Jalen Hurts has responded well to tough coaching his entire life.
At least he doesn’t have to live with Nick Sirianni.
There was a moment in the Eagles’ 27-17 win over Washington on Tuesday night that might have been a disaster for a different team with a different quarterback and a different head coach. But for Sirianni and Hurts, it was just an illustration of just how far their relationship has come.
Because when Hurts fumbled away the football on the Eagles’ second possession of the game, Sirianni was ticked off.
And he let Hurts hear about it.
“He likes tough coaching and I wasn't going to back down on him,” Sirianni said. “I thought he was careless with the football, and I let him know that.”
Boy, did he ever.
But Hurts didn’t snap back. He stayed poised and he ended up having a terrific game. Hurts completed 20 of 26 passes for 296 yards with a touchdown and an interception that wasn't his fault. And he also ran in two more scores.
“Obviously, he responded great,” Sirianni said, “because he played a phenomenal game from there on out.”
In an age where so many high-profile players — especially at the quarterback position — are coddled, it’s refreshing to see a player like Hurts who doesn’t mind getting yelled at. Heck, he might even enjoy it.
After all, Hurts is used to it. He played for his father Averion in high school and has played for other tough coaches, most notably Nick Saban at Alabama, along the way. Hurts knows what works for him. And he’s been relaying that to Sirianni all season.
“I’ve been telling him all year that I’m a coaches’ kid,” Hurts said. “Basically all the coaches’ kids out there know what that means. It means they’ve been coached. They’ve heard everything. In high school I lived with the guy that was chewing me out. I made it clear to Coach all year, ‘You know, you can get on me a little bit.’
“So after the fumble, he came up to me and said what he had to say. Then later on in the game he comes back and jokes with me and says, ‘I guess I’m just going to start coaching you like your dad coached you.’ So it was a funny moment. Whatever he said worked.”
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After that early hiccup, Hurts played a really good game. And it was a necessary game for him because the last time we saw Hurts, he was having the worst outing of his professional career against the Giants at MetLife Stadium. Because of an ankle injury suffered in that game, he missed the next week’s contest against the Jets, then came the bye, then came the postponement.
In all, it had been over three weeks since Hurts had gotten any game action. And even with an ankle that is clearly less than 100 percent, Hurts gutted out an impressive performance to pull the Eagles’ record back to .500 and keep them alive in the playoff chase.
So if he has to get yelled at every once in a while, so be it.
If anything, it just shows how much he and Sirianni have grown together throughout this season.
“I’ll say that it’s all about communicating within a relationship,” Hurts said. “And those are things that we have obviously kind of over taken with time. We have taken steps together throughout all of this.”