Jalen Hurts is Intent on Getting Everyone on His Leadership Page

The Eagles QB1 is embracing everyone, even the new QB in town
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PHILADELPHIA - A day after finally being named the starting quarterback by head coach Nick Sirianni, Jalen Hurts celebrated by answering questions about one of his backups.

The Saturday trade that brought former Jacksonville starter, Gardner Minshew, to Philadelphia as the de facto No. 3 behind Hurts and veteran Joe Flacco was somewhat curious if only because of Minshew's reputation as a competitor.

Typical QB rooms in the NFL follow a standard structure in which the backups are there to support the starter.

When first asked about the new backup in town, who is technically more accomplished than he is, Hurts shut the question down.

However, when SI.com's Eagle Maven framed it differently, Hurts opened up when talking about one of his strengths as a player, a natural ability to connect with people and lead them into battle on the football field.

For now, the QB room at One NovaCare Way is Hurts', and the second-year QB made sure the new guy was welcome.

"It's been something that has always been a thing, you get new teammates, you’re on new football teams, you want to be yourself," Hurts said. "I remember my time at Alabama having guys come in, even Oklahoma going to that school and having new teammates, being in another quarterback room."

Hurts started that process again in Philadelphia where he began as the No. 3 behind Carson Wentz and Nate Sudfeld before quickly moving up a rung and then taking over the Eagles for the final four games after Wentz faltered.

"Even last year, you just want to be yourself, embrace everybody and we’re all trying to learn. We’re all trying to grow every day," said Hurts. "We all want to do that. We all want to be the best players we can be."

If Hurts is now thinking about Minshew doing what the current QB1 did last season by first leapfrogging Joe Flacco and then taking over Nick Sirianni's offense, Hurts isn't showing it.

He was the first teammate to contact Minshew when news of the trade broke.

"Jalen’s the first guy to reach out to me, just welcoming me in," Minshew said. "Our paths have crossed a few times in the past. [Hurts and Flacco have] been great in meetings, in walkthroughs, they’ve been very helpful. As I’m trying to get up to speed, I’m looking forward to helping them in any way that I can."

To most, leadership is intangible, something you can't necessarily define. For Hurts, leadership is second nature and something that defines the second-year QB.

"I’ve learned that through the values that coach [Sirianni] has brought in, being a football team that’s going to compete, connect, all the core values he always talks about," said Hurts. "I learned the team is able to embrace those things, able to embrace the new coaching staff, able to embrace all these different things and come together as one and grow.

"That’s always exciting to see because when you are able to come together and  things come together you can’t put a limit on it because the more people you have on the same page the more powerful you are."

For Hurts, Minshew is just another player to get on the same page.

John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on both PhillyVoice.com and YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.