As the dawn of a new regular season approaches, Eagles QB Jalen Hurts continues to draw praise and criticism from all directions. The second-year signal-caller has shown plenty of upside during his first full Training Camp, but it’s not all been smooth sailing. When it comes to setting expectations for Hurts this year, tempering them and affording Hurts time to grow is the fairest thing to do.
After the team granted Carson Wentz’s trade request, the road to QB1 didn’t get easier for Jalen Hurts. Many believed that Howie would invest in a QB since the Eagles had the 6th overall pick. That idea was squashed after a bumpy offseason of non-stop rumors, with Roseman completing a flurry of moves that resulted in more draft capital, and a move back up to select Heisman-winning wideout DeVonta Smith.
Shortly after the draft, the rumors of the Eagles having more than enough ammo to target a Deshaun Watson or Aaron Rodgers haunted the sophomore Quarterback. Fortunately, Hurts has the mental toughness of a five-year veteran, and when asked about the hearsay in training camp, he stated:
“I’m above it all. Control what I can. I’m here. That’s what I’m doing, going out there to be the quarterback of this team.”
In the midst of all of the drama, Hurts has shown great professionalism with a team-first attitude. He apparently wasn’t good enough to be a first-round pick and was drafted to be Carson’s backup. Then again, Hurts is a gamer, and winning has been programmed into his DNA. He’s risen above all of the obstacles that have stood in his way since college. Hurts has also become an instant leader on this offense due to the way the players gravitate towards him. He’s even holding his receivers accountable by randomly giving them pop quizzes about the playbook.
Still, though, your expectations for the team’s new starting Quarterback should be tempered. Hurts went through the woes of having a bad playbook and offense last season. He has only started a handful of games and there are bound to be teething problems in learning his fourth system in as many years. From Bama and Oklahoma to a pair of different NFL offenses, Hurts has had to remain adaptable, and has lived up to the task so far..but that won’t eradicate the learning curve entirely.
There are just as many reasons to be positive about Hurts’ second season as there are those to be concerned. Temper your expectations for him, Philly, be good to this QB, and above all else be patient with his growth. The team will be in a great position to build around Hurts if he trends in the right direction this season but he’s going to need a new version of Eagles fans in his corner.
The demons of the last three years aren’t his burdens to carry. While he does need to place this city on his back if he is to become the franchise QB, he’s going to need your trust and patience in the process. Allow him to grow into the great player that many believe he can be.
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