Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts strolled up to the podium on Wednesday looking confident and ready. And perfectly on brand with a black “It’s a Philly Thing” hoodie on his back. This is his moment and, sore shoulder or not, he is ready for it.
“I’ve felt better but don’t really matter,” Hurts said when asked how he was feeling. “Gotta get it done.”
His answer was short and sweet, filled with no excuses, and in line with the way Hurts has approached everything during his MVP-worthy season. The 24-year-old was officially named a finalist for the NFL’s top honor, as well as for NFL Offensive Player of the Year, after racking up 3,701 passing yards, 760 rushing yards, and 35 combined touchdowns. He faces stiff competition from Joe Burrow (Bengals) and Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs) in the MVP race.
Hurts actually got a bit choked up talking about it after telling reporters that he didn’t even know he had been nominated.
“I didn’t know. You put the work in, I think it’s a cool honor,” Hurts said. “I don’t really have much to say about it. I’m at a loss for words for it to be honest.”
When asked if he could put his historic 2022 campaign in perspective, Hurts held back a smile and replied: “It’s not the time for me to reflect on that because I’m not done.”
Individual Awards Don’t Matter, Only ‘Daily Deposits’
Hurts didn’t come right out and say that individual awards don’t matter — unlike head coach Nick Sirianni — but he definitely implied it when answering a question about his mentality. His even-keeled approach to everything, and his desire to win, not only sets the temperature in the room, but it serves as the compass for where the Eagles want to go.
“I just have a desire to win. I put the work in for it, try to be diligent with everything, try to be the best teammate and leader that I can be, and ultimately try and set the pace, and set the temperature of the room,” Hurts told reporters. “I think the thing about the leadership, and I say it all the time, is people lead because their peers let them lead. And that takes a lot of hard work, that takes a lot of sacrifice, it takes a lot of trust, and ultimately all those things bring respect.”
Hurts continued: “And I think as a team we’ve just come a very long way, and the beautiful thing about everything is we’ve just continued to try and climb. I tell ’em all the time, there is no point where you will arrive. There’s only the journey. And we just want to continue to live on that journey but definitely continuing those steps in the right direction, and making daily deposits and putting the work in every day.”
Jalen Hurts Showers Brock Purdy with Praise
The legendary college football game between Oklahoma and Iowa State in 2019 has been rehashed and replayed in the media a lot this week. Hurts led the Sooners to a 42-41 victory, thanks to a last-second defensive stop, after accounting for 341 total yards and 5 touchdowns. But, Purdy was equally impressive — 337 total yards of offense, with 6 touchdowns — and Hurts took note.
“I have a lot of respect for him,” Hurts said. “He’s always been a really good player. He has a lot of moxie and he makes plays, and he’s been doing that since college so there’s no surprise to see him, when he was given this opportunity, to see the success he’s having now.”
Hurts also noted that Oklahoma was up 35-14 at halftime of that game, then watched Purdy do major damage in the second half to almost pull off an improbable comeback. Future Eagles running back Kennedy Brooks scored on a 48-yard touchdown run to push the lead.
“Obviously two different teams, two different times,” Hurts recalled. “Kennedy Brooks made like a real good run, made it like 42-something. But, yea, it was a good game, glad we won.”