Doug Pederson Saw Jalen Hurts’ Leadership Emerge this Week

Doug Pederson Saw Jalen Hurts’ Leadership Emerge this Week

Carson Wentz will serve as the backup to Jalen Hurts. 

What center Jason Kelce said on Wednesday still rings true two days later that, “It’s kind of hard to believe we’re at this point now.”

Pederson has liked what he has seen from Wentz this week.

“He’s handled it like a pro,” said the coach. “He’s gone out to practice, you see him, he’s taking reps obviously with the service team and providing a really good look for our defense and has done a great job in helping Jalen. He’s been involved in the meetings and just what I expected.”

As for keeping Wentz motivated and feeling like he is still a valuable piece to the team, Pederson said that both he and the now-backup QB have to take ownership of the situation.

“It’s a two-way street,” said Pederson. “We (have) to continue to be collaborative and talkative through it, continue to work and build. And I said this earlier in the week, and I’m going to continue to say it: I truly believe that he can get back to the type of quarterback that he was even a year ago. I just think we can get him there, and I look forward to that opportunity.”

Pederson said the team has responded well to Hurts taking over.

“They have embraced this change, this opportunity for him, and that’s what good teammates will do, right?” he said. “They’ll support the guy that’s in there and they’re supporting him and doing a great job there.”

The coach also talked about Hurts being a natural leader, and he has seen that side of him this week, perhaps more so than at any other time this year.

“We saw that obviously talking to his college coaches, whether it was Alabama or Oklahoma, and now that he’s in this position, you can see he’s coming out and really talking to his guys and talking to Kelce and wanting to understand.

“(He’s) asking really good questions in the meeting, not only to Press (passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach Press Taylor), but also to me and to Stout (offensive line/run game coordinator Jeff Stoutland), and really wants to gather all the information he can.”

  • Pederson addressed what he thinks a successful first start will look like from Hurts, other than a win, of course.

“Well, I think there are a couple of things,” he said. “Obviously, we want to take care of the football, right? Ball security is something we talk about each week. We want to see him execute the offense, how he executes it, right? Again, I’m not going to ask him it be Carson Wentz. I want him to be Jalen Hurts, how he views the offense.”

Pederson went on to say he wants to see how Hurts gets the offense in and out of the huddle and, naturally, score points.

“We got to score when we get in the red zone because we know the Saints can score as well on offense,” the coach said.

  • Malcolm Jenkins will be out to show the Eagles the mistake they made for not keeping. Well, he’ll be out to show GM Howie Roseman, anyway.

“Listen, we have a lot of respect for Malcolm and we all know there are a lot of tough decisions that have to be made every year,” said Pederson. “Great players are going to come, great players are going to go. Again, just goes back to I have a lot of respect for Malcolm, what he did for this organization. Obviously helped us win a championship.

“And yet we do realize that sometimes the business side is the ugly side of what we do. Sometimes it’s unfortunate and good players, good people, coaches the same way, have to move on, and it’s just the way our business is.”

NOTE: The Eagles could be a bit light in the secondary with safety Rudy Ford and cornerback Michael Jacquet ruled out for Sunday. Safety Grayland Arnold is listed as questionable. Also ruled out is linebacker T.J. Edwards. All four players are battling hamstring injuries.

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