Jalen Hurts opens up on the Wentz trade & reflects on his rookie year

NFL: DEC 13 Saints at Eagles
PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 13: Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) carries the ball out of the endzone in the first half during the game between the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles on December 13, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

Up to this point, the Eagles’ offseason has been filled with violent twists and turns that have extracted reactions from even the most silent of personalities. One man who was able to stay calm during the storm however was QB Jalen Hurts.

Despite all the noise surrounding Carson Wentz and his own situation in the weeks leading up to the implosion, Hurts remained poised. He donated to charity, scheduled workouts with his receivers, and handled what limited media access he did grant, with total maturity.

For the first time since an NFL Network interview over a month ago, Jalen Hurts opened up. Adam Schefter was the NFL Insider responsible for giving fans an insight into the mind of who could well be the team’s new franchise QB, interviewing Hurts on his show ‘The Adam Schefter Podcast‘.

The pair discussed an eventful rookie year and of course the Elephant in the room.

The rookie year of Jalen Hurts

Hurts was thrown into the deep end in week 14 when Carson Wentz was benched against the Packers. He ended his first NFL season with 1,061 yards, 6 touchdowns and 4 interceptions while adding 354 yards and a further 3 scores on the ground. However, when asked to look back, Hurts reflected critically.

“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 that first year. There’s a lot of good, and a lot of bad. I’m excited to improve and learn from those things. Hopefully, do some special things in Year 2.”

Hurts showed some real regret about the way the season ended, opening himself up in a way that we hadn’t previously seen during his NFL career. Honest, humble, and vulnerable, Hurts was filled with accountability.

“I think, as a competitor, not getting into the playoffs and putting ourselves in position to make a run and do something special. That’s what I remember the most…

…You remember the bad things before you remember the good things.”

The former Bama QB drew a comparison to the National Championship game that saw him benched for future Dolphins first-round pick Tua Tagovailoa.

The end of an era

Of course, conversations about Carson Wentz were always going to happen. The thing fans probably wanted to know most of all was whether or not the two remained on good terms. When asked if he had spoken to Wentz after the trade had been finalized, he delivered a short ‘No Sir’.

Hurts expressed he’s sending Wentz his blessings. “I wish him nothing but the best and I hope he takes off. I hope he has a great remainder of his career.”

What really acted as the center of conversation was what the future holds for Hurts going into his second year now that the landscape has changed. The second-round pick was quick to note that while the landscape has, his mindset hasn’t.

“Going in every day and trying to get better as a player, be the best leader I can be, and impact the guys around me. Ultimately it’s about winning football games and the interest is in doing that. So, my mentality, it doesn’t alter, not one bit.”

It’s hard not to like Jalen Hurts when listening to him talk so openly about topics that are obviously sensitive and where his words could carry a huge weight. He handled the interview, as he has every interview, with class, humility, and awareness. After a long silence, this was the perfect response to elicit.

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire