The Philadelphia Eagles may have found their franchise quarterback in Jalen Hurts based on the numbers he's put up for the organization in just eight career starts. Hurts has amassed 2,462 yards in his first eight starts, third most for any player in NFL history behind Cam Newton (2,603) and Patrick Mahomes (2,591). Hurts is the only quarterback in NFL history to record 2,000 passing yards (2,086) and 400 rushing yards (498) in their first eight career starts.
Philadelphia is just 1-3 through four games this year, through to little fault of Hurts. He's produced 1,325 yards of offense this season heading into Week 5, trailing only Tom Brady (1,333) for the most in the NFL. Hurts has 54 plays of 10-plus yards, fifth-most for any quarterback in the league. The Eagles have a top-10 passing offense and rushing offense thanks to the arm and legs of Hurts, who has been winning over the Philadelphia fanbase with his passion for the game and tireless work ethic.
In an interview with CBS Sports, Hurts opened up on the Eagles' season so far and what Philadelphia has to do in order to get some wins and turn the year around.
You've been talking all week about how the Eagles are close, and I agree with you. I think the Eagles are a lot closer than people think. What were you able to see in practice this week that makes you feel these wins are going to start coming?
Hurts: "It's not about practice, but it does start with that. It starts with mentality, the attention to detail, the attitude you have, and what our actions are. Our actions reflect what we're trying to do and our goals.
"I'll say it again and I'll continue to say it. I'll continue to work -- we will continue to work that way. We're very close and we're all looking forward to this weekend to Carolina and trying to put it all together against a really good football team."
This past week, you faced Patrick Mahomes. The offense was able to go toe-to-toe with a very good Chiefs offense. I saw you spoke to Mahomes after the game. Did he give you any advice going forward?
Hurts: "I have a good relationship with Pat. We both train at the same place down in Dallas, and prior to knowing him I've always heard great things about him. Texas guy, Texas quarterback -- he gets respect from me where I'm from (Houston). He just was telling me to keep going, keep playing the way that I am -- and it will come. He told he to 'keep being you.'"
What have you learned from watching good quarterbacks like Mahomes and others over the course of a game?
Hurts: "I learn from everybody. I'll tell you what. I've learned so much from Joe Flacco. His presence, his experience, and everything he's been able to do over his career. I'm happy to be in the same room as him, being able to talk to him and pick his brain and do all of that. To have him in the same room as me, it's tremendous for me. I've learned so much from him.
"He's been in many ways a mentor. I ask him about his past experiences whatever has come up. Overall, he's just a great presence for me.
"To sum it all up, I learn from everybody. I try to be a sponge -- and I'm just grateful about playing and learning from these players."
DeVonta Smith has really come into his own as a player. What improvements have you seen from him over these last four games and how has he helped you going forward?
Hurts: "DeVonta is a great player. He has a great mentality, a great motor. He approaches the game, from what I think, is the right way -- head down, hard work, and goes about his business. He respects the people around him.
"I got a lot of love for him. He's far from a finished product. He's just like everyone on this team. We're far from a finished product."
You said during the preseason Quez Watkins isn't a secret anymore. How much has he grown?
Hurts: "He's hungry for knowledge. In terms of being on the same page, he's a big-time playmaker for us. You ask me about all these great playmakers here, and we're going to put this all together. We have a lot of good pieces, but we have to put it all together and turn it into W's."
You have one of my favorite quotes of all time: "I try to stay away from the rat poison." When did Nick Saban introduce that to you?
Hurts: "So he didn't teach us that or anything. It's not like a lesson. I think the difference is some people are coached by Coach Saban...he's coached a lot of great players and still does to this day. Some players listen and some players don't. I was one that listened. I valued everything that he said in terms of mentality and the process oriented approach to things. A lot of that still sticks with me.
"I learned a lot from my dad as well. The rat poison doesn't do anything for you."
*Hurts was available through FedEx, representing the new generation of NFL quarterbacks who deliver both in the air and on the ground through the NFL's player of the week awards. FedEx will be giving $4,000 each week of the season to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) for needs-based scholarships to deserving students. Hurts also started a program that makes a donation toward the quarterbacks and running backs who win the award at the collegiate level, which goes toward HBCUs.