Don’t tell Jalen Hurts Sunday’s game is meaningless.
Don’t tell the Eagles’ rookie quarterback that he could screw everything up with the draft if he beats the Washington Football Team and pushes his team outside the top 10.
“Go out there and win, you know,” said Hurts on Wednesday afternoon. “Within all this stuff, I will always be my biggest critic. I’ve always had a standard for myself and the things that I do. And I think the mentality, what we’re trying to do is we just want to end it on a high note.
“That’s where my head is. End it off the right way. Have some pride. Have some pride, go out there and play this game, have some passion, show some passion go out there, and let it hang. Let it hang, go out there and play and let’s get it done.”
The Washington Football Team will be trying to win the NFC East for the first time since Jon Gruden was the coach in 2015, this time with Ron Rivera in his first season.
“For the things that we’ve gone through and all the things that we had to face this year, I’m just proud of the fact that the guys have been able to stay focused up and win some football games down the stretch,” said Rivera. “We’ve been in a tough spot the last couple of weeks, obviously, with our quarterback situation. But for the most part, all we can ask is just have the opportunity.”
Ah, the quarterback situation.
Rivera made an interesting comparison with Hurts, saying there are things he does that reminds him of Russell Wilson, the Seahawks’ talented, Super-Bowl winning QB.
“The biggest thing about Jalen that I really appreciate is the fact that he played a lot of college football, and at a very high level,” said Rivera. “He was very, very successful. I think that’s one of the things that I really appreciate. It’s hard to really get a true evaluation of a guy if all he plays is one year. With that being said, you look at Jalen, he had some big years. He really did. And he also had some big disappointments but handled it like a pro.
“He’s a very mature guy, who because of that, brings a lot to the table. Secondly, just watching the way he plays, there are some things that he does that really do remind me of Russell Wilson. I mean, he’s very active. He’s shifty in the pocket, has got good sense, good movement skills about him.”
There is still much for Hurts to prove along those lines, of course, with this being just his fourth career start.
His first two starts went well enough that it looked like he was on his way to making Carson Wentz expendable. The Dallas game was a reminder that Hurts has a way to go.
His three second-half turnovers, two of which were interceptions and one of those came in the end zone. There were times it appeared he abandoned the pocket too quickly and other times when his accuracy was lacking.
“Overall execution is something that I’m always about,” said Hurts. “Whether that’s trusting the timing of a receiver running his route, trusting the time the offensive line is going to execute and give me time to do my job. All those things, that’s working together. Them expecting me to be at a certain point within the pocket. All of those things, we talk about those things and we try to get those things right, whether it’s me in my presence. We’re working on everything.”
That’s what makes this is a big game, if not for the Eagles as a team, then for Hurts to show that he can bounce back from a below-average game.
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