Doug Pederson’s decision to bench Carson Wentz could have started a five-alarm fire. And the head coach could have burned the whole house down, especially after hearing some players profess their confidence and allegiance to the franchise quarterback.
Nope. Not here. The Philadelphia Eagles have one of the tightest locker rooms in the league, something Jason Kelce always likes to point out. Everyone accepted Jalen Hurts’ promotion and rolled with the punches, including Wentz. He served as the backup signal-caller last week and provided valuable advice to the rookie. Hurts was a willing listener, happy to draw on Wentz’s five years of NFL experience as well as their mutual bond in the Christian faith.
“I think all the different experiences that I experienced prior to being a Philadelphia Eagle, those are things I can always call back on,” Hurts told reporters on Wednesday. “You know, Carson and I have a strong faith and we’re great believers in God. We put all our trust in him. Carson’s been great. He’s been very supportive. He has a lot of knowledge and I’m always open to listening to those things.”
It’s easy to forget that Hurts is only 22 years old. He’s noticeably at his best under pressure: cool, calm, collected. According to Hurts, he’s just “trying to be like a coffee bean.” That means always being at his best and changing the situation around him when things are at their worst.
“The thing with me is I try to never get too high, never get too low,” Hurts said. “Always take somebody with you and just create that camaraderie, you know, that community and all those things. Because all those characteristics, they are all contagious, I’m just trying to be a coffee bean.”
The coffee bean analogy traces its roots back to Hurts’ college days, something he likely picked up from Alabama head coach Nick Saban and then used upon his arrival on the campus at Oklahoma.
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Leaving Money on Table, Learning from Mistakes
On Wednesday, he talked about “leaving money on the table” when describing last week’s performance. Translation: Hurts believes the Eagles can score more points and he can play better. He wants to see “every possession end with a kick.”
“I felt like we left some money on the table but that’s why we have an opportunity this week,” Hurts said. “To kind of restart and build, learn from our mistakes, and go out there and correct them and do the things we need to do to improve. It’s all about getting ready to play our best game as a team versus a great football team in the Arizona Cardinals.”
The dual-threat rookie — 273 total yards of offense against the New Orleans Saints — wasn’t done, though. He also bestowed a respectful moniker on Eagles assistant coach Marty Mornhinweg.
“Marty’s like the wise old owl,” Hurts said. “He has a lot of wisdom, has been around the game for a very long time, and that’s another resource that I don’t mind using.”
Five Players Miss Wednesday’s Practice
The Eagles listed five players as non-participants at Wednesday’s practice: S Grayland Arnold (hamstring), DT Fletcher Cox (not injury related – rest), T Jack Driscoll (knee), CB Avonte Maddox (knee), CB Darius Slay (concussion).
Driscoll will be shut down for the year after suffering a “significant MCL sprain” in his knee. Head coach Doug Pederson wasn’t sure if the rookie tackle would need surgery.
“He’s definitely going to miss some time with the injury,” Pederson told reporters on Wednesday. “We don’t know yet honestly if he needs surgery at all, but he’s definitely going to miss some time.”
Two other names to keep an eye on this week are defensive tackle Malik Jackson (concussion) and defensive end Josh Sweat (shoulder). Both players were limited on Wednesday and would dramatically change the team’s pass-rushing rotation if unable to go on Sunday.