When it comes to that kind of money for just about anyone else the characterization of “I’m the same guy” might be accompanied by the rolling of a few eyes.
When it comes to Jalen Hurts, however, the reaction is a bit different.
“As far as his demeanor, he stays pretty consistent,” All-Pro right tackle Lane Johnson said. “As far as how he acts and goes about his business, he’s very professional here. One thing he does, he’s always just working his tail off. With that, the actions speak a lot louder than the words. He’ll say a little bit every now and then when he needs to.”
“I’m the same guy, same approach, the numbers may have changed, but same guy, same approach, same goals, same dreams,” Hurts insisted Thursday before the Eagles’ summer break ahead of training camp.
Coach Nick Sirianni often points to Hurts’ upbringing as a coach’s son when explaining his quarterback’s ability to handle constructive criticism in the never-ending quest to get better.
“Jalen may be the most coachable person I’ve ever been around in my life,” Sirianni said. “He’s just always looking to get better. Now, that’s our job as coaches, to make sure we’re feeding him good information.
“He’s so coachable, he just keeps getting better, and he keeps getting better, and he keeps getting better.”
To date, Hurts’ evolution from Alabama to Oklahoma to Philadelphia has come with nary a hiccup, improvement every single season.
From Sirianni’s perspective, there is little reason to think that will be changing in 2023.
“I see another jump in everything that he’s done with accuracy, with the decision-making,” said the coach. “We’re doing 7-on-7, so there is no rush, so there’s no pass rush except for the guys that are walking at him with the bags. … But I do see his development continuing. That’s what we talk about with Jalen all the time. I don’t know what his ceiling is because he just keeps getting better, and he’s going to continue to do that.
“So, I’ve seen that same jump, the speed with which he makes the decision, the accuracy of his throws. He’s really had a good spring.”
Hurts, meanwhile, is always looking forward and just like a Super Bowl LVII loss is flushed so is the thought of elevating his salary from cost-effective to top of the market.
“Last year is over,” he said. “Nothing that has been done prior will get us to where we want to be now. There are a ton of experiences that we’ve definitely documented and deposited in the bank, if you will, to learn from. “And we will learn from. And we have learned from it.
“But it’s a day-by-day thing. … And I think everybody has taken that approach. We’re excited to just kind of continue that progression.”
Johnson believes Hurts has a calming effect on the entire offense.
“Just how he conducts himself, I feel like his presence in the huddle, just how calm he is, sets the tone for everybody to be calm, focused, and play it one play at a time,” Johnson said. “I feel like it infiltrates everyone involved.”
For Hurts it’s business as usual and that means it’s about the journey, not the destination.
“I think it was really good to get everybody together,” Hurts said. “Meet the new guys, and kind of start from Ground 1 again….It doesn’t take much to fuel me and motivate me. I think it’s about the type of competitor that you are. Obviously, everyone wants to go out there and be the best. That’s what we work for.
“But it’s a steep price that you have to pay to do that. As a team, as an organization, everybody in this building, it’s about learning from every experience that we’ve experienced every day in practice, every team that we’ve played, things of the past, whatever it is.”