PHILADELPHIA - On the same day it was revealed that Jeffrey Lurie decreed to his personnel and coaching staffs that Jalen Hurts will be the Eagles' QB1 in 2021, the rollout of the Eagles' QB1 was synced with the second-year signal caller's appearance on The Adam Schefter Podcast.
“I think nothing changes for me and my mindset," said Hurts, a player known for his work ethic and natural leadership skills.
"Going in every day and trying to get better as a player. Be the best leader I can be. Impact the guys around me and ultimately it is about winning football and being consistent in doing that, so my mentality doesn’t alter not one bit.”
Hurts' steady approach and hunger to learn impressed the old coaching staff just as Carson Wentz went into a deep regression in which the result was closing people out instead of trying to repair the situation.
By the end of the 2020 season when Wentz was benched in favor of Hurts, the former QB 1 turned his relationship with former head coach Doug Pederson into a text-only one, according to team sources.
By the offseason, Lurie pulled the plug on both sides of the toxicity, firing Pederson and then ultimately trading Wentz to Indianapolis for a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 second-rounder that will turn into a first if Wentz starts the majority of next season with his old friend Frank Reich in Indy.
Hurts, who doesn't turn 23 until August, is even-keeled by nature and stayed that way as the Wentz soap opera unfolded.
“Kind of kept the same mentality I had this whole time in trying to control what I can control and being the best player I can be," Hurts told Schefter. "It ain’t too much of my business so I don’t get into that.”
Much like last season when Hurts took over for the final four games after being inserted at halftime against Green Bay on Dec. 6., Hurts is just trying to take advantage of an opportunity handed to him.
“I’ll remember it as a true learning experience as anything and everything else I have gone through and dealt with," Hurts said of his rookie campaign. "I am grateful for the opportunity of being drafted to the Eagles and ultimately being in the position I am in now. But nonetheless, a lot to learn from.
"I am very critical of myself and I hold myself to the highest of high standards when it comes to doing things the way I want to do them. There is a lot of things I can learn from in the first year, a lot of good, a lot of bad. I am just trying to improve and learn from those things, and hopefully do some special things in Year 2.”
Wentz was taken aback by the drafting of Hurts at No. 53 overall last April and wasn't exactly inviting to the then-rookie but Hurts was able to learn about being professional from a veteran when it came to preparation.
“Carson has a lot of experience, five years of experience. It is a lot more to my one (year), or four games," he said. " But just seeing how he handles stuff on the field. Being around all the quarterbacks in that room, and the coaches as well."
The coaches will change in 2021 from Pederson, Rich Scangarello, Marty Mornhinweg, and Press Taylor to Nick Sirianni, Shane Steichen, Kevin Patullo, and Brian Johnson, the last of which has known Hurts since he was a kid growing up in the Houston-area.
Hurts admitted that Wentz hasn't contacted him since the trade was announced but there are no hard feelings from his perspective.
“I send him my blessings," Hurts said. "I wish him nothing but the best and I hope he takes off. I hope he has a great rest of his career.”
As for the offseason Hurts has been in his own laboratory with his personal QB coach Quincy Avery.
“Just grinding," the young QB said. "Spending some time with some family and friends, Really getting it in and preparing myself for this upcoming season.”
John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John every Monday and Thursday on The Middle with Eytan Shander, Harry Mayes, former Eagles OT Barrett Brooks streaming live on both PhillyVpice.com and SportsMap Radio. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s EagleMaven. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.
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