PHILADELPHIA — Jalen Hurts certainly hears the chatter that swirls around him — from accuracy issues to inconsistency on his throws — as he strives to get better as a quarterback as he enters year 24 of his life.
Hurts dubs this year “The Kobe Year,” but the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback insists not to read too much into it (year 23 was “The Jordan Year”). As Hurts continues to evolve as a man, he’s learned not to let certain aspects of his game bother him.
Hurts won’t shy away from the type of quarterback he is. He embraces it.
“That’s my reality. I’m a quarterback that can run and I can throw it too,” he said Tuesday at Eagles camp. “I’ve done both at a high level, so for me it’s about taking steps at every level of my game. Growing in every level of my game. Just being consistent and being at a high level at both ends are going to effect the running and passing game.
“That’s who I am as a player. That’s what makes me who I am.”
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Hurts has already accomplished plenty in his brief NFL career and showcased the impact he can have as a starter in the league. He is just the second quarterback in Eagles history to throw for 3,000 yards and rush for 750 yards in a season — the eighth to reach those numbers in NFL history. He’s also the only quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in his first 20 career starts (he’s started only 19 games in his career).
Hurts led all NFL quarterbacks in rushing yards (784) and rushing touchdowns (10) despite playing the final quarter of the season on an ankle that needed surgery — just the second quarterback in league history to have 750-plus rushing yards and 10-plus rushing touchdowns in a season. He’s also the youngest quarterback in Eagles history to start a playoff game (23 years old).
The type of quarterback Hurts is won’t change, and it won’t be a deterrent to him. He’s tackling the challenge head on no matter the controversy that may come his way.
The future is incredibly bright.
“I care so much. I have so much passion for the game,” Hurts said. “The process, the work, (and) what it takes. Knowing this city is all about that and this city is as passionate as it is, it lights a fire in all of us.”