PHILADELPHIA -- Eagles wide receiver Jalen Reagor stood with his hands on his hips on the far side of the NovaCare Complex field after Wednesday’s training camp practice. Reagor, who has been dealing with the loss of a close friend and some lower body tightness, struggled at times during the early part of camp.
As Reagor stood in place, an Eagles player in a red jersey approached him, placing a hand on Reagor’s shoulder pads. They proceeded to talk for several minutes. The player who wore the red jersey, quarterback Jalen Hurts, told Reagor that he would be there for him in any capacity the receiver needed.
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It’s not the first time that Hurts has done this in training camp. Hurts has gone from player to player during practice, either having small conversations with them or going through celebrations, using tight windows of communication to build a good rapport with everyone, something that is necessary for a good leader.
Expected to be the man under center when the Eagles take on the Atlanta Falcons in the regular-season opener, Hurts is approaching his interactions as a way to establish relationships with the other players in the locker room, trying to forge a bond that he hopes will build team chemistry.
“We’re a team, and I think everybody is being held accountable for doing their job and doing it at a high level,” Hurts said after Monday’s practice. “That does nothing but create energy for everybody, and that’s all we want. We want great energy in this building. We want to support one another, and we want to do it every day. I think building up relationships and doing that with everybody is very important.”
After starting the last four games of last season and being the top quarterback through offseason workouts and training camp, players have noticed certain intangibles in Hurts that have stood out.
Right guard Brandon Brooks said Hurts is always watching film and working on the little details every day to get better. Brooks added that Hurts has been trying to keep the receivers and other offensive players sharp when he sees them around the team’s facility, trying to make sure that they pay attention to the details and plays the same way he is trying to do.
“He’s even in the hallways quizzing guys doing X, Y, and Z,” Brooks said. “He’s a natural-born leader. I think that’s obvious. Guys, including myself, respond well with guys like that. He’s constantly getting you up, quizzing you on what’s going on, and making sure you know your P’s and Q’s. It’s the little things that you end up taking into where you want to be and help you in the long run. He’s crossing the T’s and dotting his I’s every day and every second.”
Hurts thinks the pop quizzes are an important component to having success on the field.
“If everybody is able to do their job and execute it fundamentally, with their football IQ, competitiveness, and everybody’s in tune with everything that they are supposed to do,” Hurts said, “I think a positive play is guaranteed to happen.”
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