For the purpose of this discussion I’m going to ignore the context that has put the Eagles in this dire situation. I will ignore the countless mistakes and poor decisions from this group of downright bozos that placed Carson Wentz’s ass firmly on the bench. Of course, Carson himself isn’t blameless for that either.
It’s time to get excited about Jalen Hurts.
When Hurts was inexplicably taken in the second round of this year’s draft by Howie Roseman, my frustration with the pick had nothing to do with the player. I was, and still am of the opinion that Hurts is a talented quarterback with a lot of upside that is willing to work his ass off. I thought there was a legitimate chance he is a good starting NFL quarterback.
Now, albeit sooner than I had ever hoped, we get to find out if that could be the case. With only four games remaining in this hellish season, Doug Pederson and the Eagles organization need to find out what they have in their second round draft pick.
The bottom line is that Wentz isn’t untradeable. It’s entirely possible that this offseason, a team is willing to give up a valuable pick to see if they can repair damaged goods. If that opportunity presents itself, the Eagles likely need to pounce on it to get off that contract that extends into the mid 2020’s and begin building around a new quarterback.
It’s essential to find out if Hurts is that guy. Philly will likely be drafting in the top 7 in a draft that is loaded with quarterback talent. It’s entirely possible that they have a chance to move up and take a Justin Fields or perhaps Zach Wilson will fall into their lap. I pray Roseman isn’t the one making this draft selection, but whoever it is needs to decide if one of these guys are a franchise quarterback, and if Jalen Hurts isn’t, then they need to pull the trigger.
Furthermore, Hurts has given us reason to be optimistic. In the little we’ve seen from him in the NFL he’s brought juice to an offense that is historically and cataclysmically juice-less. For the first time really all season, we can look forward to an Eagles game on Sunday that isn’t entirely predictable and straight-up painful.
There’s plenty of reason to be excited about this kid. He’s been successful everywhere he’s played. He handled being benched for someone who went on to win his team a National Title (sound familiar?) with absolute class and then moved on to play phenomenally in his next gig.
He’s incredibly athletic, displayed accuracy we haven’t seen from an Eagles quarterback all year on Sunday, and most importantly the dude is a dog.
Getting a full lift in AFTER a game while still wearing pads is maybe the grittiest thing I’ve ever seen from a quarterback.
Hurts is at the very least dynamic and he has proven himself capable of success. He seemingly works as hard as anyone and from what little we’ve seen of him he is competent throwing the ball. He’s creative in the pocket in a way Carson hasn’t been since 2017.
While I’m talking myself into this and the potential I believe Jalen Hurts has, it’s also entirely possible he sucks. We likely won’t know if that’s the case by the end of this season, but we have to start gathering data.
The bottom line is Carson hasn’t earned the right to play anymore, and the Eagles, wisely or not, invested an incredibly valuable asset into a quarterback that has shown ability to bring electricity to an offense that’s been operating during a power outage.
There are a billion problems with the offense. It looks completely inept from top to bottom. It’s choppy, the concepts don’t consistently create open receivers even if the receivers were competent, and when they do find a way to get open there’s still been a drop issue. While it’s not entirely on Carson, the quarterback is the leader of the offense and when it looks this shitty something has to change.
This team is screwed for the foreseeable future. The lack of talent, let alone youthful talent, is staggering. Whoever is at the helm of this team is likely to struggle, and there’s a good chance that if Doug Pederson is fired his successor won’t be able to last more than a couple years trying to turn this garbage roster into gold.
That said, the Eagles quickest path to a successful rebuild is either Carson or Jalen becoming a franchise quarterback, and we need to find out if either of them are capable of being that. This year has seemed to prove that Doug and Carson just do not work together. They’ve both been horrible in their own right, and Doug’s play-calling makes Carson worse and Carson’s play makes Doug worse.
Moving to Hurts is, in my mind, the only way to save Doug’s job. If he can prove himself capable of working with the young gun and getting the most out of him, it may be worth it to keep that relationship in place. If not, sticking with Doug just delays the inevitable.
Whoever takes over will inherit a decrepit roster riddled with albatross contracts and talentless scrubs. Their best chance to keep their job for any length of time will be to successfully develop Hurts or potentially fix Carson. For that to happen, we need to see what his strengths and weaknesses are over the next four games.
Drafting a quarterback in the second round inherently opens you up as a football team to a potential quarterback controversy. This was an outcome that became possible the second Roger Goodell called Hurts’s name via zoom. Unfortunately, that controversy has presented itself for probably the worst reason it could have, but nevertheless this is where we’re at and we are now in the position to feign optimism.
For really the first time all year, there’s a good reason to watch Eagles football on Sunday. It sucks that this is the situation we’re in and I feel for Carson on a personal level. It’s clear he’s giving this everything he has and his continued failure is crushing him. His shortcomings are not for a lack of caring.
That said, I need to see if the next great Eagles quarterback, the one we’ve been searching for since Donovan McNabb was traded, the one we thought we had in Carson but apparently don’t, is already on the roster. Regardless of the answer to that question, getting the answer is of the utmost importance.