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Jalen Hurts Explains Relationship with Mannings, Particularly Peyton

The Eagles QB mentions other quarterbacks he has studied, but he has something none of them did - his ability to make plays with his legs
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PHILADELPHIA - Jalen Hurts knows the royal family of the NFL well.

That would be the Mannings.

Hurts said he met them at a football camp going into his sophomore year at Channelview High School in Texas.

“I’ve always had a good relationship with the Mannings,” said the Eagles QB on Wednesday as the Eagles (4-6) prepare to host the New Orleans Saints (5-4) on Sunday (1 p.m./FOX).

“Mr. Arch, Archie, Peyton, Eli…We just maintained that relationship. Always, little nicks here, little things I can learn from, pick their brain. I value that. I value the Mannings and the relationship that I have with them.”

His relationship with Peyton has been cultivated above the rest.

“He’s just really, really detail-oriented,” said Hurts about the Super Bowl-winning and Hall of Fame QB. “Very detailed. You talk about doing walkthroughs, he’s a guy that everything was really full speed until the snap.

“He was going through checks. Even in the offseason, the amount of detail he has in the offseason when he’s with his receivers. He had scripted plays out there. He had special routines. I admired that. I hope to continue to carry that on.”

Hurts couldn’t have a better teacher, really, even as he begins to blaze his own trail, to find his way in the pro game, showing improvement in various aspects of the game the past few weeks.

The QB said Manning will send him detail-episodes of various plays throughout the league from his Manning-cast on Monday Night Football.

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One thing that has been consistent with Hurts, is his ability to make plays with his legs.

As he learns to play more from the pocket, rather than flee at the slightest whiff of pressure, he is navigating the pocket and keeping his eyes down the field.

“You can see him stepping up in the pocket,” said offensive coordinator Shane Steichen. “He had one in the two-minute drive (against the Broncos) he threw to [Jalen] Reagor down the sidelines, a stop route. He stayed in there and got drilled. I mean, that's great strides right there, seeing that, making those big-time throws.”

Still, when Hurts needs to run, he runs.

“He's still making those plays outside the pocket,” said Steichen.

Neither Peyton nor Eli did much of that, but Hurts has had other QBs he watched while honing his game.

“I watch the greats,” he said. “I love good football players, I love great football play.”

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Two names he mentioned were Teddy Bridgewater and Cam Newton.

“Meeting Teddy Bridgewater in person, that’s a guy I watched coming out of high school,” said Hurts. “He was at Louisville and obviously seeing him going to Minnesota. A ton of respect for him and the things he’s overcome, and the player he is.

“I met Cam this year for the first time - a guy that everybody watched as a kid. An electric player at Auburn. He’s had a great career in the NFL. So many great players. I just try to be a sponge to it all and learn whatever I can to enhance myself.”

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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