Birds Brass: Hurts Is Our Guy
Howie Roseman, Nick Sirianni Pledge Allegiance To Jalen Hurts — For Now
Eagles decision makers on Tuesday presented a unified front in committing to Jalen Hurts as the team’s starting quarterback in 2022.
Howie Roseman, the team’s executive vice president of football operations and top decision-maker, sat alongside head coach Nick Sirianni for an end-of-year press conference that covered all topics regarding the team’s past season and oncoming offseason moves.
Roseman was asked if the Eagles are committed to Hurts, who just finished his second season and first as the starter, for the 2022 season after the Eagles finished 9-8 and lost 31-15 in the Wild Card round in Tampa to the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers.
“When we talk about Jalen and the growth he had – really a first-year starter, second-year player. Leading this team to the playoffs. Tremendously impressed by his work ethic, his leadership,” Roseman said, adding that in training camp team brass said it wanted to see Hurts “take the bull by the horns” this past season.
“And he certainly did that,” Roseman added.
Later, Roseman was asked to clarify if he’s fully committed to Hurts as his starter in 2022.
“Yes,” Roseman said.
Roseman also added that the Eagles, who have three first-round picks in April, must “do whatever we can to continue to help him develop, and how do we do that? By surrounding him with really good players.”
Roseman also mentioned Hurts’ potential to grow and improve beyond 2022 with a quality supporting cast around him. Hurts passed for 16 touchdowns, tying for 25th-most among NFL quarterbacks, and the 21st-most passing yards (3,144) as the Eagles geared their offense around the run game and Hurts’ ability to run. Hurts also finished with the NFL’s 22nd-highest passer rating (87.2) but led the NFL in quarterback rushing yards (784) and rushing touchdowns (10).
“That’s on us to continue to build this team,” Roseman added.
Prior to Tuesday’s press conference, the Eagles had carefully avoided giving concrete commitments to Hurts, going back to last offseason. Throughout the past year, the Eagles have shown interest in DeShaun Watson and have frequently been linked to other potentially available veteran quarterbacks, including Russell Wilson.
Sirianni said Hurts “knows where he stands with us” when asked if the commitment has already been communicated to Hurts.
“He’s knows he’s our quarterback,” Sirianni said. “How do know where you stand with coaching staff? Because you communicate over and over and over again.
“So Jalen know where he stands with us. I thought Jalen did a great job of getting better throughout the year, as we’ve talked about. There’s no secret there. He knows he’s our guy.”
Many in the public will likely be skeptical of Tuesday’s comments given the team’s history of its actions not always reflecting its statements.
Roseman was reminded that last year, in the same end-of-season press conference, he said he couldn’t see the organization moving on from disgruntled quarterback Carson Wentz, who had asked to be traded. Roseman eventually traded Wentz to the Colts.
“When you look at any position, opportunities come about in this league – and I’m certainly not talking about the quarterback position – where you have to make decisions about what’s best for the franchise,” Roseman said. “I think last year with Carson, we had to figure out going forward what really made the most sense when we got the offer that we did.
“Certainly that changed there. I understand that. But us right now, we’re in this mode of trying to build this team, and trying to build this team and get as many talented players that we possibly can to compete for championships going forward. We have a great opportunity to do that this offseason, to keep building.”
– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.