Howie Roseman: Not my place to decide whether Jalen Hurts will be used like Taysom Hill
The Eagles have said plenty about their plans for second-round rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts as a backup to Carson Wentz. Not much has been said about whether Hurts will actually be on the field at the same time with Philly’s franchise quarterback.
On Tuesday’s #PFTPM, Eagles G.M. Howie Roseman was asked point blank whether Hurts will be used in a Taysom Hill-style capacity, on the field at the same time as Wentz.
“That is a better question for Coach Pederson,” Roseman said. “I’m not trying to duck it, but I also don’t feel like that is my dojo.”
So I tried it a different way: “Do you envision that in your own mind? Do you think, ‘I would like to see this guy out there and see what he can do in a different capacity than quarterback?’ regardless of what the coach is going to do?”
“I love Carson Wentz, man,” Roseman said. “I love Carson Wentz, and I love going to bed at night putting my bed on the pillow knowing that we have a strong quarterback room. That, to me, makes me sleep better.”
That can be interpreted as meaning Roseman views Hurts as an insurance policy for Wentz, and nothing more. But if that’s the case, it makes it even harder for Eagles fans to reconcile the decision to use such a high pick on someone who won’t be on the field with the first-ream offense.
Roseman understands the local criticism, but he hopes that people will understand why he moved to bolster the quarterback position behind Wentz.
“I have been in Philly a long time,” Roseman said. “We have unbelievably passionate fans, and I love it. I’ve been a part of this community, and our fans are a big part of the reason we have success, and so I appreciate that. I said on the radio that when we made this pick and I’m trying to talk on Microsoft Teams to tell those guys, and I said, ‘Hey guys, we are going to pick Jalen Hurts and hold onto the side of the boat because this is going to get rocky.’
“I knew at first it would be like that, but I thought our fans when they go back and watch highlights of this guy play and go back and listen to him talk and see how successful he was in college and what kind of playmaker he is and what kind of person he adds to your culture and what kind of teammate he is, I thought it would be -- kind of like there would be excitement because this is one of the best players in college football over the last four years. And so I am a little surprised, but I also understand it is only because they want to win right now and I have a different job.”
Roseman explained that he has to balance helping Carson Wentz have the weapons necessary to win championships with having a backup plan that would keep the team competitive if Wentz misses time due to injury. As Roseman pointed out, the Chiefs wouldn’t have had home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs if they hadn’t gone 2-1 while quarterback Patrick Mahomes was injured.
So this isn’t about supplanting Wentz. It’s about supporting Wentz and helping ensure the team can win games if Wentz can’t play.
“We love Carson Wentz, and we have shown it with our actions,” Roseman said. “We showed it when we traded everything to go and get him. We showed it when we went and paid him with that contract, and it is not like we are trying to get out of that contract. We are committed to that, but we’re trying to build a football team that has incredible depth. . . . [L]ike [owner] Jeffery [Lurie] said we want to have two of the top 10 quarterbacks in the league. That is our goal, that is what we are trying to do, and we want to continue to do.”
So Hurts is there to be the insurance policy behind Wentz. Given Wentz’s history, it’s an insurance policy that likely will involve a claim or two being made over the next four years. So, understandably, the Eagles had to pay a higher premium to have the right coverage.
And if that’s the objective, maybe the Eagles (or at least Roseman) won’t want to put the insurance policy at risk by using him in other ways.