November 15, 2022
From the second last season's Wild Card defeat to Tampa Bay ended, even before it, there was talk every day in Philadelphia over whether Jalen Hurts could be a capable starting quarterback in the NFL, not to even mention the rumors and names thrown around throughout the spring and summer that were thought of as potential upgrades.
But it's Week 10 now. The Eagles are 8-0 and Hurts is the guy under center leading the best start in franchise history.
Those conversations have since been put to rest.
But ahead of Monday night's divisional matchup against Washington at the Linc, Hurts met with maybe the only two people in the world who can understand what he's going through: Former Eagles quarterbacks Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick.
In a conversation filmed earlier this week for Monday Night Football within the Philadelphia Museum of Art, moderated by ESPN analyst Robert Griffin III, Hurts, McNabb, and Vick talked about all the trials, tribulations, and successes of being a Black quarterback in Philadelphia.
And there have been a lot of all three.
Check out the full talk below, with props also given to Randall Cunningham and Rodney Peete:
An excerpt from the conversation:
Griffin: Donovan, you were an outlier. Mike, you were an outlier. They'd say all these things about you can't get it done, you can't read a defense, you can't do that. And Jalen, what you've become today, you represent what the prototypical quarterback is now, and it's not just about being a black quarterback.
Hurts: You know, I feel like I truly haven't even done anything yet. I've had a great example in front of me to come out here and just kind of remain steadfast and go, you know, just attack, truly try to stay in the moment. But you talk about...People don't like...I don't know how I want to say it.
Griffin: They don't like to be wrong?
McNabb: They don't want to be proven wrong...
Hurts: They don't wanna...They don't like to be woken up.
McNabb: Let me add to that. I'll say what you really want to say, because I'm not afraid to say it. If you don't know how to do what we do, then you can't tell people how to do it.
Hurts: It's a tough job.
McNabb was infamously booed at the draft because Eagles fans wanted top running back prospect Ricky Williams. He went on to arguably become the best quarterback in franchise history.
Vick was given a second chance in the NFL by former coach Andy Reid after serving a prison sentence for dogfighting. He went on to succeed McNabb, by way of Kevin Kolb, with one of the best single-season performances ever, alongside a ton of charity work off the field in service to animals that has continued to this day.
And Hurts was a surprise second-round pick back when Carson Wentz was thought of as the undisputed franchise quarterback...until he wasn't. Hurts was put in and took criticism every step of the way up until the Eagles established themselves as the best team in the league in recent weeks.
But he'll be the first to tell you there's still a ways to go.
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