From the moment that the Eagles drafted Jalen Hurts, there was nothing but intrigue around the selection. From the fans and to national media analysts, there was a question as to why. Many, including myself, wondered if drafting Hurts was a way for the Eagles to make up for losing out on Russell Wilson. It’s clear to me now that it was a second chance but not for striking out with Wilson, instead it was another strikeout that’s being filled.
Before Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson, Michael Vick, and Donovan McNabb there was Randall Cunningham. The Eagles’ ultimate weapon and quite possibly the greatest dual-threat quarterback that the league has ever seen. Like Hurts, Cunningham was drafted by the Eagles and was slotted as the backup QB behind Ron Jaworski.
So alike but yet so different
The Eagles were at a crossroads with both of the QBs as Buddy Ryan’s attempt to revolutionize the NFL wasn’t going anywhere until the Eagles replaced Jaworski for Cunningham against the New York Giants. See the connection?
The Eagles did it all again but with Jalen Hurts as he replaced Carson Wentz in a game against the Packers. Fortunately enough, the franchise hasn’t looked back since. The team has trusted the development of Jalen Hurts behind the creativity of Nick Sirianni, Shane Steichen, and Brian Johnson.
Slowly but surely the Eagles are seeing the rebirth of the Ultimate Weapon. We can even call it Ultimate Weapon 2.0. Hurts reminds me so much of Cunningham but there’s a huge difference between the two that could lead to sustainability for the Eagles.
The Eagles 2nd chance
At 24 years old, Jalen Hurts’ maturity is at another level. You would think that you’re talking to a 14-year veteran when Jalen speaks and the way he’s leading this team is second to none in the current state of the NFL. The Eagles brass is very aware of this. So much so that they’ve bought into Jalen Hurts to an extent that the team never did with Randall Cunningham.
In Jalen’s two years as the Eagles starter, the team has heavily invested in the weapons around him. They started by drafting his former teammate at Alabama, DeVonta Smith. In that same draft, a round later, the team went on to add another layer of protection for him by drafting Alabama offensive lineman, Landon Dickerson.
Both played key roles in their rookie years as Dickerson became the team’s starting left guard after Isaac Seumalo’s injury. DeVonta Smith on the other hand was the team’s undisputed WR1 and he played like it without a doubt. The team was able to clinch a playoff birth as they finished the season over .500 with a record of 9-8.
This season looks to be an even more promising one as the team has doubled down on Jalen Hurts by going the extra mile by adding even more weapons. This time they went and traded for his best friend, A.J. Brown. Brown has had a stellar start to his career and is one of the more promising WRs in the game. They also signed Zach Pascal to bolster the WR group even more.
Now with the Eagles off to a hot start, it seems that the team is more than just a couple of steps ahead of their last attempt to build around a unique talent. The world saw what Cunningham did when he signed with the Vikings as he lit up the field with Randy Moss and Cris Carter.
Now they’re witnessing it here in Philly with the newest ultimate weapon and his arsenal of talented players. The Eagles have righted their wrong from their earlier years and have fully bought into a player that is bound to give them flashbacks of a former great.
AP Photo/Susan Walsh