Jalen Hurts entered training camp as the first-team quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles for the first time. Whether Hurts will remain QB1 come the start of the regular season is up in the air, as the team is reportedly interested in acquiring Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans.
The Eagles won't (officially) name Hurts the starting quarterback, nor did Eagles general manager Howie Roseman shut down the rumors that the team is interested in Watson. That's fine with Hurts, who will control what he can control.
"There's a lot of chatter that goes on," Hurts said. "I'm above it all. I control what I can. I'm here. That's what I'm doing, going out there and being the quarterback for this team."
Watson couldn't be mentioned by name since he's under contract by another team, but Roseman didn't deny the front office is taking a look at the Texans quarterback -- or any quarterback that may be available.
"I think our job is to always evaluate every option at every position. We're always constantly doing that and looking about what's going on in the league," Roseman said. "We do that before the draft, we look at next year's draft classes at every position and try to figure out the strengths and weaknesses.
"That's what we are doing during this time period. We're watching tape on guys, we're looking at guys and we're making sure that we're ready, one in case of injury, and also for any position that trades become available, being ready for that."
This training camp is an opportunity for Hurts to prove to the Eagles that he's not only the starting quarterback for 2021, but going forward as well. Hurts can showcase why trading for a quarterback isn't necessary. All those high draft picks the Eagles acquired this offseason can be used somewhere else.
"He's working with the ones and he's earned that because he's worked his butt off," said Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni. "We're hoping that he takes the reins and rolls with it and continues to just get good reps with the ones.
"I am so confident in Jalen. He's a gym rat. He's just thinking about football all the time, that's what I love about him. He's going to use those mental reps, that's for sure. We just got to get him more reps out here on the field."
Hurts didn't have a great first practice with the Eagles (but of course it was only Day 1). Philadelphia ran plenty of red zone packages, which Sirianni explained was so players would avoid "pulling up" and suffering soft tissue injuries. The red zone practice favored the defense, as there was a boundary for the cornerbacks to thrive -- forcing Hurts to throw in tight windows.
Hurts took the poor practice in stride, knowing there was another opportunity to get better the next day.
"I hold myself accountable to go out there and play at a high level every time I touch the field," Hurts said. "There's not going to be anybody that holds Jalen to a higher standard than Jalen."
The Eagles are excited to see what's in store for Hurts, though the Watson reports linger. This is Hurts' job to lose, even if he may be competing with someone who isn't even on the roster.
"You look at what he's done, we talk about the jump from Year 1 to Year 2," Roseman said. "This guy has done everything possible to put himself into a successful position with his work ethic, with his studying habits, with his leadership.
"I think for us, like coach said, we're looking for him to grab the reins and go and follow him as it goes. That all comes out here as we start practice and as we start the preseason and training camp."