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Jalen Hurts opens up on being QB1 for Eagles, passion for city of Philadelphia, DeVonta Smith and more


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Jalen Hurts opens up on being QB1 for Eagles, passion for city of Philadelphia, DeVonta Smith and more

Hurts spoke to CBS Sports previewing his first season as the Eagles starting quarterback

Jeff Kerr
By Jeff Kerr
Sep 9, 2021 at 9:36 am

USA Today Images

Jalen Hurts has captivated the Philadelphia Eagles fanbase with his blue-collar mentality, embracing a personality of a city that has existed for hundreds of years. Philadelphia fans have always coveted hard-working athletes striving for greatness, a philosophy that Hurts has carried with him throughout his life.

Hurts has a passion for the Philadelphia fans and the Eagles quarterback continues the opportunity to give back -- now that he's finally been announced as the starting quarterback for the franchise. Hurts has teamed up with Pepsi and its "Made for Eagles Watching" campaign, kicking off this season.


As part of the campaign, Hurts (virtually) will help one family take their pregame food prep up a notch. Viewers can bring the content to life at madeforeagleswatching.com and get Hurts' help in creating game day recipes in time for NFL Sundays. Pepsi also teamed up with the Eagles, giving fans the opportunity to win signed Eagles gear and game tickets to their very own chance at two sideline passes to an Eagles home game.

"I've been able to do some really good things with Pepsi," Hurts said to CBS Sports ahead of the campaign. "It's a great way to get me connected with Eagles fans and get them excited -- add some spice to this year. Everything is about connecting with the fans this year and getting them involved with everything that's going on."

In connection with the campaign, Hurts spoke to CBS Sports in a 1-on-1 interview previewing the 2021 Eagles season. Hurts is out to prove he deserves to be the next franchise quarterback, helping the Eagles get back to the postseason after a 4-11-1 record last year. 

I'm sure you hear the talk all the time. The Eagles are going to be last in the NFC East. They're not going to win a lot of games. What's your reaction to that? How does that motivate you?

Hurts: "To be honest, I'm just a hungry person. I don't think any external chatter will affect that. This team is going to be hungry regardless." 

All summer long, Lane Johnson and Jason Kelce -- really all your teammates -- have expressed and praised your leadership capabilities. What makes you, Jalen Hurts, a leader?

Hurts: "I just try to go out there and be myself. I'm going to go out there and be Jalen. That's all there is to it." 

Nick Sirianni has been known to have interesting competitions with you guys. Gardner Minshew mentioned the H-O-R-S-E game in his pre-draft meeting the other day. Any competitions he had with you since he's gotten to Philadelphia?

Hurts: "(Laughing) None I'd like to share at the moment! We've competed in a few things, but I'll tell those stories another day." 

Gardner Minshew told us last week you were the first one to welcome him to the Eagles. How did that conversation go? 

Hurts: "We had some great conversations thus far. Gardner has some experience playing ball. I'm excited to have him around."

I talked to DeVonta Smith before the draft and he said he was excited to catch passes from you again if he had the opportunity. Your two are reunited in Philadelphia now. How has DeVonta adjusted to life in the NFL?

Hurts: "DeVonta has always been a hard worker. He's always had his head down and brings a working mentality. I've always admired that about him, even since we played at Alabama. I'm excited to have him on board in Philly and we definitely want to do some special things." 

You and Jalen Reagor have developed a close relationship over the past year as well. 

Hurts: "Jalen has been doing well. This is about everybody. We're really excited to have the opportunity to do some special teams and put everything together." 

Are there any improvements that you think you need to make to your game to become the player you want to be this year? 

Hurts: "Probably drink some more Pepsi huh (laughing)? Seriously, though, I always have the mentality of growing every day. I tell people this all the time, but I try to learn from the people around me. From my experiences -- the good and the bad -- I'm going to move on from them and learn from them. It makes me a better person. I carry that mentality to football as well." 

We both know Eagles fans are second to none. How have you embraced the city of Philadelphia so far? 

Hurts: "I wanted to mention this being from Houston. We get hurricanes all the time, different things that impact the city -- Katrina Ike, Harvey. It's been a long list of things and I hate that Philadelphia had to experience Ida and the aftermaths of that. My thoughts and prayers go out to the city. I really want to do some special things for them. 

"I'm always mindful of the things going on. I try to do what I can to help. I'm a man of service and I want to uplift those around me. I try to lift as I climb."

How has Eagles QB coach Brian Johnson has helped you in your development this offseason? 

Hurts: "Oh man, Brian and I go way back. My dad coached him when he was in high school. I've had a great relationship since, but I'm all ears when it comes to Brian. I try to be a sponge and soak up all the knowledge as I can and as much coaching as I can. I just want to be the best player I can be for the Eagles."

What's it going to take for you, Jalen Hurts, to bring that winning culture back to the Philadelphia Eagles?

Hurts: "Win." 

Get the latest Eagles news from insider Jeff Kerr by downloading the CBS Sports app. Will Nick Sirianni boom or bust as an NFL head coach? Can Jalen Hurts live up to the hype? Get the CBS Sports app and find out. If you already have the app, you need to select the Eagles as your favorite team to get up-to-the-minute headlines.  


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