Goedert explains how Hurts has changed

Goedert explains how Hurts has changed

Now it’s not just theoretical. Now it’s not just speculation.

After two weeks of OTAs, his coach and his favorite target both raved about Jalen Hurts and how different he looks from last year.

It’s early. It’s 7-on-7. It’s non-contact. All the usual caveats apply.

But listening to Dallas Goedert and Nick Sirianni Wednesday, it sure sounds like Hurts has made some significant upgrades to his game.

Upgrades he had to make.

“Jalen looks really good,” Goedert said. “Just him going through his reads, his progressions, I feel like the ball’s got a little more zip on it, he’s getting it out a little bit quicker, you see kind of a 1-2-3 throw. He doesn’t have as many hitches, he’s seeing the game faster, which is really promising.”

In that one little quote, Goedert addressed pretty much every criticism of Hurts and every significant area he needed to improve this offseason.

Again, we’re a week into June, and it’s a big leap from showing signs of improvement during non-contact OTAs to doing it in regular-season games against big-time defenses in a packed stadium.

But it’s a step in the right direction.

“Jalen is, in my opinion, more comfortable in the offense,” Sirianni said. “That’s just the part of the process the second year (in this offense). He knows where the receivers are going to be vs. different looks. He knows where to go with the football a little bit quicker. …


“I’ve also noticed just the crispness of the drop. It’s been the fundamentals — his fundamentals have improved, and he’s really worked hard at that. He’s really seeing where to go with the football and going there quick.

“What we’ve done as coaches is figured out what he likes and what he’s good at and all these different things. It’s just accumulating those reps.”

There’s really no reason to think Hurts wouldn’t improve in his third year in the NFL and second year as a starter in Sirianni’s offense.

He made big strides in key areas from Year 1 to Year 2 – accuracy, ball control, decision making. And it sounds like he’s focused on those areas in the five months since last year ended.

“The reason we know Jalen is going to continue to get better is because of the character and the football character and the personal character that he has,” Sirianni said.

“He’s just the type of guy that’s going to reach his maximum potential because of all the off-the-field qualities he has.”

It’s possible to appreciate some encouraging early signs at minicamp while still acknowledging that in the big picture it doesn’t mean a whole lot.

“He’s working every day to get better, and I’m really pleased where he is right now, but we have to continue to lay the groundwork,” Sirianni said.

“That he went 11 of 12 [Tuesday] in 7-on-7 means nothing. He has to continue to get better and better and better. … Have to keep working that because it’s just going to get harder and harder.”

Goedert – as well as some of the other pass catchers – spent a lot of time with Hurts since last year ended, and he’s convinced that Hurts will do everything he can to maximize his ability.

“His determination to be great is something that you see every day,” Goedert said. “I was out there in California with him working, and the detail that he has with the coaches looking at film, looking at his throwing mechanics, things like that. He really wants to be great and he shows that each and every day.”

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