Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts would never put the cart before the horse, or the ticker tape before the parade. That’s not his style. The 24-year-old prefers to speak in cliches as he keeps the “main thing the main thing.” He won’t be bullied into giving his opponent any bulletin-board material.
However, the main thing is winning Super Bowl LVII and hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. Hurts, a player who is overly cautious and intentional with every word he spits, almost slipped up on Tuesday and uttered the phrase “Super Bowl champions.”
He didn’t. He caught himself in time, although the point he was trying to make wasn’t a braggadocious one at all. Hurts was speaking in general terms about what the Philadelphia Eagles need to do on Sunday.
“Just coming out here and being consistent, and playing at a high level, and playing together,” Hurts told reporters. “I feel like there’s a ton of value and repetition in getting experience and learning, and being able to learn from those mistakes so I think we’ve grown in a ton of different areas, and we have an opportunity to be Su [Super Bowl champions] — to play for the championship.”
Later, a reporter asked Hurts the ultimate hypothetical question: What would be the first thing you do should you win the Super Bowl? Hurts, a huge Michael Jordan fan, predictably said: “Probably light me a cigar.”
Eagles Teammates Credit Hurts’ Leadership
Hurts’ teammates have noticed his leadership from the day he walked into the NovaCare Complex. There were rumors that Hurts’ ability to connect with guys helped fuel jealousy within former franchise starter Carson Wentz who saw the rookie as a threat. Hurts was winning over the locker room before he was handed the keys to the kingdom. If true, then it’s not shocking to hear how Fletcher Cox described a quarterback about to be handed upwards of $40 million per year.
“I don’t think there was nothing really to say. I think everybody on the team respected him,” Cox said of Hurts’ leadership. “And it’s been fun just watching him grow over the last few years and watching him become a leader. Obviously, when you’re a starting quarterback some people feel forced to do it but I feel like Jalen was born for that. He was born to be a leader.”
Hurts has also impressed Jeffrey Lurie, the forward-thinking owner who signed off on the move to trade Wentz and plow ahead with Hurts.
“He is a great young leader. He is a terrific young quarterback,” Lurie said. “When we drafted him it was the upside we were banking on. We thought he had a huge upside. It takes a couple years. And somebody so dedicated as Jalen and such a great teammate. Inevitably he is going to maximize everything he has and that’s what he’s done.”
Nick Sirianni Saw ‘Growth and Maturity’ in QB1
Head coach Nick Sirianni has been Hurts’ biggest supporter from the jump. He tailored his whole offense around the dual-threat quarterback, challenging him to improve his accuracy and footwork in the pocket. Guess what? Hurts rewarded Sirianni’s faith by morphing into an MVP candidate.
Perhaps the most mind-blowing part of the transformation has been how seamless it has been. Hurts, with an enthusiastic pat on the back from Sirianni, was encouraged to be himself.
“His job is to run the show out there, make good decisions with the football, make accurate throws, make plays with his legs when he needs to, and not have to, just be himself,” Sirianni said. “I think he’s seen that when he’s being himself, and he’s playing at a high level, that he doesn’t have to press or do anything more than just do that because he’s just got some good players around him. He has a lot of good players around him both offensively and defensively, so I just think that’s the growth and maturity of him as a player.”