Marked as a “rebuild” year, the 2021 season wound up being so much more for the Philadelphia Eagles. The Birds excelled in the run game, play-calling improved, and the team’s youth proved promising.
As the unknown approaches with many draft assets (11 total) in their back pocket, the Eagles are sure about one thing — Jalen Hurts.
On Wednesday, general manager Howie Roseman and head coach Nick Sirianni confirmed that the 23-year-old would be Philadelphia’s starting quarterback next season.
Roseman stated, “When we talk about Jalen and the growth he had, really first-year starter, second-year player, leading his team to the playoffs, tremendously impressed by his worth ethic, his leadership. Last time we talked was during camp, and we said we wanted to see him take the bull by the horns and certainly did that.”
Philadelphia selected Hurts in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. This season, he completed 3,144 passing yards, 16 passing touchdowns, 784 rushing yards, and ten rushing touchdowns. Hurts was also the team’s leading rusher.
“You take into account the whole body of work; I’m pleased with the way he developed as a passer and as a quarterback,” Nick Sirianni stated.
“When he wasn’t able to have that ability to run as effectively with the ankle, three of his last four games he played, over a hundred quarterback rating there. You saw him develop in the sense of early in the year when he had to extend a play, it was a run. Later in the year, he became a passer as he extended plays. That really helped us down the stretch, so just really pleased with how he’s developed as our quarterback.”
Sirianni continued, “Jalen knows where he stands with us. He knows he’s our quarterback. How do you know where you stand with a coaching staff? Because you communicate, and you talk over and over and over and over again, and so Jalen knows where he stands with us. I thought he did a great job of getting better throughout the year, as we’ve talked about. And so, there’s no secrets there. He knows he’s our guy.”
Despite the Eagles losing in their wild-card game (against the Buccaneers), Hurts became the youngest quarterback in franchise history to start in the playoffs. This season, the quarterback showed growth, becoming a leader on and off the field. As Philadelphia enters their postseason, Hurts’ continued evolution and the development surrounding him will be crucial.