Lamar Jackson is probably the player that most NFL fans and media would say has the most pressure entering the 2024 season, because his team was a Super Bowl favorite and he fell a game short.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts should be at the top of any such list.
After leading the Philadelphia Eagles to the Super Bowl in the 2022 season, Hurts’ performance started with a bang as the Eagles soared to a 10-1 record and then was the glaring dysfunction in the team’s 1-6 finish.
He passed for a modest 3,858 yards, 23 touchdowns, and a whopping 15 interceptions to offset 15 rushing TDs. With the abundance of talent that the Eagles possess on offense, and the unrest that seemed to infest the skill players, it was inevitable that offensive coordinator Brian Johnson would be given his walking papers.
What Happened With Jalen Hurts and Offensive Coordinator Brian Johnson?
Johnson joined the Eagles as quarterbacks coach in 2021 and was promoted to offensive coordinator after Shane Steichen left to take the head coach job in Indianapolis.
The relationship between Johnson and Hurts started with great success. Under Johnson’s guidance as an assistant, Hurts was a finalist for AP NFL MVP and Offensive Player of the Year in 2022 and the Eagles reached the Super Bowl.
That’s life in the NFL though. One season you are the toast of the town, and the next people doubt you and you start to doubt yourself.
Hurts was given a $255 million contract to go back to the Super Bowl the next season and finish the job. Instead, his passer rating dropped to 89.1 from 101.5 and a Philadelphia offense that is loaded with weapons fell off the face of the earth.
Jalen Hurts Gets Another Pass
The body language between the players was off and the results on the field led to wide scale changes in leadership on both sides of the ball. With the firing of Johnson, the Eagles are choosing not to blame their franchise QB for the team’s shortcomings on offense.
Instead, they went out and got seasoned play-caller Kellen Moore to take over and get this offense back on track for a real run at it in 2024.
The ball is now in Jalen Hurts’ court. His trainwreck of a season can be attributed to a disconnect between Johnson and the offense and Johnson’s inability to maximize his weapons. He’s basically off the hook and the Eagles are willing to wipe the slate clean and forget last season ever happened.
Peyton Manning Likes New Eagles Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore
Moore, a former NFL quarterback for six seasons, has been an offensive coordinator in the NFL since 2019, when the Dallas Cowboys promoted him from quarterbacks coach. He spent 2019-2022 with the Cowboys and then spent 2023 as the offensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Chargers.
Moore already has one strong supporter, and that’s legendary quarterback Peyton Manning.
“I think he’s a good playcaller. You know, changes are part of the offseason every single year, but I think Jalen [Hurts] will like playing for him,” said Manning to reporters while attending the Senior Bowl.
“You know, I like Nick [Sirianni’s] system. So, you know, I imagine there’s some type of kind of hybrid of what Nick wants to do and what Kellen wants to do as long as you’re working together on that.”
Moore had mixed results with an 18th-ranked Los Angeles Chargers offense that was hampered by injuries, including one that ended quarterback Justin Herbert’s season.
During his stint in Dallas, Moore orchestrated three top-10 offenses, including two No. 1-ranked units in 2019 and 2021.
In 2019, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys averaged 431.5 yards per game and scored 49 touchdowns. Two seasons later, they averaged 407 yards per game and scored 64 TDs.
Moore Must Cater Offense To Jalen Hurts Strengths
“I think it’s got to be, you know, focused around Jalen and what he likes,” said Manning. “I think it’s a good hire for the Eagles.”
“I like Kellen, obviously,” said Manning. “I’ve known Kellen since he was in college, and he came down to our football camp, and we stayed in touch.” Moore was the quarterback at Boise State from 2008-2011 before going undrafted in 2012. During his time at Boise State, he was a two-time first-team All-WAC and one-time first-team All-MWC.
Moore spent six years in the NFL, starting two games for Dallas. Upon retirement, he became the Cowboys’ quarterback coach in 2017.
Moore is probably licking his chops at an opportunity to redesign the Eagles’ offense in his vision. Based on what went down last season, Moore’s mere presence is considered an upgrade for Jalen Hurts, Devonta Smith, AJ Brown, and the other skill position players.