It’s not just what you say, it’s also about what you don’t say — and how you say it. Right now, there are some peculiar things being uttered about Jalen Hurts, and it would be easier if those people would just . . . say it.
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Before Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers came into Philly and beat Hurts’ squad, 42-19, in Week 13, the face of the Eagles had already been blitzed.
“Hurts is admired and beloved here, but Brock Purdy would be a god in Philadelphia. A god,” opined Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Mike Sielski before last Sunday’s game. Mind you, before that infamous line, Sielski noted that “Hurts might just be the NFL’s most valuable player, and his counterpart might just be the NFL’s best story,” but it didn’t stop him from saying what he said, or kept saying about Purdy.
“The last player picked in the 2022 draft, leading the league in completion percentage, passer rating and yards per attempt, throwing 19 touchdown passes and just six interceptions? Would it matter if Purdy’s excellence were a product of Nick Sirianni and Brian Johnson’s system and play-calling, as is often the accusation against him (and, in many regards, the reality) in Kyle Shanahan’s offense?” Sielski asked.
“It would not matter. Brock Purdy would be the latest and maybe the most lovable underdog in the city that goes gaga for any athlete who had a modicum of adversity to overcome, and now here he is, standing with Samuel and Christian McCaffrey and George Kittle, standing between the Eagles and the No. 1 seed in the conference.”
If written words sacked Hurts before the game, the ones spoken on TV postgame were a blindsided hit.
“I’d say he’s probably better at playing quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. Right now, right now, he’d be more productive,” said former NFL QB/current analyst David Carr about why the Eagles should play backup Marcus Mariota in Hurts’ place. Yes, Mariota, the same guy who many felt quit on the Atlanta Falcons last season, as was documented in the Netflix docu-series “Quarterback.”
Given Hurts’ knee injury, any cause for concern for him or the Eagles’ future is one where an educated discussion can be had about how the team should handle things. That’s why Carr’s comments made some sense, until they didn’t, as my colleague Stephen Knox wrote.
“You have to have a serious conversation if you are Philly, and you have to really say is it better for us to play Marcus Mariota right now and let Jalen get fully healthy,” Carr explained.
“If Philly wants to win it all, get Jalen healthy. If not, play your injured qb and watch the SB at home. Really easy,” he later posted on social media.
Jalen Hurts is making people feel a way right now, which is odd given that he’s been successful as long as we’ve known who he was.
In case you forgot, Hurts started as a freshman at Alabama, later won a national championship there as a backup and transferred to Oklahoma where he came in second to Joe Burrow for the Heisman, in a year in which Burrow might have had the best season any college quarterback has ever had. And all Hurts has done in the NFL since being drafted in 2020 is be an All-Pro and a Pro-Bowler, as he was a few plays away from winning last season’s Super Bowl. He also signed a $255 million extension earlier this year.
Despite all that, he supposedly doesn’t have what it takes to be a “god,” and apparently isn’t the best option at quarterback for a team that plays in a place where a fictional character has a statue and is the city’s “most beloved athlete.” Less is more, even when there’s more to be said. And it’s obvious that what some really want to say about Jalen Hurts has gone unsaid, but was still heard/read loud and clear.