Eagles QB Jalen Hurts opens up to NBC Sports’ Peter King in special interview

Jalen Hurts nfl week 11 odds
PHOENIX, AZ – FEBRUARY 12: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) throws a pass while warming up for Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles on February 12, 2023, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire)

Jalen Hurts set a slew of records in Super Bowl LVII, including ones for most rushing touchdowns (3) by any player and most rushing yards (70) by a quarterback. Perhaps the most mind-blowing statistic was this one (via NBC Sports Philadelphia): Hurts became the first player in NFL history to throw for 300 yards, run for 70 yards, complete 70 percent of his passes and rush for three touchdowns – in any game, regular season, postseason or Super Bowl.

His reward? Well, the Philadelphia Eagles handed their 24-year-old quarterback a $255 million contract extension to start the offseason. That was a pretty nice reward, but the money doesn’t motivate Jalen Hurts. He’s wired different and dismissed the notion of taking satisfaction his record-breaking Super Bowl performance. The Eagles lost. They didn’t accomplish the goal.

“No, I think that’s for everybody else to talk about,” Jalen Hurts told NBC Sports’ Peter King. “I went in there with a goal and that was what it was. So, I think I move forward from it. Always using everything that I can as slight motivation, but I don’t need much. It’s a day-by-day journey. This is where we are now. We’re creating our identity for what this team’s going to be and that’s a process in itself.”

Jalen Hurts Dishes on Variety of Topics in Exclusive Interview

Jalen Hurts
Philadelphia Eagles’ Jalen Hurts is seen on the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Jalen Hurts doesn’t do too many 1-on-1 interviews so when NBC Sports’ Peter King was granted access to the Eagles’ franchise quarterback, people were glued to every word. Unfortunately, Hurts didn’t break any news or stir any controversy. Here’s the best of what he told King:

On Losing Super Bowl LVII: “You think about a lot of moments that you can use for fuel moving forward so it’s a great opportunity we had last year, a great run we had, but last year is long gone. And it’s about moving forward and building an identity for this team and figuring out what we’re going to be this year.”

On Signing a $255 Million Contract: “I think there’s a lot of gratitude towards and I’m very thankful to be the leader of this franchise, and to have the opportunities I have in front of me, but the journey is far from over. I just embrace the day-by-day grind and the process of everything, and I’ve always been elite at focusing on what I need to focus on, so I’m going to try my best to maintain that.”

On His Infamous Cell Phone Lock Screen: “I care not to comment on that. You guys wouldn’t know if it was up to me. There ain’t much to say about it.”

On Calling His Dad ‘Coach Hurts’ in Conversation: “There’s been a lot of opportunities to call him dad or call him coach, but there are a lot of times on the sideline where I did call him daddy, you know I love him as a father and as a coach. He’s played a pivotal and monumental role in my development, and the things I’ve been able to see, and the things I’ve been able to witness. That’s all the credit to him.”

Looking Up to the GOATs: Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant

Eagles jalen hurts
FILE — Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts celebrates a touchdown run by Kenneth Gainwell during the first half of the team’s NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 27, 2022, in Philadelphia. Jalen Hurts is set to sign one of the richest deals in NFL history, agreeing to a five-year, $255 million extension with the Philadelphia Eagles, including $179.3 million guaranteed, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press. The Eagles announced on Monday, April 17, “QB1 is here to stay,” but terms were not yet announced, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet final. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola, File)

Jalen Hurts has never hidden his affection for Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. He has addressed media scrums adorned in Bryant tribute shirts and has a motivational quote from Jordan pasted inside his locker stall. Yes, he is striving for greatness by literally stalking the greatest of greats.

Jalen Hurts mentioned both those basketball legends by name when talking about his process for getting better. He spent the offseason trying to turn his weaknesses into strengths, just like they did.

“I look at guys like MJ and Kobe, and how they kind of diagnosed their game, obviously two different sports, but just trying to grow and learn,” Jalen Hurts said. “Trying to push forward my strengths and get better at my strengths and things that I do well, and then turn my weaknesses into my strengths.

“So just improving in all areas, and really embracing the idea of being – I’ve always been a unique player – but embracing the rarity of being a true triple threat. And being able to do all the things that the quarterback position requires. I just want to continue to develop those three areas of my game – be the best leader I can be, and that goes a long way as well.”

The three areas that Jalen Hurts was referring to was being a great passer, being a great runner, and possessing a great mind. Sadly, there was a time when the prevailing wisdom dictated that dual-threat quarterbacks couldn’t process the game mentally. Jalen Hurts has made it his personal mission to prove that theory wrong through long hours in the meeting room.

“I think confidence comes with preparation and it comes with time,” Hurts said. “You look at the course of my career … I can say honestly that it’s been a true development, but it’s been a grind and an intense grind and intentionally trying to grow, learn, and soak up as much as I can. So, as time goes by, that’s what I yearn for. But it’s a process and I embrace and find a thrill in that process of the game and that part of the game.”

Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire