After the Philadelphia Eagles officially moved on from QB Carson Wentz, it was assumed that Jalen Hurts would take over the starting reins in 2021. However, the front office are preparing to bring in competition for their former second-round pick, meaning that Philadelphia has officially become the city host to the 2021 QB Hunger Games. The question on everyone’s lips is a simple one. Will that competition come in the way of yet another shiny new draft pick or a veteran arm?
The Eagles have several QB’s to pick from if they wish to use their sixth overall pick. There’s Justin Fields, Trey Lance, and Zach Wilson. Sure, you can get Mac Jones later on but we all know Howie loves making grand entrances.
However, it’s not like Hurts wouldn’t be prepared for this situation. Not too long ago, Hurts was benched in favor of Tua Tagovaiola after a great sophomore season at Alabama ended with a poor performance in the National Championship game. Trailing 13-0, Tua took over and led the Crimson tide to an emphatic comeback victory. Many expected Hurts to transfer somewhere else with the aims of regaining a starting role.
Instead, he stayed. Hurts would later open up about this decision, selflessly citing that he didn’t want to let his team down.
“There were thoughts. … People wanted to see me be in a position where I can flourish,” Hurts said when Eisen asked if he considered transferring immediately.
“Even my teammates around me, they were like, ‘Why are you still here?’ And I’m like, ‘I’m here for you guys.’
“It was an unprecedented situation, it’s something you’ve never seen happen before,” Hurts continued. “I think it all happened for a reason, me deciding to stay at Alabama. I wouldn’t change that decision for the world.”
Upon his arrival in Oklahoma, Hurts was naturally met with a barrage of questions. Not only was he leaving Alabama after playing sparingly as Tua’s backup, but he was entering a program where the QB hole left by Kyler Murray was a sizable one.
“Everything about it is unique,” he said. “But to me, I know it’s happening to a unique person. I’m not your average Joe. I’m kind of built for these kind of situations.”
Lincoln Riley became Hurts’ fifth offensive coordinator and second head coach in four years. After spending just one year in the NFL, Hurts will now have a totally new coaching staff to work with. Again, something he is clearly prepared for.
Hurts has a very unique intangible that not many young players have today. Some take years to find the confidence and pride that the Oklahoma product has. Others are born with it, but they’re in the 1%. We saw what Hurts was able to do last season in a small sample size, but his character and handling of a turbulent few months have been enough to sell people on the idea of him being the franchise QB.
After keeping calm and composed during the Carson Wentz trade saga, Hurts rallied his receivers together to work out in Texas not too far from now, and has recently been tagged in videos showing how much work he’s putting in already this offseason.
Regardless of who will be sitting next to Hurts in the QB room this Summer, there may be no signal-caller better suited to this situation than someone who has weathered every storm and endured just about every emotion possible. From being benched on the biggest stage of all to becoming a Heisman runner-up, Hurts has seen it all...and I don’t think he’ll want to give up the starting role without a monumental fight.
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