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September 08, 2023

Eytan Shander: Jalen Hurts is the real CEO of the Eagles

Jalen Hurts has brought stability to the Eagles franchise, writes Eytan Shander.

Do you hear that?

Listen closely and try again.


Good. I don’t hear it either.

No drama.

For years, the Philadelphia Eagles were mired deep in controversy during terms that seemed to last forever. Only until someone was fired, replaced, or repurposed did we get some closure — a brief respite before the next round of nonsense picked up again.

It was kind of embarrassing and frankly tough to watch from the outside. The team was good at times, other times not so much, so it was easier to forgive or overlook. Once they won the Super Bowl things changed for a minute or two, but both head coach and defensive coordinator walked away from this thing.

There’s nothing written or ruled into law that says this can’t happen again, but there is a decent barometer that indicates it’s going to be tough. If I may, one more column on Jalen Hurts before the season begins but don’t look at his on the field contributions nor his amazing work in multiple communities — this one’s about his role as true CEO of a team.

Jeffrey Lurie is listed as the team’s “CEO,” however, Jalen Hurts plays such a powerful role with this team, similar to business lines walked by other chief executive officers. The biggest thing lacking since Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb is stability and Hurts provides that with his weight in gold.

Carson Wentz couldn’t do it. It pains me to write this, but neither could Doug Pederson. Chip doesn’t even deserve his full name in this column. Even Howie Roseman struggled internally, as did his predecessor, Joe Banner. The rock of stability always comes from the marriage between head coach and quarterback.

The two most important pieces of any football team can be dangerous if allowed to grow like a true relationship. That usually means ownership and front office stay out of the way. That might be the case with coach but it’s going to be difficult with the QB. The good news is that none of us will have to see that nonsense go down, even if someone gets traded down the line.

Here’s why — when you have talent, leadership, and drive mixed in with someone like Hurts, playing the position he does, it becomes nearly impossible to screw it up. Nick Sirianni is clearly allowing Hurts the chances on the field to make magic happen, growing a resume on the sidelines. Nobody has improved at QB like Hurts in the time he’s been in the league. It’s more than Josh Allen or anyone else that comes to mind.

This is a monster leap of talent, but nothing else changed around him. Listening or watching interviews and he sounds exactly like he did the previous year, in college, or any other time I’ve heard him — grounded. This sounds like a man who's ready to take on the tough schedule of the NFL for certain. If you listen a little deeper, you will hear how important improving is to this young man, anywhere on or off the field.

That’s someone so focused that he’s simply not going to be the cause nor allow the whirlwind of drama to enter that building again. Not under his watch.

Hurts is also the most important paid commodity of the organization with an emphasis on p-a-i-d. The large contract earned by Hurts puts him in a position of power and leverage with the Eagles. Not to the point of demanding out or using it for some wicked personal gain, rather to reinforce any foot that needs to be put down to extinguish any spark before it turns to flame.

One of the most exciting parts of this upcoming season is watching the evolution of Jalen Hurts: football player and young man. Seeing some great things he’s doing off the field matched with dynamic plays on the field are fantastic despite being tangible. The intangibles of life seem to come easier to Hurts, much like everything else. That great sign of a humble young man still hungry for the world will keep everyone around him in line.

Some need it, most don’t. Either way, I’ll enjoy this sound of silence.

Follow Eytan on Twitter: @shandershow

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