Eagles Offensive Premiere Being Built Around Jalen Hurts

Nick Sirianni has been very secretive about his offense but noted that if Jalen Hurts 'hates it, we ain't going to run it'
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PHILADELPHIA - The premiere for the Eagles offense is Sunday in Atlanta and Nick Sirianni isn't about to give you any spoilers.

The Eagles' rookie head coach has played things close to the vest throughout the summer so those expecting some last-minute intelligence on the coach's offense came up short again on Wednesday.

The prevailing wisdom is that Jalen Hurts' running ability will be on display against the Falcons with an offense that is heavy on the RPOs [run-pass options]. That said, no one really knows for sure and that's how Sirianni likes it.

"I think you'll see on Sunday the answer to that question," Sirianni said when asked about tailoring his system around the strengths of his QB's ability to run the ball.

Running back Miles Sanders sees plenty of playmakers and the ability to be explosive.

The receivers - DeVonta Smith, Jalen Reagor, and Quez Watkins - are very young but very fast while Sanders himself is one of the biggest home-run hitters in the NFL from the backfield.

Veteran tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert give Hurts two accomplished receiving options in the middle of the field.

"I really think we can be dynamic," Sanders said. "With a quarterback like Jalen, he’s going to clear out a lot of gaps, because defenses have to feel him. They’re pretty much saying they don’t want a quarterback to beat them with his legs."

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According to Sanders, the more opposing defenses adjust to Hurts' skills means more avenues for others.

"I’m pretty sure they’re going to have different stuff to keep that from happening, and that will make us better in the passing game and (with) the running backs," said Sanders.

Sirianni believes all the uncertainty will make things tougher for opponents early in the season, something that had veteran center Jason Kelce reminiscing about the Chip Kelly days

"I’m sure both teams have been hiding things all preseason," Kelce said. "You’re getting a lot of their base stuff, but everyone’s hiding the stuff they’re really excited to run during the season. Whenever you’re playing the game with a coach going into his first one, you’re always anticipating, a little bit of the unknown and how it’s going to go, how the flow of the game is going to go, how it’s going to get called and all that stuff.

"... When you’re a new coach, everyone’s still trying to figure you out. I still remember Chip Kelly, when we were out there, we put up 50-something points against Washington [it was actually 33 but the then-Skins were certainly reeling] in his debut. Had over 50-some plays in the first half run, with that tempo. Obviously, a little different offense now, but I’m excited to actually go out there and do this first time with Nick and this team."

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Sirianni has tweaked his default scheme with a Hurt-specific tint in mind.

"I think we're pretty close there," Sirianni said when asked about catering things to Hurts' preferences. "It's never perfect because you're always going to have some game plan plays you haven't done a ton of. That's why I meet with them all week. Listen, if I like something and [Eagles offensive coordinator] Shane [Steichen] likes something and [QB coach] Brian [Johnson] likes something and we love it and he hates it, we ain't going to run it."

From Hurts' perspective, it's a process that's ever-evolving.

"We definitely want to be on the same page in everything we do," the QB said. "But we still have time to throw it against the wall and stick, and see what’s good for us. So it’s an ongoing process."

-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on both PhillyVoice.com and YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.