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Jalen Hurts Addresses New Dynamic in Eagles QB Room

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Jalen Hurts Addresses New Dynamic in Eagles QB Room

  • Updated Oct 28, 2021 at 12:09am
Jalen Hurts

Getty:  Eagles QB Jalen Hurts remains the starter in Philadelphia despite his recent struggles.

Head coach Nick Sirianni made it perfectly clear that Jalen Hurts is the starting quarterback. He has no immediate plans to replace him despite a 2-5 start and a plummeting completion percentage. Still, the decision to name a new backup ahead of Week 8 got people pondering a change.

Hurts hasn’t progressed in the way the Philadelphia Eagles were hoping in his first 11 starts. He’s done a lot of positive things, mainly on the ground with 715 career rushing yards. But in the pocket and through the air, it’s been a struggle at times. And the stats don’t lie: 3-8 record, 57.7% completion percentage, 16 touchdowns against eight interceptions.

Gardner Minshew’s sudden promotion to second-stringer isn’t an all-out indictment, although it has been lighting up the sports-talk radio phone lines in Philly. The No. 2 quarterback is always the most popular guy in town. Hurts was asked if he needed any verbal reassurance from Sirianni that he was the starter moving forward. He doesn’t.

"Nah, I want to win,” Hurts told reporters. "All that matters is winning, another opportunity this week.”

Another opportunity to lose ground in the court of public opinion, too. It’s not like Minshew is the second coming of Nick Foles – ironically, he replaced the Super Bowl MVP in Jacksonville – but losing breeds controversy. Which could breed a desperation move by the Eagles.

"You can’t be result-oriented, you got to trust the process,” Hurts said. "Sometimes, you have so many different things that go on, where they’re trying to take you off what the main thing is. Keep the main thing the main thing. And just work, get better every day. It’ll turn over, it’ll turn over, and I believe that.”

He also thanked outgoing backup Joe Flacco for his support, along with new No. 2 Minshew.

"I called Joe and I told him how much he meant to me, and how much I valued the relationship we were able to build,” Hurts said. "Before every game, I’d tell him honestly – I tell him and I tell Gardner, too – how much I appreciate them helping me prepare for the week.”


No Panic in Birds’ Locker Room

The Eagles know the product they’ve been putting out on the field hasn’t been acceptable. Or close to "good enough,” according to Jason Kelce. But the locker room still believes in the message coming down from the head coach. They are doubling down on his five core principles and relying on their veteran leadership to set the example.

"If you want to be a good team, you’re in it together. That’s what being a team is all about,” Kelce said. "I think we have good leadership here. If guys weren’t buying in, that would be a direct reflection of leadership, in my opinion.

"And I think we have good players here, good people, good coaches. We’re not producing the way we want to right now, it’s not showing up on the field the way we want, but the only way we’re going to get better is by sticking together.”

That doesn’t mean it’s not frustrating. Kelce was noticeably upset after he lost his helmet against Las Vegas and lashed out. The refs tagged him with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, a visible sign of things unraveling at the time. Yes, to a point. Kelce revealed there was more going on there.

"My helmet got knocked off, and then the guy kind of hits me in the balls,” Kelce said. "They always get the second guy, so I just got to be smarter. I didn’t think I did anything that egregious but whatever. There was a lot of frustration building up at that point.”


Hurts Getting All First-Team Reps

Sirianni confirmed that Hurts will continue to "get all the reps” at practice. Some coaches split those up between the first team and second team as a way to build chemistry in case the backup quarterback has to go in. The first-year head coach doesn’t believe in that philosophy, something that could help curb the tide in promulgating a quarterback controversy.

"Our quarterback’s taking all the reps,” Sirianni told reporters, "and that’s why Gardner is standing behind Jalen while the play is going and taking the virtual, or the rep behind there, the visualization rep.”

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That didn’t stop Sirianni from heaping praise on Minshew. He continues to grow in the offense, but it didn’t sound like he was ready to hand him the reins.

"The main thing is I have seen him grow in the offense,” Sirianni said. "You see that in our developmental periods. Knowing where to go with the football, knowing what we are asking him to do, what receivers are going to do etc. We already knew he could play, that’s why he’s here in the first place. So, it’s really what we are confident in is that he is growing in the offense. And that’s because he puts so much work into it.”

https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-eagles/jalen-hurts-gardner-minshew/

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Here's an analogy - There's and opening for the captain of the Senior class only academic debate team. To fill the slot you have your 2 best C+ students competing for it, because they're the best you have on hand. In the end, whoever wins isn't nearly good enough. That's the problem. The bar is set way too low. What makes it worse, is that the Junior class offers nothing better for next year's team. 

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11 hours ago, PoconoDon said:

Here's an analogy - There's and opening for the captain of the Senior class only academic debate team. To fill the slot you have your 2 best C+ students competing for it, because they're the best you have on hand. In the end, whoever wins isn't nearly good enough. That's the problem. The bar is set way too low. What makes it worse, is that the Junior class offers nothing better for next year's team. 

With basically zero chance at legitimately competing for a championship this year and next (and likely 2023), IMO it only makes sense to keep playing Hurts this year to see if he can improve on his areas of weaknesses to become a functional QB (I know many here think that is impossible ... it is probably unlikely but the possibility does exist).  If as many questions about him as we had when this season started, then have both Hurts and Minshew (and any QB we may draft in April) engage in a true QB competition next offseason for the right to start in 2022.  We have a golden opportunity to add a lot of talent to this roster with all of the draft picks we accumulated.  I'd hate to pass on a premiere pass rusher or elite CB prospect to take a much less talented prospect at QB simply because we have a perceived need there.  I think the better plan is to add as much talent as possible to build a much stronger core of players across the entire roster and roll with what we have at QB for another season and if we are still in the same boat at the end of next season, then target one in April 2023 (when hopefully the QB class is much stronger) - adding him to a much stronger roster would significantly increase the odds of being successful.  

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I'm sure Hurts isn't panicking. He knows that if he starts playing better then he's going to keep his job for the rest of this year. Beyond that who knows what the team do in the off season. 

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On 10/29/2021 at 6:13 AM, time2rock said:

less talented prospect at QB

QB talent is a funny thing 2021 was a perceived strong class and none of the QBs are lighting it up….2017 QB class was not perceived to be a strong one had Trubisky as the top guy yet Mahomes and Watson came from it. 
 

Don’t want to force the QB spot but don’t want to not take a guy because of some perceived notion by the media that the class is weak either 

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1 hour ago, Bleedinggreen93 said:

QB talent is a funny thing 2021 was a perceived strong class and none of the QBs are lighting it up….2017 QB class was not perceived to be a strong one had Trubisky as the top guy yet Mahomes and Watson came from it. 
 

Don’t want to force the QB spot but don’t want to not take a guy because of some perceived notion by the media that the class is weak either 

Agreed.  They need to do their homework for sure.  Problem is, I don’t have much faith in getting it right.  Even if the scouts get it right Howie is likely to go rogue and take the guy he has rated higher on his board over what they are telling him.  

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Hurts won't have to worry about legit competition until 2023 at the earliest.

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1 hour ago, time2rock said:

Agreed.  They need to do their homework for sure.  Problem is, I don’t have much faith in getting it right.  Even if the scouts get it right Howie is likely to go rogue and take the guy he has rated higher on his board over what they are telling him.  

I have compete faith in the team getting the QB right I don’t have faith in them keeping the QB happy and building the team around the guy 

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Not sure I understand why fans would be against trading Cox… I love Fletch but if we can trade him get good value and it doesn’t kill us in dead money frees cap it is the right move with where we are right now as a team…

Same goes for any other older veteran players 

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12 minutes ago, Bleedinggreen93 said:

No Eric Wilson today that good I think should see young Lbs is Taylor healthy??? Bradley 

When they added Wilson I thought it was a good signing.  Huge disappointment so far.  

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1 minute ago, time2rock said:

When they added Wilson I thought it was a good signing.  Huge disappointment so far.  

At this point I just want to go young I don’t like guys being hurt don’t wish injury on anyone but at the same time it will force us to go with younger guys which we should be doing naturally…. Get rookies and young guys on the field as much as possible learn what we have in guys get them experience.

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Id Rather see Wallace and Epps at S getting beat over watching Harris and McLeod be slightly better but still getting beat…

Same at LB Id rather see Taylor get reps learning getting beat over Wilson miss tackles and getting beat 

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35 minutes ago, Bleedinggreen93 said:

Not sure I understand why fans would be against trading Cox… I love Fletch but if we can trade him get good value and it doesn’t kill us in dead money frees cap it is the right move with where we are right now as a team…

Same goes for any other older veteran players 

I agree.  Any of older vets chewing up a huge chunk of salary cap space that they can move without major cap consequences … they should.  By the time we are competitive again they’ll have very little left in the tank so it makes perfect sense to want to try to move them.  I just don’t think a lot of those players like Cox, Johnson, Brooks, etc are able to be moved … if not mistake. would be huge dead money associated with any of those guys.  

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Wonder if Howie and Lurie are going to ridicule Siri for the heavy ground game vs the Lions though it seems 100% more effective then pass happy offense the previous 7 weeks 

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Welp at least this team has fight and beat up on a team we should have beaten up on… Want to see this trend carry over into the Chargers game. 
 

Not worried about the win but at least show a competitive offense/defense for 4 qtrs

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