T.J. Edwards had a front-row seat in Philadelphia for the entirety of Jalen Hurts' career, watching him rise to one of the best quarterbacks in the league and leading the Eagles to a Super Bowl last season.
Now that Edwards has signed a three-year, $19.5 million deal with the Chicago Bears, he has a ticket to see a potentially similar trajectory with Justin Fields. Can Fields reach the same level as Hurts?
"Oh, no doubt," Edwards told Parkins & Spiegel on 670 the Score. "Literally playing against them recently, you can see just it's kind of the special things that he can do. I was a part of that long run he had against us. I think he's a special player. I think just the buzz around this team and kind of the direction is going – it's exciting to be a part of it. And I'm just waiting to get in that building and get things going."
The 39-run Edwards alluded to from the Bears-Eagles matchup was a doozie. Fields evaded multiple defenders, including a missed tackle from Edwards near the sideline, for an otherworldly run that would have been a touchdown in the second quarter had Fields not stepped out of bounds at the nine-yard line.
That play encapsulates the bulk of work Fields added to put his name on the map. Fields became a true dual-threat quarterback last season by way of rushing for over 1,100 yards and slowly improving his skills through the air.
Edwards admitted his recognition of Fields' talent well before he signed with the Bears. During Super Bowl media week, Edwards said he was surprised by Fields' size in addition to his speed while saying he believes Fields will become a "special player."
"You see what he does on film, you saw the run he had against us," Philadelphia Eagles linebacker T.J. Edwards said to CHGO in Arizona. "He's definitely special with his legs and how strong his arm is. (He's) a guy who's gonna gain confidence as time goes (on).
"He's gonna be a special player for sure."
MORE: Eagles linebacker surprised by Justin Fields' size
Some compare Fields to Hurts because of his unique ability to run the football as a quarterback at an elite level. During Hurts' second season, he ran for just under 800 yards and recorded 10 touchdowns on the ground. But he hadn't broken through an elite stratosphere with his arm enough to give the team confidence he can be their guy. The Eagles went 8-7 when Hurts was under center that season.
It was Hurts' third year, this past season, that used a pen instead of a pencil to write his name as the Eagles' quarterback. He emulated the same statistical points he recorded on the ground from his second season while stepping up big time in the passing game. Hurts threw for over 3,700 yards and 22 touchdowns and increasing his completion percentage by five percent up to 66 percent.
The hope is Fields can follow the same path Hurts took by improving his performance in the passing game to boost the Bears into an above-average offense. Seemingly, the Bears' move to acquire D.J. Moore and build out the offensive line in free agency is similar to when the Eagles added A.J. Brown and upgraded their trenches for Hurts.
Can the Bears and Fields copy the same formula the Eagles built?