Whether we agree with it or not, the Carson Wentz era in Philadelphia is officially over…
The trade saga finally came to conclusion on February 18th, 2021 when Adam Schefter broke the news that the Eagles were trading Wentz to the Colts for a 2021 third-round pick, and a 2022 conditional second-round selection that can turn into a first-round pick if Wentz plays in 75% or the Colts snaps and or plays 70% of the plays in a Colts post-season game.
The writing was on the wall back on December 6th, 2020 when the Eagles traveled to Green Bay, WI during Week 13 of the NFL season which resulted in a 30-16 loss. Seven of the Eagles 16 total points were scored by Jalen Hurts when he threw his first-career touchdown to Greg Ward Jr. in the third quarter to relieve Wentz after he posted up a 57.4 passer rating and was also sacked four times. Despite completing less than half of his passes, Hurts however, was able to provide a spark and lead the Eagles to a score and was also able to unlock Jalen Reagor for a 31-yard deep shot down the far sideline.
— Thomas R. Petersen (@thomasrp93) December 6, 2020
Hurts finished the final four games as Philadelphia’s starting signal caller and wrapped up the year with six passing scores paired with four interceptions. Although Hurts has made improvements as a passer, the strength of his game still lies within his legs. Hurts also ran the rock 63 times for total of 354 yards and three touchdowns. Hurts is the only QB in NFL history to eclipse 1,000 yards passing alongside 300 rushing yards during their first four career starts.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 18, 2021
In the midst of the quarterback controversy, teammates in the locker room and nothing but positive things to say about the 22-year-old Houston, Texas native. During Wentz’s radio silence, Hurts remained adamant he was was doing whatever he could to prepare to be Philly’s starting quarterback. Here’s what the rookie had to say following last year’s loss at AT&T Stadium versus the rival Dallas Cowboys — a game in which the Eagles were officially eliminated from playoff contention:
“Yeah, I think it’s a big time learning experience, a lot to learn from. This game is something we’ve got to step away from it, evaluate everything and learn from it.” Hurts expressed following the Eagles loss. “You know, got to go out there and make the plays when the opportunity presents itself, and it’s something that I take complete ownership on. Those guys believe in me to go get it done, and I hold it very and I take it very personally in getting it done, and today came up short.”
“You know, the only thing on my mind is winning. That’s all I care about. I know a lot of people, a lot of players on this team that will be better from it, better from these things that we’re experiencing right now.” said Hurts. That failure kind of teaches you a lesson. It’s a lesson, and that pain does nothing but motivate you, and that pain is going to continue to motivate me, and we’re going to be better from it.”
“But one thing I tell these guys—and I’ve been harping on it ever since I’ve been fortunate enough with this position—is appreciate these times we have together, appreciate the moments you have with the guys on this time, appreciate them because things change.” Hurts explained. We’ve just got to appreciate this moment, all the different adversities that people go through, really appreciating the moment and cherishing them with the people around you that you go to work with every day.”
Hurts has always personified and embodied what it means to be a true professional, dating back to his collegiate career in Alabama and Oklahoma. By now, many fans are aware of Hurts’ journey and what he went through after not starting for a year and coming in to relive Tua Tagovailoa and win the SEC Championship game. Following another appearance in the College Football National Championship game, Hurts transferred to Oklahoma where he became the solidified starter and scored 52 total touchdowns en route to an appearance in the College Football Playoff behind his incredible athleticism and undeniable leadership ability.
Just a few months ago Hurts only saw the field on “gadget” type of plays and did not have a true shot to display is talents until the aforementioned benching of Wentz. Time and time again Hurts has had to sit back, and wait for his time to shine. The OU alum is no stranger to a quarterback competition and is always composed whenever his number is called upon.
— NFL (@NFL) February 18, 2021
Teammates have rallied around Hurts this past year and seemed to have responded well to No. 2. The Birds should prioritize WR and OL when it comes to offense in the 2021 NFL Draft to help support Hurts in his second season, as opposed to drafting another young QB for competition. Do we really want another Wentz type of situation in less than a year?
Even in the offseason, Hurts is striving to become better. A report surfaced sometime last week that a few of the younger pass catchers were going to meet with Hurts in his hometown of Houston, TX to run some routes and get some work in before the hopeful start of OTA’s. Yesterday, viral clip of Hurts emerged with him working under the guidance of QB coach Quincy Avery in Atlanta, GA.
It is very encouraging to see the young leader working hard and trying to get better every day.
Jalen Hurts is preparing to be Eagles quarterback working with QB coach Quincy Avery today
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) February 20, 2021
Featured Image: NFL.com