Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is quieter than a church mouse in a crowded cathedral when it comes to speaking his mind. He prefers to double down on coachspeak, handing out motivational nuggets in the form of parables and metaphors instead of framing anything that could be taken out of context.
Hurts is determined to avoid anything that can be used as bulletin-board material by the enemy. It can be frustrating for reporters who are trying to get a sense of his true personality. He doesn’t care. Off the field, the 24-year-old has perfected the art of saying everything by saying nothing in press conferences during this Super Bowl season. But, on the field, there are little clues here and there that show there is more to Hurts than meets the eye.
For example, Hurts will often blow kisses to the camera after scoring a touchdown. With 35 combined touchdowns in 2022, there have been a bunch of smooches doled out this season and one person has been the intended recipient of all of them. His grandmother. Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro told this reporter that Hurts blows those kisses at his grandmother, then she in turn will kiss the TV screen back.
Here’s how Spadaro described their “loving ritual” when Mike Greger asked him for a good behind-the-scenes story: “I have a cute story, though. A very endearing story where, you know, when he’s on TV, he’ll blow a kiss to the camera. And his grandmother, wherever she is watching the game will kiss the TV screen and kiss him back and that’s like a little loving ritual that they have. And I mean, he’s a very family-oriented guy. He’s just a really great teammate. He’s a football player.”
Not too many teammates wanted to divulge too much about Hurts’ personality. When this reporter asked Boston Scott for a good or funny story about Hurts, the running back smiled and replied: “Nah, we gotta keep that in-house.” Ditto for DeVonta Smith who told me: “Not one off the top of my head.” Meanwhile, Jason Kelce said: “It sounds like it’s canned answers maybe, or it sounds like it’s rehearsed stuff but what you see is what you get with that guy.”
Hurts Appreciative of Grandmother’s Wisdom
Hurts went on record with how much love he has in his heart for his grandmother back at training camp. The question came up following a GQ interview when he paused his chat with the reporter to accept a FaceTime call from her. Yes, their family bond runs very deep.
“I love my grandmother,” Hurts told reporters on August 25. “She’s given me so much wisdom, so much love throughout my years, and she’s always been there through everything. And she always sends me some spiritual uplifting and motivation, and keeping me rooted to God and sends me his words. I appreciate what she is to me. I appreciate the woman she is, and I’m thankful for her. And her cooking.”
Eagles Have Proud History of Black Quarterbacks
Hurts is the fifth black quarterback to guide the Eagles to the postseason, joining the elite company of Randall Cunningham, Donovan McNabb, Rodney Peete, and Michael Vick. It’s a close-knit fraternity, one profiled in a recent ESPN roundtable interview. Philadelphia has also seen 369 games started by black quarterbacks in the history of the franchise. That is the NFL record by a lot.
And when Hurts takes the field at State Farm Stadium for Super Bowl LVII against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, it will be the first time in NFL history that two black quarterbacks go head-to-head. Amazing.