The significant leap made by Jalen Hurts through these first eight games has shocked the NFL world. Not too many people expected to see a meteoric MVP sort of jump for the third-year quarterback.
Hurts has exceeded all expectations in his second season as the starter: 2,042 passing yards, 18 total touchdowns (12 passing, 6 rushing), along with a 68.2% completion percentage and 107.8 passer rating.
More importantly, Hurts is winning the Eagles games with his arm. Not just his legs. He only has 326 yards on 88 carries. While some have been looking at his season in awe, his offensive coordinator isn’t surprised. Shane Steichen expected it.
“I saw it coming. Like I said, it started towards the end of last year. You saw the progression going up and then you saw it through training camp and then you saw it starting the season,” Steichen told reporters. “Like I said, the more you play and the more you see, I think at any position, you’re going to grow as a football player. That’s what he’s doing.”
Head coach Nick Sirianni was equally effusive in his praise of Hurts’ development. His ability to sling it into tight spots keeps defenses on edge.
“Yeah, he’s been able to attack all parts of the field through different ways, through the different types of players we have, and that’s outside, inside, short game, deep game, intermediate game,” Sirianni said. “The more they have to prepare for, the harder we are going to be to defend.”
Hurts Believed Steelers Were Drafting Him
When Hurts’ phone rang during the 2020 NFL draft, he saw the Pennsylvania area code and figured he was going to Pittsburgh. The Steelers made sense since the Ben Roethlisberger era was coming to an end. Then, the person on the other side of the line welcomed him to the Philadelphia Eagles. Hurts never saw it coming.
“I had no idea,” Hurts told the New Heights podcast. “I had an interview with them at the draft, but from the interview, I didn’t think I was gonna be an Eagle. I didn’t know. When my number got called, I was just like, ‘Let’s go.'”
Hurts went in the second round (58th overall) to a team with a healthy, well-compensated starter in Carson Wentz. The Heisman Trophy runner-up never expected to land in Philly, citing the Minnesota Vikings as the other best guess at where he was headed. Three years later, he is about to become the face of the franchise in Philly.
Josh Jobe, Avonte Maddox Miss Thursday’s Practice
Eagles cornerbacks Josh Jobe (hamstring) and Avonte Maddox (hamstring) missed Thursday’s practice due to injury. They still have a few days to be cleared prior to Monday Night Football, but it’s something to monitor. Especially Maddox’s status who basically serves as a starter as the team’s nickel corner. The Eagles listed a total of 11 players as “limited participants” — although the only guy not on a veteran rest day was cornerback Josiah Scott (ankle).
Head coach Nick Sirianni keeps preaching “dawg mentality” to his troops. Win every single day.
“Just going about the same process every time, and that’s dawg mentality,” Sirianni said. “That’s your process, however, you want to say it. You can’t ride the waves of the season. I get it, you guys got to ask those questions, right, but we don’t think of it that way. We’re just like, hey, we’re working this week, and we’re working today to get ready for this upcoming game and nothing else.”