Philadelphia – The Eagles’ front office appears to have received its initial midfield rating Galen Hurts True – with one huge exception.
After being named the 53rd overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft — an amazing move, even for many on the team — the officers took to the offense to explain to frenzied fans why they got the quarterback in the second round 10 months after handing the then 27-year-old over. Carson Wentz Extension of $128 million for four years.
Former Vice President of Player Personnel Andy Weddell described Hurts as “part of the new guard.” [of] League moving midfielders can win by throwing it or managing it.” He described Hurts as a ‘natural leader’ while noting the importance of having a strong insurance policy in the position. General Manager Howie Rosman emphasized that Hurts is a good teammate. He predicted that over time, Hurts’ value would exceed the slot his draft.
What they misjudged is how these traits will change the internal dynamics. They knew Hurts had a gravitational pull but didn’t realize how close the situation with Wentz was to flying off its axis.
“No one will look at the rising midfielder as someone who will take charge [for] “There is no threat to Carson here,” Rosman said at the time.
Hurts took charge of Wentz in their Week 13 match against the Green Bay Packers. Wentz never played again with the Eagles.
Fast forward to this day, and Hurts is enjoying an exciting start to his second season as a full-time Eagles starter. After a dominant performance against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football, with 390 yards of attack and three touchdowns, his MVP odds went from 14-1 to 8-1 at Caesars Sportsbook – behind Josh Allen (+325) and Patrick Mahomes (+450). Wentz is on his third team several years ago, but after a rollercoaster season with the Indianapolis Colts, he got off to a solid start with the Washington captains. His seven points have been tied for the most in the league and he ranks second in passing yards with 650 yards.
On Sunday, Horts and Wentz will face each other for the first time at FedEx Stadium (1 p.m. EDT, Fox). ESPN spoke with members of the 2020 Eagles team to understand what led to such a dramatic shift in direction in the midfield. While there are many variables in the equation, the combination of Wentz’s poor play, Hurts’ charisma and some gaps in the relationship with Wentz in the locker room turned into a quick 180 organizational factor that changed the trajectory of every player’s career.
“I’m just happy to have these guys in different places. [Hurts is] Now man and Carson finished in Washington… I’m happy for him ‘Defensive End Brandon Graham He said. “I didn’t think it should end the way it did, but you never know what people were going through at the time.”
“Fast Friday” during The 2020 season is designed to lure players in, out and on their way. They would get together in a quick meeting, train for an hour and then devote the rest of the day to recovery.
Everyone, except Horts. When his commitments expire, he’d go to the side court with assistant coach Joe Pannunzio, who was calling the covers as Horts executed the full offensive playing card for the week.
“Carson was the guy—he was playing, he was starting—but Galen would then stay and go through the whole game plan alone on the field, just by reading his readings, one by one,” Boston Scott He said. “They were those little things that I would have seen. Just seeing a guy committed to that kind of level, you kind of knew what was coming with him.”
No one predicted how quickly Hurts’ time would come. Wentz was really struggling. He made 11 spins and was sacked 25 times over the first six games as the Eagles faltered at a 1-4-1 start. It would be another six games until coach Doug Pederson suspended him against the Packers.
Trust was at the heart of the issue. Sources familiar with the inner workings of the crime said Wentz was often reluctant to play within the system during his time in Philadelphia. One of those sources said he was upset when his freedom to manage crime was largely stripped as injuries piled up and ineffective performances during the 2020 season soured his relationship with Pederson. With the coach and quarterback pulling in different directions, the offense fumbled.
Much has been said about Wentz’s standing among his teammates during his days with the Eagles. The bottom line is Wentz was largely seen as a good guy and a good teammate – several players said they spoke with Wentz in the past week and complemented him as a person and player – but he ran in a tight circle. Hence strong relationships are not built across the entire locker room. So when Wentz targets a good friend Zach Ertz Much more than other receiving options over the course of the season – like when Ertz had 48 more goals than any other passer in 2019 – it could rub some players the wrong way because they didn’t have the same access to him off the field as Ertz did .
Meanwhile, Hurts had a natural way of communicating with his colleagues and was working on building those relationships behind the scenes.
“Talking to [Hurts] Through the process, he was trying not to step on anyone’s toes or anything, but he was trying to earn respect from the older men, the old guys here as much as Fletch. [Fletcher Cox]BG [Brandon Graham] So they can trust him to lead this crime and lead this team,” the recipient Quiz Watkins He said.
There wasn’t a split in the very dramatic sense, but the production on the field was poor and the setup was extraordinary during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic with almost all meetings taking place and players splitting more than usual.
“I couldn’t throw it away [Hurts] Almost the same. I was with Carson the whole time because it was the beginning, ‘Tight end Dallas Guedert He said. “But he definitely had the young receivers behind him.”
the decision Hurts’ project was a head-scratcher considering the team had just committed big money to another midfielder, especially for those who know Hurts’ strength of character all too well.
Former Alabama quarterback Josh Ballett closely watched Hurts walk to campus when he was 17 in 2016 and set out to become the first freshman to win the primary job for a Tide team since 1984.
“He never acted like he was a rookie or the youngest player on the team. He acted like he was the starting quarterback even when he wasn’t,” Ballett told ESPN in January.
“Truthfully, the [other quarterbacks] He did not like it. I mean, how would you feel if the youngest person in the room spoke like he was the starting quarterback when he was the fourth man and acted like he was the guy when he wasn’t? I rubbed people the wrong way.”
Likewise, Hurts did not acquiesce in being Wentz’s reserve. He was professional by all accounts but not particularly friendly with Wentz or Wentz’s best friend in the QB room, Nate Sudfeld. It was rare to see them interact in the field. He was there to compete and win the job. It wasn’t always good.
Hurts started opening some eyes in training with the way he was leading the scouting team. While opinions are divided on this, some have felt that Wentz spent too much time looking in the rear-view mirror at the rapidly approaching Hurts.
“That position from the middle, Galen handled it better because I’m sure he was just focusing on his craft every day, which I would have done too,” Graham said. “If I were Carson, I would do the same because they paid me $100, they shot [million] previously. How long can I show you that you’re the man? “
Hurts began receiving first-team representatives before the Seattle Seahawks game in late November. A source who was at the clinic said Wentz was visibly upset with the development.
As uncomfortable as the situation was, his teammates maintained there was nothing between Wentz and Hurts, even when Hurts replaced him in the lineup the following week against the Packers.
Goodert said, “I don’t think it was so bad between these two. I think it got more difficult between upstairs, head coach at the time and Carson than Carson and Galen. Carson came to work every day. Getting on the bench is never easy. But when he came here next, Carson was trying to help Galen, doing everything he could from the position he was in.”
“When Galen was called to start, he was ready, and he was attacked. One thing I remember about Carson is that he had the scouting team. He had a great look at the defense. He probably took a bit of his frustration in defense, trying to show what he could do, in An attempt to tear apart the defense, per se, into the scouting team.”
On Wednesday, Hurz spoke of the mutual respect between himself and Wentz. He described that season as a “teachable moment” and said he’s using it as an example for younger players now to “take advantage of the opportunities you have when you’re not playing because it pays off in the end. You just have to be patient, be a sponge and soak it all.”
With the preferred direction clear, the Eagles traded Wentz for the Indianapolis Colts in February 2021 for a third-round pick and a conditional second-round selection, which eventually turned out to be the first player.
Hurts officially took charge as a start on December 13, 2020 against the New Orleans Saints – a surprise 24-21 win as Hurts threw a touchdown without any interceptions and added 106 yards on the floor, an effort that his teammates won over.
“If Carson had approached it differently, we would have stood behind him as well. At the end of the day, you have to do it, because those are the people they brought with them, you have to make it work all year long,” Graham said. Still working on making it a success.”
Improbably, Hurts became the front man — a position that, despite intense speculation to the contrary, has been all over the offseason since then, he asserts.
After that win over the Saints, Malcolm Jenkins, who returned to New Orleans that season after being the Eagles captain for the past six years, found Hurts on the field to deliver a message. “Hey,” he said, “keep doing the thing you want.” “This is a tough city, but you are ready for it.”
“I know his story,” Jenkins told ESPN, explaining why he decided to get that message across, “with his history in Alabama.” [losing the starting spot to Tua Tagovailoa] And having to fight and prove himself in college and the journey he took to come to the Eagles and the questions behind it. And even the recent success and relationships with the quarterbacks that Philadelphia fans have just experienced. Expectations are very high.
“I realized it, and this really is for any athlete in Philadelphia: If you can weather the storm of some tough times or even people who doubt you, you can really embrace being the underdog in every aspect. It will make you unbreakable and the city will love you for that. That’s what. I saw him in him.”