The Philadelphia Eagles are knee-deep in preparation for their season opener against the Patriots, and quarterback Jalen Hurts spoke to reporters after practice on Wednesday.
This was probably one of the more open interactions the QB has had with the press in his now four years in Philly. He’s often succinct and sticks to his talking points, but he really elaborated and was more forthright than in the past. He talked about comfort in certain aspects of his game coming from experience, and that’s showing even off the field as the QB gets ready for the season.
At this point, Hurts has been able to step back and evaluate the things the team did in training camp, and his takeaway is that the team is still a work in progress.
“We’re still a work in progress. We’re still learning. We’re still growing. We’re still evolving, and it’s a great thing.”
Here’s what else Hurts had to say:
On his expectation of Week 1
“It’s about setting the tone. Setting the tone looks like a team that’s playing with high intensity, high focus, attention to detail, being relentless, and controlling the things we can.
I think you play team football. Everybody has a role. Everybody has a role and I think over the years, I’ve been able to see the importance of that and learn the importance of those roles, and no role is more important than the other. Everybody has to put their hand in and dominate their box so we can get the finished product that we want.”
On facing the Patriots
Hurts talked about facing a good, well-coached team in a tough environment on Sunday.
“For us, we just have to control the things that we can. Going into it Week 1, just doing our best and being clean and operating at a high level. But, they have a ton of athletes on the back end and a linebacker crew that’ll play physical, they fly to the ball. I think their d-line, they have really good edge rushers and the guys do a really good job, as well. So, we just have to execute.”
The QB went on to say that they try and limit their focus on the opposition, noting they have a ton of respect for the Patriots — and every team they play —, but the Eagles are just focused on how they want to attack them.
Earlier on Wednesday, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick called Hurts arguably one of the best players in the league, and the QB appreciated those words coming from someone who he has a lot of respect for and has had so much consistent success in the league.
Later it was pointed out that the Patriots were looking to draft Hurts if he had still been available with their next pick in 2020, but the quarterback sneered, “Seems like a lot of people would’ve taken me if I was there.”
On DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown being captains
“I think it’s a great opportunity for them to step in and lead, be vocal, and be heard. Obviously, I think the patch is what it is, but I think that doesn’t inhibit you from speaking up, and so even the guys who don’t have the Cs on their chest, they’re able to dominate in their role, lead in their role, and lead in their own way, and set the right example.
So, I think, on the team, you want to have a team full of leaders. You want to have a team full of guys who do the right thing, set the right example, and hold each other accountable and hold themselves accountable, most importantly.”
- Hurts talked about studying Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant this offseason, explaining that they’ve both set the standard for what they did as a competitor, so those are two guys he’s always admired.
- The QB said that he doesn’t think that making checks at the line is something you get better or worse at, but rather it’s more of a comfort thing. All of his experience leading up to now has helped him feel more confident with that part of the game.
- He mentioned the running back room, saying that it’s a room full of ball players and guys who can do different things. Hurts said you never know how a season is going to go, and they’ll need everyone in that room.