Eagles legend praises Jalen Hurts for trait that separates him from other young QBs

We've said it before. We'll say it again. '5' is an Eagles fan.

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Philadelphia Eagles v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

From the moment he was drafted by the Eagles four years ago through the team's latest loss in the 2023 playoffs, almost everyone outside of Philadelphia has had something to say about Jalen Hurts's talent or lack thereof. He was labeled 'just another Alabama quarterback' and wasn't believed to become a big name in the NFL, and his rocky start seemed to validate the doubters.

Now that he has led the team to back-to-back playoff appearances, one of which ended in the Super Bowl, the narrative surrounding Hurts is slowly changing.

Unfortunately, because the team has experienced success in recent years, not accomplishing the end goal has brought questions regarding his abilities to get the job done, prompting Eagles legend Donovan McNabb to shut down quickly.

In a recent interview with Bob Brookover of NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, McNabb spoke highly of Hurts and the one trait he noticed right away about the young player, crediting him for the maturity he has shown from the get-go and the focus he has on improving each and every season.

"His personality is what you’ve got. I remember when he was first drafted and I said, 'Man, he’s the grown man in the room. He’s different.' I talked to his dad and his dad told me the same thing about Jalen. He’s different. He’s not the guy who is going to hang out with the guys and be rah, rah. He’s stoic. But I know he has fun, he cracks jokes and he’s a funny guy. He just doesn’t show that because he’s the one who needs to stay focused and zeroed in on his job." 

Is there anything more you could want from a quarterback at this stage of the game?

It's difficult to teach a player to be this focused and balance the highs and lows of playing the game. Hurts appears to have that naturally, and it will inevitably allow him to take the team far for years to come. It's clear he has what it takes if a guy like McNabb not only noticed it right away, but still sees it in him now, even after suffering heartbreaking losses in the last two postseasons.

McNabb acknowledged that, as well, revealing Hurts is very well aware of what is being said and the importance of winning for the city he represents. It's like a blessing and a curse; winning is a blessing, but falling short feels almost worse than winning ever does.

"He understands the city and we’ve talked about it many times. The expectations are high and the bar is high and that’s because he made it that way by getting to the Super Bowl last year. So they expect to see that every year. You make it to the second round of the playoffs and it’s like you had a losing season."

Hopefully, the fate of the Eagles will be far better next season, and those who continue to doubt Hurts will finally recognize how important his role has become and what a great leader he will be.

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