The Eagles might not have won on Friday night against the Jets, but it’s just the preseason and the starters were only in for one series on both sides of the ball. That one series, however, was pretty eventful — Jalen Hurts took a late hit that really pissed off Nick Sirianni, and the offense executed effectively and had a couple explosive plays resulting in an early touchdown.
Sirianni and Hurts both spoke to reporters after the game, and talked about the offense’s overall performance and potential, and bit about the hit Hurts took out-of-bounds.
“I wasn’t mad at Coach Saleh, I was mad at the situation. I was more mad, obviously, at the player than at Coach Saleh. Coach Saleh is a great guy, I got so much respect for him, and it was just emotions of the game. I was just sticking up for Jalen [Hurts]. I’ll never apologize for sticking up for my players. I should’ve handled it a little bit better than what I did, but obviously didn’t want that hit to happen on the sideline. I know it happens, you know, it’s football, but I was more mad at the situation. I’m not mad at Coach Saleh. He and I talked after the game, and I wished him nothing but luck, and he did the same. He’s a friend. So, I got a lot of respect for him.”
Sirianni later admitted (with a smirk) that he was too busy yelling to see Hurts pop back up, or to know how the rest of the his team was reacting to the hit. But, he assumed that the rest of Hurts’ teammates were just as upset as the coaches were — they’re a tight knit group and have each others backs. He also noted that the hit won’t affect whether or not they play Hurts in the rest of the preseason games.
The head coach acknowledged that the instinct to protect Hurts is strong because he’s their quarterback, and as an offensive coach, he spends more time with the QB than any other player. So, they are close.
Sirianni also talked about Hurts’ performance, and how the QB made good decisions — something he’s seen from him in camp — and is getting a better feel for when he needs to stay in the pocket versus escaping. The head coach also thought Hurts ran the offense well, was in complete control, and got them to the right checks.
He was asked about the pass-heavy offense, and Sirianni joked, “Are you telling me to run the damn ball?” He explained that they wanted to work some things out during Friday’s game, but they’ll do whatever they need to do to win, whether that’s running the ball 20 times to open a game, or passing the ball 20 times to open a game.
Right after Sirianni left the mic, Jalen Hurts sat down to talk about the game, and didn’t have quite as many words as his head coach about the hit from Quincy Williams.
“He hit me late. They called a flag. We moved on.”
He did elaborate, however, on the reactions of his teammates and coaches after the hit.
Hurts talked about how he trusts his teammates and that’s why he was able to spread the ball around so much during the drive. The QB also noted that Cam Jurgens has done a really good job and he’s already shown so much — he’s fast, very smart, and has so much ability. He also had good things to say about Jack Stoll, as another guy who has been putting in the work, and is someone he’s excited about.
It was surprising that A.J. Brown didn’t get any targets on Friday, but Hurts said it’s no big deal, the ball just didn’t go his way, but “he’ll get his.”