Eagles’ Jalen Hurts ‘not above’ QB competition, likens Nick Sirianni’s emphasis on core principles to Nick Saban at Alabama


PHILADELPHIA — Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts said he is “not above” a competition when asked whether he feels the coaching staff has committed to him as Philadelphia’s starter.

Coach Nick Sirianni has not publicly named Hurts QB1, citing the importance of creating competition at every position.

“I value everything that Coach has brought here,” Hurts said Wednesday. “I remember back in my days at Alabama, Coach [Nick] Saban, hearing him talk about discipline, commitment, effort, toughness and pride, having these core values that he is trying to instill in the team. In the end, it all worked out for the team.

“You see Coach Nick Sirianni coming in preaching connection, accountability, competition, fundamentals and football IQ, preaching all these things. I know in all those different avenues, all those different values and principles that we’re trying to instill here in Philly, no one is above that and everybody has to go to work. So for me, I know rent is due every day. It’s always been that way for me … and when that rent is due, I don’t plan on missing no payments.”

Although the Eagles haven’t publicly endorsed Hurts as the starter, their actions this offseason to date have shown support for the second-year quarterback. They traded Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts and passed on opportunities to draft Ohio State’s Justin Fields and Alabama’s Mac Jones, instead selecting Hurts’ former teammate, receiver DeVonta Smith, in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft.

And though there has been plenty of speculation about Philadelphia trading for a veteran such as Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson, Hurts is the clear favorite over the other quarterbacks currently on the roster — Joe Flacco and rookie Jamie Newman — to land the starting job.

“Joe has been great. The knowledge he brings to the quarterback room is very beneficial for me,” Hurts said. “He has a great mind with those things and obviously has a lot of great experience, so I look forward to working with him and having him there.”

Responding to how he feels about not yet officially being named the starter, Hurts replied, “As far as everything else, I know I’m not above anything with a competition, or football IQ, all the values we have — I’m not above none of that. So that’s kind of where that is.”

Sirianni said Hurts “has done a heck of a job learning the offense,” adding, “He’s impressive in there. He’s really got a good control of it.

“Jalen has just done a good job of taking the plays that have been taught to him, and he can really rattle off exactly what he’s supposed to do on every single play. It’ll be exciting to get on the field with him and see him do it physically.”

Hurts, the team’s second-round pick in 2020, started the final four games of last season over a struggling Wentz, completing 52% of his passes for 1,061 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions and rushing for 354 yards and three scores.



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