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Eagles studied how New Orleans Saints used Taysom Hill, among others, to prepare role for rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts

Saints' defense figures to have "a little bit of an open-ended plan" as it settles in Sunday

Game action photos from the New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons matchup in Week 13 of the 2020 NFL season.

Of course, Eagles coach Doug Pederson peeked at what the New Orleans Saints had done with quarterback Taysom Hill after Philadelphia drafted Jalen Hurts in the second round of this year's NFL Draft.

Pederson, a Super Bowl-winning head coach, is as due-diligence as the next innovative coach, and it made sense to see how others utilized multi-faceted quarterbacks in the NFL. Hill was a natural target, given that the Saints have unleashed him at quarterback, tight end, receiver and on special teams.

“Definitely looked at some of the stuff Taysom has done in New Orleans,” Pederson said. "He's definitely a great player and wears a lot of hats for them.

"We did take a look at some things; we looked at some other active, mobile-type quarterbacks around the league. We looked at a lot of Jalen's tape just to see kind of things that he did in college, or what other teams have done. There are some comparisons there with Taysom and Jalen as far as some of the similar run stuff."

Next, the comparison will be as a starting quarterback, as Hurts will make his first NFL start for Philadelphia (3-8-1) when the Eagles play the Saints (10-2) on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

Hill will make his fourth straight start for the Saints, and has helped the team post two victories over Atlanta (24-9 and 21-16) and Denver (31-3) by completing 54 of 76 passes for 543 yards and two touchdowns, with an interception, and rushing for 178 yards and four touchdowns on 34 carries.

"I watched Jalen play in college, really impressed with what he was able to accomplish at the different places that he played at," Hill said. "He's a proven winner, and he showed that at the college level. He's athletic, so I think that there are some parallels from my game. I've been impressed with him as a player."

Hurts had played sparingly this season until Sunday, in Philadelphia's 30-16 loss to Green Bay. Until that game, he'd completed all three pass attempts for 33 yards and had run 12 times for 53 yards. But with Pederson looking for a spark on offense against the Packers, he turned to Hurts, who completed five of 12 passes for 109 yards and a touchdown, with an interception, and added 29 rushing yards on five carries.

Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins said Hurts' inexperience could work both ways.

New Orleans will enter the game on a defensive roll. In the last five games, the Saints have allowed 9.6 points, 233.4 total yards and 55.8 rushing yards per game, while totaling 17 sacks and forcing 11 turnovers (special teams also recovered two fumbled punts against San Francisco). But there obviously is a lack of familiarity with what Hurts can do as an NFL quarterback.

"It's twofold, right?" Jenkins said. "He hasn't seen all the looks as a rookie, so you see a little bit of vulnerability or a chance to make plays.

"But at the same time, we haven't seen him as well. We haven't got much tape on him, so we don't know how much the offense is going to change, are we going to see a lot more quarterback runs, are there going to be changes to the passing game.

"We're going to have to have a little bit of an open-ended plan, knowing that we will make adjustments throughout the game to see what's going on. So it's give or take."

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