Eagles Rumors: Is there truly an issue with the leadership style of Jalen Hurts?

Jalen Hurts
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) escapes the tackle from Miami Dolphins linebacker David Long Jr. (51) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Everything that Eagles’ QB Jalen Hurts does is intentional. He’s the living embodiment of a branded PR campaign, one who meticulously crafts each word and every action that goes on the record. The Eagles quarterback relishes loading up motivational phrases into his holster, firing them off at will on sympathetic ears like some kind of good-intentioned terrorist.

That is to say: Hurts knows exactly what he is doing all the time. Hence why it was so strange to see him duck a recent opportunity to deliver a vote of confidence for Nick Sirianni. Instead of unloading a full clip of positivity upon his head coach, Hurts threw on a bulletproof vest. It was a minor thing, a real non sequitur … until the talking heads started talking about it. For example, Eagles’ legend Ron Jaworski who declared he was “disappointed” in Hurts’ lack of a response to the Sirianni question. He thought the 25-year-old leader missed a chance to lead.

Eagles jalen hurts
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) scrambles as Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Yaya Diaby (0) and defensive tackle Calijah Kancey (94) chase him during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

“I am a great fan in Jalen Hurts and his ability, but I think one thing he’s got to get better at is his leadership skills and his ability to communicate his leadership skills,” Jaworski told Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie on the 94WIP Morning Show. “I thought that was a great opportune time to say, ‘Hey, we made changes in the offseason. Man, I’m excited for Nick Sirianni, I’m great to have Kellen [Moore] in here, we made a lot of changes. Man, I am fired up about this team!’ To show excitement, to show passion…He did not come across that way. It was delivery more than what he said, anything else. I would have shown excitement at the point.”

Is everyone making a big deal out of nothing? Probably. But, in the whirling 24-hour needless cycle of never-ending Eagles’ news, click-bait and otherwise, Hurts’ comments became front-page fodder for a roller-coaster referendum into his leadership abilities despite cries to the contrary behind closed doors. Keep in mind: Sirianni himself went out of his way to quell any fears on the same day the topic started trending.

“He’s done a really nice job of learning and doing the little differences of what the offense is,” Sirianni told reporters on June 6, “and then also his leadership has been — really, you see he’s one of the main leaders on this team, and you see how hard the guys are working. Again, you don’t get to see all that. You don’t get to see it in the weight room and on the practice field all the time, but he’s leading day in and day out, and I’m really happy that he’s the leader he is.”

Fair or not, look for this issue to continue to enrage debate on sports talk radio, social media pages, and in the taprooms around Philly until Eagles’ training camp opens in late July. Hurts, the perennial puppeteer of PR, whiffed on a golden moment to diffuse the bomb for the Eagles. His decision to say nothing spoke volumes, calling to mind something he put on record about his leadership style prior to the 2023 campaign.

“Attitude reflects leadership,” Hurts said, via the team’s official website. “I am always aware of the role that I play in that. It happens naturally, everywhere that I have been and for every team I have played for.”

How do you feel about Jalen Hurts’ response to the Eagles HC?

AP Photo/Matt Rourke