The Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback change was one of the biggest storylines of week 14. Rookie QB Jalen Hurts made his first start at home against the Saints and has since been named the starter for this week against the Cardinals. The success Hurts had against a top NFC defense leaves more questions for the Eagles than it does answers.
Why was Hurts more successful in the Eagles offense than Wentz has been?
First, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. It’s one game vs five years of Carson Wentz. Before we give Hurts all the credit, we need to see if he can continue to produce.
More importantly, the coaches showed us that they are able to change the scheme to fit a player’s skill set. They installed more shorter drops, quicker throws, RPOs, and running plays than the last few weeks. They also found ways to get fellow rookie Jalen Reagor the ball.
The biggest dig on the receivers this year has been an inability to get open. Although this is true, part of the reason is that the Eagles do far more play-action-pass (PAP) than they run.
If you don’t mix in enough runs, nobody bites on the PAP. More often than not, it’s accompanied by a seven-step drop and long developing routes. When the defense isn’t faked, these plays can be easily defended. What makes PAP a strategic scheme is the backend of the defense being out of position.
But when they’re not afraid of the run, it doesn’t work.
What does the Eagles’ Quarterback change mean for the coaching staff?
This means they can’t hide anymore.
Everyone knows now that the offensive coaches could have changed the scheme for Wentz. They just didn’t.
There isn’t anything that Hurts can do that Wentz can’t. Carson is just as mobile, so RPOs, and moving the pocket could have been done for him as well…but they weren’t.
The Eagles have used 13 different configurations of the offensive line this season. They have played 13 games. It is no fault of their own, but they haven’t been great because of it.
This just shows that the Eagles’ quarterback change was a desperation move that might not have been necessary. There are ways to hide an underperforming group, like moving the pocket, just as they did for Jalen, but why didn’t they?
Where do the Eagles go from here?
There has to be a major change this off-season. At the very least, coordinators need to be changed. But we might see an entire regime change.
It wouldn’t be the worst idea. Since winning the Lombardi, the entire team has been flat. We’ve seen players leave and find success.
Coaches on both sides of the ball deserve the blame for the Eagles’ coaching change and GM Howie Roseman gets some too. Ever since the Eagles lost LB Jordan Hicks to free agency, they’ve been suspect at the position. Although Howie has brought in “guys”, none have been a long term answer.
The secondary has been a problem for a while, as well, and it’s too late to claim it’s simply a talent issue. The Eagles have overhauled the unit and brought in Darius Slay, yet the problems still exist.
Big moves need to happen for the Eagles’ franchise to get back to where it wants to be. Whether than means a new coaching staff, new players, a new GM, or all of the above, new scenery in Philadelphia may just be the answer.
Thanks for reading my article on the Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback change, Follow me on Twitter @davisjosh20.
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