About a month ago, Jalen Hurts told Nick Sirianni on a Friday that he wanted to chat with him privately.
Ever since that moment, that’s become their thing.
“That was already my intention,” Hurts said with a smile this week. “But it’s a Friday thing.”
After just about everyone else leaves the NovaCare Complex on Fridays, the Eagles’ first-year head coach and 23-year-old quarterback meet in Sirianni’s office to talk about football, life, whatever.
These meetings have gone a long way to shore up communication between two of the most important members of the team.
“Our Friday meetings is something we find very important for us and the team,” Hurts said. “Just talking about life, things we got going on. We’re both new to this city. We’re both new to this opportunity, which is all we have. So we talk. We all talk about things we want to do to get this thing rolling.”
Since being hired, Sirianni has constantly stressed the importance of his core values — and he always puts connect at the top of the list. He wants his players to connect with one another. He wants to connect with his players. And there aren’t many relationships more important for the well-being of the team than the one between the head coach and quarterback.
Sirianni explained that on Fridays, he first meets with Hurts, offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, passing game coordinator Kevin Patullo and quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson to go over opening plays and situational football. But when that meeting wraps up, he and Hurts head to his office to sit down and chat.
This week, both Sirianni and Hurts have said they have more in common than they originally thought.
“The quarterback, you always want to connect a little bit more with that person,” Sirianni said. “He's your coach on the field. It's just been fun to sit there and talk to him about anything. Obviously, I'll keep those conversations private.
“But Jalen and I have a lot more in common than we probably even thought. We're both coaches' kids. We both love football. We have a lot of the same types of music, pop culture, stuff like that.
“We have a lot more in common. But you don't learn that unless you get to know somebody. It's been fun just sitting in there. I look forward to that. Hopefully he does, too. But I look forward to having that conversation with him every Friday.”
These types of meetings aren’t new for Hurts. While at Alabama, he would meet with Nick Saban the day after games. At Oklahoma, he would talk to Lincoln Riley before games.
In high school, Hurts’ dad Averion was his coach so he didn’t have any shortage of face time.
“I lived with the guy I played for in high school,” Hurts said.
Short of moving into Sirianni’s home, meeting every Friday will have to do the trick. And it seems like it is.
If nothing else, they’re bonding over their shared traits. And that ought to help the football team, they think.
“We both may express it in different ways, but Coach and I, we want to win,” Hurts said. “We work hard every day, we put the work in every day to help the team. So we’re going to continue to do that and the results will come when they come.”
Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast:
Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | Watch on YouTube