with 27 touchdown passes to just two interceptions and posted an impressive 119.2 passer rating — the best mark of any quarterback with at least 300 attempts that season.
What does this tell us about Hurts?
In the end, nobody can determine how good or bad Jalen Hurts will be this season based off his performance during camp. Even if he turns things around and starts lighting it up during practice, it doesn’t mean he’s going to be doing that to opposing defenses on Sundays.
We’re all anxious for football and in today’s social media climate, it’s easy to fall victim to the constant scrutiny or praise coming from reporters during training camp. Until Week 1 rolls around, none of us will truly know how far Hurts has come in his development. These training camp sessions can only tell us so much.
As we’ve seen throughout the years, take all of this camp reporting with a grain of salt. It is just practice after all.
The next time Hurts is asked about his performance during camp, hopefully he takes a page out of Allen Iverson’s book
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