HomeSportsHow Saquon Barkley already impressed Jalen Hurts

How Saquon Barkley already impressed Jalen Hurts

How Saquon Barkley already impressed Jalen Hurts originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Eagles reported for their voluntary offseason program on Monday and on Wednesday, Jalen Hurts was already very impressed with Saquon Barkley.

It did not take long.

“I think he’s a great player. He’s on this side now, so that’s cool,” Hurts said Wednesday. “I think for him, even in the short time we’ve had OTAs, you hear about the type of person that he is, the type of leader that he is in the room, the energy that he brings to the room. That’s something that you can appreciate. That’s something that I already appreciate. We only participate in sprints or compete in the squat rack or do things like that where we challenge each other. Those are the things that set the thermostat for what the team has to follow.

“All we’re talking about is just competing and having these moments together and experiencing these things together and really pushing each other. I think he’s been great with that. I have built a good relationship with him in the short term and we will continue to build on that.”

Barkley has been the Eagles’ biggest offensive asset this season, and through just a few days together at the NovaCare Complex, Barkley has already added to the team’s spirit.

Barkley, 27, joined the Eagles this offseason on a lucrative three-year contract as a free agent after the former No. 2 overall pick spent the first six years of his career with the division rival New York Giants.

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The Eagles’ biggest free agent contract actually went to edge rusher Bryce Huff, but there’s no doubt that their biggest success this offseason was landing Barkley on a three-year deal worth $37.75 million. While there is obviously some risk involved in paying a running back, the Eagles believe they have discovered a market inefficiency and have moved to add a blue chip player.

Risk aside, there is a lot of internal excitement about adding Barkley to an already potent offense.

“I saw we signed Saquon Barkley,” joked new center Cam Jurgens. “Did you see that? I’m pretty excited about that.”

Yes, we heard it.

“So far he just seems like a great guy,” Jurgens said. “It was great getting to know him, talking about what his interests are, where he grew up. Not far from here. It’s just nice to hear that. I grew up watching him in college. That’s one of the best running backs to come out of college there at Penn State, so it’s fun to be teammates with someone like that. He’s a good guy. I enjoy getting to know him a little better.”

As the Eagles’ franchise quarterback, Hurts has taken it upon himself to be the unofficial welcoming committee for the team. After a player is signed, a text message normally comes their way from Hurts. With Barkley, that text came and then the two actually worked together earlier this month.

In recent years, Hurts has gathered with teammates for workouts, so it’s no surprise to see him team up with his new star before the team reunited this week at the NovaCare Complex.

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“I think that’s really important,” Hurts said. “I think that’s really important for all those guys: taking the time and taking those moments to go out and get the work in. I think the useful things on the field are so important because that’s where you develop trust, that’s where you develop trust. who develop chemistry.

“Like I said, I know for myself and in the short term what kind of mentality he has. We will continue to evolve what that looks like for all of us together. We have a lot of opportunities in front of us, but I think the most important thing is the mentality that the people in the building have. You want to get people who have a sense of culture about themselves, who have a mindset about themselves and I think that’s exactly what we’re doing.

As the longest-tenured athlete in the city and one of the Eagles’ defensive captains, Brandon Graham is a big part of the team’s leadership group. And he’s already seen some of those leadership qualities in his short time at Barkley.

Graham said he thinks Barkley, even as a rookie, can be an important voice in the running back room and on that side of the football.

But leadership is just an added bonus. The Eagles signed Barkley because they believe he can be elite in the coming seasons and perhaps add new momentum to an offense that seemingly has all the weapons to be elite again.

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While there are some legitimate concerns about injuries and workload during his career, when Barkley is at his best, he is one of the best running backs in the NFL. Just a few years ago, Barkley rushed for more than 1,300 yards with 10 touchdowns. The thought of him in this offense is also quite exciting for fans and players.

Tight end Dallas Goedert said he heard about Barkley’s signing on Twitter and was immediately excited.

“That was really exciting for me, to be part of the blocking program for that kind of thing,” Goedert said. “When we see Saquon’s stature, running style and abilities again, it will be a lot of fun. It’s going to open things up, it’s going to make my job as a tight end a little easier. Hopefully this opens the field to everyone. A playmaker like that will turn heads and I’m very excited to see what he does.

“I already know he’s going to bring a lot to the team, being in the weight room with him, being on the field with him, doing things with him. He is a great guy with great leadership ability and he wants greatness. He wants to be the best and I think he will help people get better and better.”

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