Eagles football is back!
Well, preseason football is back anyway. So, full disclaimer, I try not to take preseason too seriously at all. For each of the preseason games, I’ll choose a few players or things that stood out on me, but I won’t go into much detail on any scheme related stuff as I really don’t think we can learn too much from preseason. However, I do think we definitely learn about players so I will focus more on individuals for these articles. I also tend to to focus on starters and other important players as they are the most interesting!
Final note, I sadly do not have access to preseason all22 but I know some people in the media do! I will therefore use some other peoples videos who are lucky enough to have access to the all22.
Jalen Hurts had a very easy day and looked very comfortable throwing the ball. He was decisive and seemed to know where to go with the football. This was his best play of the day. It’s hard to see on this clip, but on the replay it looked like a sort of high-lo (maybe a dagger) concept on the left that Hurts was reading but couldn’t throw due to no one being open. He is forced to his right by the defensive lineman but I love how he keeps his eyes down the field and throws an absolute dart to Watkins. I am almost certain in his rookie year he runs this for a short gain instead of throwing. This is progress!
Right, some things that stood out from Monday. First play of the game obviously did! I'm convinced rookie year Hurts runs this for a short game but I'm very happy to see him trying to extend plays in the passing game and keeping eyes downfield. This is also an absolute dart pic.twitter.com/DDFrDX5V7N— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) August 15, 2022
On the other hand, this play did stand out to me as a slight concern. I wrote last week about Hurts’ tendency to drift right when he feels pressure and this is an example of this once again. He has a good pocket and should be looking to stay in the pocket, or extend the play by stepping up, rather than drifting to his right. It would have been 4th down without the absolutely ridiculous out of bounds hit.
On the other hand... Would personally like to see Hurts try and stand in the pocket here on 3rd and 5. It's a pretty good pocket and I think he bails too early and actually causes pressure by escaping. I'd still like to see him more look comfortable in the pocket. pic.twitter.com/6Fg6bTahat— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) August 15, 2022
In better news, I loved the touchdown to Dallas Goedert. It’s a scissors concept (post/corner) against a very vanilla Jets defense playing cover 3. AJ Brown runs the post which eliminates the middle field safety from the play and also highlights the attention that AJ Brown will get from most defenses. Hurts has to make sure that the Jets cornerback doesn’t come off AJ Brown too early and he also places it perfectly inside Goedert because the flat defender is dropping deep. It’s a lovely call because it’s a 2 man route, involving 2 elite players, that makes the read nice and easy for Hurts. I like running it from a condensed look too as it leaves Goedert with a lot of room to run into.
LOVE this TD too. Looks like scissors concept with Brown/Goedert. Hurts whole body is perfectly synced with the concept and he slightly drifts to the left. Perfect ball just behind Goedert which stops the flat defender from coming back and making a play. pic.twitter.com/nr2VDQJPuD— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) August 15, 2022
Speaking of my favourite concepts, I loved seeing the Eagles run dagger (vertical route from the slot, deep in from the outside receiver) because they have sort of gone away from it recently. It was a Doug Pederson/Frank Reich favorite and it makes sense against zone coverage, especially cover 4, which we are seeing around the league. I wonder if the Eagles have moved away from it due to Hurts reluctance to use the middle of the field but I hope it will make a return. I wonder if it’s just a coincidence that it’s the two former Colts receivers running it too!
Speaking of concepts I like, we saw a bit of dagger! Feels like we haven't used much of late but was glad to see it again. Really good against zone coverage & suits a physical WR like Pascal who can take shots in the middle of the field. pic.twitter.com/oOoRKmrk9Z— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) August 15, 2022
Except for the above, I didn’t really see much that stood out from the offense this week. Except for one man. Cam Jurgens. My goodness.
I broke Jurgens down this offseason and I raved about his upside and movement skills but also spoke about how raw he was and sort of concluded he was a bit of a boom/bust pick in my opinion.
Projecting forward, I see him as a little bit of a boom/bust type of player. If he doesn’t improve his strength then he might be a liability in pass protection against bigger defensive tackles. But, I can see why the Eagles took him the second round. Jeff Stoutland must be very excited at the thought of developing him over the next few years. Jason Kelce is an athletic freak and there is pretty much no one else I have seen like him at center in a long time. Stylistically, Cam Jurgens might just be the closest match that I have seen. I had some questions about the pick at the time (and I still do) but we have all seen first-hand the impact that an athletic center like Kelce can have on an offense. Who doesn’t want to see that continue after his retirement?
I think it’s safe to say after just 1 week (I’m kidding) that he is going to be the next Jason Kelce. Jokes aside, he didn’t look very raw at all against the Jets. He held his own in pass protection and was outstanding in space in the run game. The vision and ability to find linebackers in the open field and then neutralise them from the play was outstanding. I hope we don’t see him this year, but I can’t wait to watch him start in the future. He has the athleticism that just jumps off the screen. Anyway, just watch these and enjoy.
The other thing that stood out from this one was Cam Jurgens. I couldn't take my eyes off him! He was like a wrecking ball flying around and finding dudes to hit. I knew the movement skills were elite but the aggressiveness and vision to find defenders in space was exceptional. pic.twitter.com/7oqYsvS9Pn— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) August 15, 2022
Jurgens ability to not just get to the LB in space, but then completely just shove him out the way, is seriously impressive. pic.twitter.com/efkKzDcgG1— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) August 15, 2022
It wasn't just his movement that impressed me. He held up in pass protection and was good at the point of attack in the run game too. He looked powerful not just fast. pic.twitter.com/GCUdktPxjk— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) August 15, 2022
Last one... I liked his game when I watched him but even this one blew me a way just a little bit. He looks an elite athlete out there. Eagles gonna love running these pin/pull runs with him, as they do with Kelce! pic.twitter.com/YUPsDrXbSE— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) August 15, 2022
I lied, not the last one. This is! I couldn't not post this one either. Look at him go! pic.twitter.com/ZLTD047TRa— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) August 15, 2022
Speaking of athleticism that jumps off the screen... how about Jordan Davis? He was clearly the standout defensive player to watch in this one.
Didn't see a huge amount on the defense that stood out... Except Jordan Davis. I mean he's hard to miss but still. The power to push the center and then the speed to attempt to chase down Wilson is pretty insane. He's gonna be so important for this team. pic.twitter.com/lAPWe4IiuK— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) August 15, 2022
Jordan Davis didn’t do anything that surprised me. He just did Jordan Davis things. He looks just as good as he did in college and that’s no surprise. He’s freakishly quick and strong and he’s going to be a massive, massive player for this defense.
This clip is beautiful. He has so much control over the opposing center. It is almost like he is playing with him, moving him from left to right to force the running back to the opposing side. It’s hilarious how dominant he will be against certain lineman one on one.
Jordan Davis (NT) making the RB dance. pic.twitter.com/QgPlSY0HTc— Ted Nguyen (@FB_FilmAnalysis) August 15, 2022
This clip is also superb. Just the Georgia boys doing their thing. Eagles using 5 men on the line of scrimmage to help get Davis a one on one matchup and he just ruins the right with quickness and power. Then Nakobe Dean cleans up! I think we might see this play about 100 times the next few seasons.
Going backdoor on the RG and showing lateral quickness to disrupt OZ pic.twitter.com/wEzgzcytsp— Ted Nguyen (@FB_FilmAnalysis) August 15, 2022
I’ll have another article out soon about the Eagles defense next year. But something I really want to see is the front 7 being more unpredictable in terms of bringing pressure. So I enjoyed seeing a few blitzes. We know Gannon is conservative so I don’t expect to see many 5 or 6 man rushes, but what I need to see is more unpredictability in terms of who is rushing the quarterback and from where.
I really want to see the Eagles front 7 be way more unpredictable this season so this was a good sign. Dropping one EDGE defender and bringing slot CB and LB from the same side gets a free rusher despite only sending 5. Really want to see more of this in the season. pic.twitter.com/oNZVi4ToO7— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) August 15, 2022
I know I’m not Davion Taylor’s biggest fan, but just how athletic is a Dean/Taylor duo? I have a feeling a few of you will be using those two on Madden...
Was also happy to see Nakobe Dean blitzing! Big concern with Gannon is that he won't let Dean rush the QB but he has to. Pass is completed but fair play to Davion Taylor because this is a tough cover. An unathletic LB has no chance at getting over there. pic.twitter.com/6FtUpkdxaV— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) August 15, 2022
Lets end with some Zech McPherson. I tried to watch him closely but struggled without the all22. Still, it looked like he had some good reps against Denzel Mims and I didn’t see him give up any big plays or major completions.
Good no contact mirror press technique here. Gets in a good position but maybe turns slightly early as he ends up having to turn back towards Mims but still gets his arm up in the way and makes it a very difficult catch with very little room available on the sideline. pic.twitter.com/0ykwV8jQ9H— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) August 15, 2022
Thanks for checking this out Eagles fans, I’m now way, way too excited for actual regular season football...