Ron Jaworksi: Jalen Hurts is a 'Football Wonk'

Former Eagles QB Ron Jaworksi told SI.com's Eagle Maven Jalen Hurts needs time to develop
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PHILADELPHIA - Ron Jaworski isn't ready to proclaim Jalen Hurts as the answer in Philadelphia but the former Eagles quarterback likes some of the early returns he's seen with the former Heisman Trophy runner-up.

"It's crystal clear if you look at the physical talents of Jalen Hurts, he has NFL talent," said Jaworski when discussing the second-year QB with SI.com's Eagle Maven via the Birds365 streaming show.

Few understand the quarterback position in Philadelphia better than Jaworski, who spent a decade with the Eagles as a starter beginning in 1977 and led the organization to its first Super Bowl berth after the 1980 season.

More so, Jaworski settled in the Delaware Valley after his 17-year NFL career ended in 1989 and has remained very close to the organization, even serving on the committee that ultimately decided to hire Doug Pederson back in 2016.

Jaws' long media career with ESPN was also built on film work, especially at the QB position.

Now 70, Jaworksi still has an office at NFL Films and with the technological advancements often gets game film two hours after the completion of any given contest he wants to take a look at, something that typically starts with the Eagles.

"Incomplete right now," Jaworski said when asked if Hurts will be the long-term answer for the Eagles. "We haven't seen enough to say, 'Oh yeah, he's the guy.' It takes time to develop in this league."

According to Jaworski, though, the positives with Hurts start with the mental acuity and natural leadership skills that the former Alabama and Oklahoma star couples with that aforementioned NFL talent.

"You know I spoke to a lot of coaches about Jalen Hurts, and he is a football wonk," Jaworski said. "He loves football. He studies the game, he asks a lot of questions, the players matriculate to him, they like him, you know, he's got an effervescence for the game. You watch him on the field, a calmness, but you could tell the passion that he has, he has those intangibles as well.

"What he lacks is experience."

And Hurts struggled last season after opposing defenses got more film on him and began throwing change-ups.

"Everyone gets excited when a young quarterback comes on the field and he runs for a first down," noted Jaworski. "Remember, I was with a guy, Randall Cunningham, for a couple of years. I know about a guy that can break the pocket and make exciting plays and Jalen Hurts can do that.

"But as we saw after a couple of games, defenses now locked in on him, the mush rush came into play, they didn't give him those wings to run from. They didn't allow him to boot to the outside."

And that's the great unknown. 

Can Hurts adjust to the adjustments made to him?

"Those things he had success with for a couple of games all sudden were taken away, and he had to play quarterback from the pocket," Jaworski said. "In other words read coverage, anticipate throws, all those things that add to longevity at the quarterback position he struggled with. So, he started out really really good. He struggled late, and so that's why I give the grade an incomplete.

"We need to see more of him."

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 EagleMaven. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.