Even the most ardent Carson Wentz supporter would have to admit that something clicked when Jalen Hurts took over late last year.
You could feel the energy the offense had, the energy the team had, and although Hurts’ performance was up and down, Jason Kelce shed some light on what makes Hurts tick, why the Eagles seemed to play better after he replaced Wentz and what it was like playing with the second-round pick during his rookie year.
“I think when you’re in the middle of the season — I forget what our [record] was when Jalen went in the game against New Orleans — but we had maybe three wins at that point in the year so we were having about as bad of a season as you could have,” Kelce said on the 94 WIP Morning Show with Angelo Cataldi.
“A lot of guys like Jalen, I like Jalen, he’s got a tremendous personality, mentality, he’s confident, he’s got a lot of characteristics that guys really gravitate to, so all of us when he went in — especially when he did well against Green Bay and New Orleans — guys were excited. Guys want to win. And when we were able to go out there and perform better on the field, obviously guys are going to be happier.
“I think most of the guys still appreciate and love Carson Wentz as a teammate and as a quarterback. But we also love Jalen Hurts. It’s just one of those situations as a team, when things aren’t going well and a [new] guy goes in there, you’re excited when you start doing well and you’re excited for Jalen Hurts. His first time in his career to be able to go out there and produce.”
In the three games Hurts started and finished, he recorded the second-most passing-plus-rushing yards ever by a rookie QB in his first three starts and the sixth-most passing yards.
Although the Eagles haven’t made anything official, Hurts is expected to be their opening-day quarterback this fall.
“I’m excited to see what Jalen can do this year,” said Kelce, who’s running for his 11th season with the Eagles. “I really like his mentality. All the intangibles, this kid has them in spades. He’s got a great quiet, calm confidence to him. He’s cocky. You can tell in his head he’s the best player on that field, but he doesn’t make all the … receivers, all the other players, feel like that’s the case. He still appreciates all those other guys.
“He’s still humble enough. But also confident enough at the same time. And that’s hard to find in a player. But that’s the way most of the [best] players I’ve been around are. So I’m excited to see what he can do this year.”
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