Jalen Hurts chides reporters ahead of Eagles-Bills showdown in Week 12

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Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) answering questions during a news conference at the end an NFL football game against the Washington Commanders, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Landover, Md. Eagles won 24-8. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Eagles QB Jalen Hurts has a habit of throwing flowers on the competition. It’s his way of making sure the opponent has zero bulletin board material, or maybe it’s a back-handed compliment meant to soften them up for the slaughter.

Whatever the case, Hurts wanted his comments about the Buffalo Bills on the record. The smooth-talking quarterback even chided reporters for not asking him about the Eagles’ Week 12 matchup. It’s a tactic he’s employed many times during his three-year stint as the undisputed starter in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts speaking to members of the media at the end of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, in Landover, Md. Eagles won 38-31. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

“I’m waiting on the Bills question at this point,” Hurts said as a member of the Eagles media relations team shouted: “We’ll take two more [questions] for Jalen.” Then, a reporter asked Hurts about Bills quarterback Josh Allen.

“What’s done is done,” Hurts said. “The tone moving forward is taking it one week at a time, one game at a time. But we’re about to play a really good team, with really good players, with a really good quarterback, with a really good defense. They’re well-coached so that’s where our focus is and embracing the challenge ahead of us.”

Ahh, the beautiful coach-speak that Hurts has turned into an art form. He never disappoints and always hits every note in perfect harmony.

“Their defense is very disruptive. Their defensive line is very disruptive and they have 22 years of experience back there in the backend with those two safeties,” Hurts continued, referring to Bills safeties Jordan Poyer (drafted 218th overall by the Eagles in 2013) and Micah Hyde (drafted 159th overall by the Packers in 2013). “They’ve been playing for a very long time. I’ve been watching them for a very long time, from high school to college, crazy saying that … but a ton of respect for this team, a ton of respect for the way that they’re coached and what they’re able to do as a team so it’s a huge challenge for us.”

Jalen Hurts Addresses Media Ahead of Bills-Eagles Game

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Monday, Nov. 20, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

The media scrum at the NovaCare Complex was less rambunctious than normal four days prior to the Eagles hosting the Bills at Lincoln Financial Field. Blame it on the looming Thanksgiving Day holiday. It was a more casual setting, one devoid of any hard-hitting questions and one Hurts himself called a “unique week.” Yet, there were a few gems. Here is the best of what reporters asked Hurts on November 22:

When asked about the “Brotherly Shove” play and if he could still squat 600 pounds, Hurts smiled and replied: “It hasn’t gone anywhere. It hasn’t gone anywhere.”

When asked how he handles off-script plays and assesses the risk involved pulling them off: “I think you want to manage the situations when they come up as best as possible, but ultimately it comes down to the execution of it. And I’ve said before it’s kind of a results-based league, and everybody looks at the result, but when playing a position you have to truly look at the process of how you’re thinking about something. And how you want to operate at the different circumstances that may come about and the different realities that may be at play, and so instincts take over.”

On his comfort level with new offensive coordinator Brian Johnson through 10 games: “As far as Brian and I, it’s just developing and a continued process, of just continuing to grow — and that’s not only Brian, that’s Coach Sirianni, it’s KP [Kevin Patullo], you know it’s all of those guys. It’s constant communication and trying to take the next step.”

On the criticism Brian Johnson has been getting for his play-calling: “I think he’s controlling the things he can. I don’t really know what you’re getting at it with it [the question] but I know my take on it is never getting too high and never getting too low. Keep the main thing the main thing. Focus on your preparation and the things that are important to you. And knowing him for a long time, I know what type of person he is.”

AP Photo/Susan Walsh