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Jalen Hurts reacts to Carson Wentz trade, talks improving as the Eagles’ starting quarterback

Hear from QB1.

Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

In case you missed it, Jalen Hurts is in the news today.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported Jeffrey Lurie wants the second-year Eagles quarterback to be the team’s starter in 2021.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter, meanwhile, spent time talking with Hurts himself in the latest episode of The Adam Schefter Podcast. Here are some of the highlights.

WORKING TO IMPROVE

SCHEFTER: How will you remember your first season with the Eagles, Jalen?

HURTS: I think I’ll remember it as a true learning experience like anything and everything else that I’ve kind of gone through and dealt with. Grateful for the opportunity of being drafted to the Eagles and ultimately being in the position I am now. But a lot to learn from for me. I’m very critical of myself and I hold myself to the highest of high standards when it comes to doing things the way I want to do them. And there’s a lot that I can learn from from that first year. Lot of good, lot of bad. I’m excited to improve and learn from those things and hopefully do some special things in Year 2.

BECOMING THE PRESUMED STARTER

SCHEFTER: What are your thoughts on heading into your second season as the presumed starting quarterback?

HURTS: I think nothing changes for me in my mindset. Going in everyday, trying to get better as a player. Be the best leader I can be. Impact the guys around me. And ultimately it’s about winning football games and the interest is in doing that. So, my mentality, it doesn’t alter, not one bit.

CARSON WENTZ TRADE REACTION

SCHEFTER: And what was your reaction to the team trading Carson?

HURTS: Kind of kept the same mentality that I’ve had this whole time in terms of me being the best player I can be. It ain’t too much of my business, I don’t get into that.

SCHEFTER: So, when it comes down and he is traded, are you surprised?

HURTS: I think it’s just an opportunity for me. I think it shows the trust in what I can be as a player so I want to prove them right.

SCHEFTER: And what did you learn from Carson, working with him in your first season in the NFL, Jalen?

HURTS: Carson has a lot of experience, his five years of experience, I’ve always said, is a lot more to my one, or my four games rather. But just seeing how he handled stuff on the field. Being around all the quarterbacks in that room, and coaches as well, just seeing their perspective of the game and their view of the game. Seeing what they like to do, seeing what they don’t like to do, and just learning from it. I try to be a sponge and soak in as much as I can. And every player is different. Just being around it, being around professionals doing them job and learning from him.

SCHEFTER: You got to be around him every day, so what do you expect him to do this season in Indianapolis?

HURTS: I extend him my blessings. I wish him nothing but the best. And I hope he takes off. I hope he has a great remainder of his career.

SCHEFTER: Did you have any interaction in communication with him after the trade, Jalen?

HURTS: No, sir.

TAKEAWAY FROM YEAR 1

SCHEFTER: And when we look back at our first year, what will be the one memory you take away?

HURTS: I think, as a competitor, not getting into the playoffs. Not getting into the playoffs and putting ourselves in position to make a run and do something special. So, that’s what I remember the most. Just like in college. There were a lot of things I had to endure in college. A lot of things that kind of went on along my path and along my journey. But the one I remember my most is my freshman year, and everybody thought I scored the game-winning touchdown, coming up short in the national title game in Tampa. So, you remember the bad things before you remember the good things.

SCHEFTER: And what do you take from that? What do you learn from that one?

HURTS: Finish. Everything matters. Everything matters. Appreciate every moment and take advantage of every moment.

SOME OTHER NOTABLES

  • Hurts confirmed he’s working out with Patrick Mahomes’ life-long trainer, Bobby Stroupe, in addition to working out with Quincy Avery. Avery has notably trained Deshaun Watson.
  • Hurts talked about the importance of building relationships with his teammates, and checking in on guys.
  • Hurts referenced the GOAT when talking about improvement. “It’s like Michael Jordan always said, ‘If you want to get your jump shot better, you shoot the ball. You want a better three, you shoot the three.’”
  • Hurts called former college teammate and potential Eagles first-round pick DeVonta Smith “a smooth criminal.”
  • Hurts on Jaylen Waddle: “a great player […] like a little brother to me […] there’s nothing he can’t do […] the sky is the limit for him.”
  • Hurts on Schefter asking him if he wouldn’t mind Waddle being the Eagles’ pick at No. 6: “(laughs) I ain’t answering that one!”

MY QUICK THOUGHTS

  • Hard not to love Hurts’ mentality. A case could be made there’s way too much “Big Loser Energy” (BLE) on the Eagles. Hurts, by contrast, has Big Winner Energy (BWE). Need more of that at the NovaCare Complex. Everything we’ve heard about Hurts is how hungry he is to get better.
  • Hard to dislike Hurts working with the dudes who’ve worked with Mahomes and Watson.
  • Hurts and Wentz clearly didn’t have the closest relationship! Not really a surprise given the awkward dynamic. Still, interesting to see Hurts’ blunt answer to Schefter asking him if he’s communicated with Wentz since the trade.
  • Hurts wasn’t very engaging (that’s putting it lightly!) with the media after he was drafted and before he became the starter. Nice to see how he’s opened up a bit more since then. Go check out the entire interview (about 13 minutes or so) if you find the time.