It was an honest answer to an innocent question until it got interpreted a million different ways from Mayfair to Millville. And Jalen Hurts predictably steered clear of the budding quarterback controversy with his well-rehearsed response.
The simple query: who will be the Philadelphia Eagles’ starting quarterback in 2021?
“That’s a great question; that’s a great question,” Hurts told CBS Sports HQ. “I’ll tell you that I’m putting the work in on my end, trying to build those relationships with my guys. I’m excited for this offseason, just excited to take that next step.”
Hurts is never one to stir the pot — credit a master’s degree in coachspeak from Nick Saban at Alabama for that. The Eagles quarterback made the media rounds on Tuesday during Super Bowl week and made sure to say all the right things. He doesn’t know if he’ll be the starter in Philly in 2021. He attacked his opportunity last season while maintaining a “so what, now what” mentality.
“It’s kind of like one of those things where you kind of have to be ready to answer the phone whenever it rings,” Hurts said, “and you know I’d be the first one to say that I’m my biggest critic. Everything that happened in those four games for me and the football team — the joys and the pains, the ups and the downs, we’ll learn from them. I’ve definitely learned from them, and we’ll continue to learn from them, and I’m just excited for this upcoming season.”
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Hurts’ First Conversation with Nick Sirianni
Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni revealed that he had spoken with Hurts in his introductory press conference. He wouldn’t divulge the details — “I’ll keep our conversations private,” Sirianni said — but Hurts confirmed the two had a face-to-face meeting during a Zoom call with NFL Network.
“I’ve had the opportunity to speak with him and I think he’s a great guy,” Hurts said. “Just meeting him, hopefully looking forward to being able to sit down and talk with him some more. I was able to do that a little bit. I’m just excited. I actually talked a little bit before I got drafted when he was at the Colts and I know he had a lot of love and respect for me there, so we got the opportunity to work with each other now so I’m excited.”
Hurts went on to say that he has the utmost respect for Carson Wentz. The 22-year-old talked about “being a sponge” last year and learning everything he could from the five-year veteran and one-time franchise quarterback. And Hurts’ opinion hasn’t changed since taking over the starting job.
“I learned a lot from him, just watching his tape over the last few years,” Hurts said. “He has a lot of experience in the game, and I was taking note of everything, you know, jotting it down, and seeing what I could apply and what I could do. And so I’m a sponge in everything that I do, and I’m just trying to get info and knowledge from those around me and apply it to my game so I can be better.”
Eagles Coach Studied Hurts in College
While Sirianni wouldn’t get into specifics of his conversation with Hurts, the new Eagles coach did admit to studying his college tape. The Indianapolis Colts had considered drafting him last year and the two spent some time together during the pre-draft process. There is clearly mutual respect there.
“I’m really excited to work with him. We studied him last year. Had a great college tape. He played meaningful snaps this year that he played well in,” Sirianni told reporters. “The conversation with him and the conversation with the guys that I’ve had is really excited to start working with you. Most of the conversation is getting to know the individual besides football.”