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Jalen Hurts Responds to Sideline Shouting Match After Eagles Win


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Jalen Hurts Responds to Sideline Shouting Match After Eagles Win

  • Updated Dec 22, 2021 at 12:33am
Jalen Hurts, Greg Ward

Getty:  Eagles QB Jalen Hurts hit Greg Ward Jr. on a 19-yard TD strike that sealed the deal against Washington.

The heated sideline exchange between Nick Sirianni and Jalen Hurts early in the first quarter was the turning point of the game. Hurts had just fumbled the ball away and Philadelphia Eagles Twitter was firing up the old Joe Webb highlight reel.

Then, Sirianni made his presence felt. He blasted Hurts for being careless and challenged him to do better. After falling behind 10-0 to the Washington Football Team, the Eagles scored 20 unanswered points and never trailed again. The final score read 27-17 but it really wasn’t that close. The Eagles dominated from the second quarter until the closing whistle.

And racked up 238 rushing yards behind another inspired performance from the best offensive line in football. Credit Sirianni for lighting a fire under Hurts.

"Jalen’s dad coached him hard. My dad coached me hard. And so I think Jalen responds to tough coaching,” Sirianni said of their sideline chat. "He likes tough coaching and I wasn’t going to back down on him. I thought he was careless with the football and I let him know that. We’re just honest with each other. And sometimes it comes out we’re just talking through it. And sometimes I got to deliver the message just a little bit different.”

Hurts finished 20-of-26 for 296 yards with two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing). His fourth-quarter scoring strike to Greg Ward was a thing of beauty, a perfectly-placed back shoulder throw that Ward adjusted to on the fly. It came four minutes after Washington had pulled within three points and pushed the lead to 27-17. Game. Set. Match.

"He played a great football game today, one of the best football games I’ve seen him play,” Sirianni said. "What does he say? Flush it. Don’t look at it and then move on. So what an awesome job by him. And when you have a good relationship with your quarterback you’re able to have those tough conversations like that and we moved on and he played a great game for us.”

Hurts: ‘Whatever He Said, It Worked’

Hurts was all smiles during his post-game press conference, especially when asked about the sideline screaming match. The 23-year-old didn’t want to breach the trust between player and coach by divulging what Sirianni said.

"It was a funny moment,” Hurts said. "Whatever he said, it worked.”


And Hurts wasn’t upset about it. In fact, he had green-lighted Sirianni to lay into him if he felt it was necessary. He grew up with hard coaching in high school where his dad ran a tight ship, then faced Nick Saban’s wrath at Alabama. Bring it on.

"In high school I lived with the guy who was chewing me out,” Hurts said, "so I made it clear to Coach [Sirianni] all year like, ‘Hey, you can get on me a little bit.’ So after the fumble he came up to me and said what he had to say, and then later on in the game he comes back and he jokes with me and he says, ‘I guess I’m just going to start coaching you like your dad coached you.'”

Plenty of Work Left to Do

Hurts was phenomenal against Washington after that rocky start. The Eagles were able to bounce back from his costly fumble – combined with an interception that wasn’t his fault – and pull out their first divisional win of 2021. Now the Eagles need to repeat it three more times to possibly sneak into the playoffs.

"First division win for this football team this year and it couldn’t come at a better time,” Hurts said. "And we’re at .500 for the first time this year. It’s a big deal but I know that the job isn’t done. No where near to being done. And we know what we want to accomplish and I said it to the guys, we just have to have that mentality of not being denied.”

Hurts’ touchdown toss to Ward was one text-book example of how not to be denied.

"I put the ball where it needed to be, the only place where my receiver could get it and G Ward made a big time play,” Hurts said. "He came up for the team and made a big-time catch in a crucial situation in the game to put it away.”

The 19-yard pass play sealed the Washington game and increased their postseason odds from 26% to 36%, via FiveThirtyEight. Next up, the New York Giants on December 26.


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I think it is great that Sirianni can get on Hurts and that Hurts welcomes it. It's so refreshing after the last starting QB we had in town. 

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