The team threw a little gasoline on that fire when they replaced a struggling Carson Wentz with Hurts in the second half of a loss to Green Bay and then named him the starter the following week.
The rookie quarterback then threw a whole tank on it when he led the Eagles to a 24-21 victory over the Saints in week 14.
Who will be QB1 for the Eagles beyond this season remains in question, but it appears as if Jalen Hurts may have played his way into the starter role for the rest of 2020 NFL season.
Here are three things to know about the first-year quarterback.
1. He is a bit of an anomaly among Nick Saban-coached quarterbacks.
Saban’s typical quarterback commands a balanced offense ,stands tall in the pocket, and delivers accurately thrown footballs to future NFL receivers.
That is why Jalen Hurts winning the starting job in just the second game of his true freshman season was such a surprise to many.
His lack of experience and tendency to be a run-first quarterback were unlike the quarterbacks of Saban’s past teams.
With that being said, Hurts had a historic freshman season leading the Crimson Tide to a runner-up finish in the College Football Playoffs.
He broke Alabama’s single season rushing record for quarterbacks by rushing for 954 yards and 13 touchdowns.
His 36 total touchdowns were the most by a Saban quarterback.
The following year he rushed for 855 yards and 8 touchdowns.
His exit from the Alabama program is well-documented as he went on to have success as Oklahoma’s starting quarterback in his senior season.
However, his two full seasons as the Alabama starter still qualifies him as a Saban alum.
Saban’s willingness to break the Alabama mold proves just how talented Hurts really is.
2. He is a former powerlifter.
How often do you hear both of those words used to describe a football player?
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) February 15, 2019
Not only did Jalen Hurts compete in powerlifting contests in high school, he succeeded in them.
Hurts finished in second place among 85 lifters in the 198-pound weight class of the Texas High School State Powerlifting Competition.
During his junior year of high school, he once squatted 570 pounds, bench pressed 275 pounds, and deadlifted 585 pounds.
When adding his strength to his already known running ability, Hurts must be included at the top of the list of the most athletic quarterbacks in the NFL.
3. He and Carson Wentz get along very well.
This whole controversy would be a lot more interesting if the two Eagles quarterbacks hated each other’s guts, but that is simply not the case.
Hurts and Wentz have both reiterated the fact that they have a great respect for one another and want to see each other succeed.
Hurts even credited Wentz with helping him during his first start saying,
“Yeah, he had a few tips for me. A few little things pointing out here and there — certain looks, seeing the space of the defense. So he was really helpful this week.”
Wentz also showed his full support on the sideline after witnessing his backup’s first touchdown in the loss to Green Bay.
📺: CBS pic.twitter.com/TuRPDyFU0k
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) December 6, 2020
Hurts is no stranger to quarterback competition and probably feels for Wentz as he was replaced in the second half of the National Championship game by freshman Tua Tagovailoa at Alabama.
After seeing how he handled that situation, it should come as no surprise that he is handling his current situation with grace.
“I’m so proud of this guy for what he’s done this year, I can’t even tell you.”
Nick Saban got emotional when speaking about the heroics of Jalen Hurts. pic.twitter.com/mmY4HfoFqD
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) December 2, 2018
Jalen Hurts is a unique talent and humble personality that will likely get the rest of the season to prove that he belongs as a starter in the NFL.
Enjoy the ride for now because the end of the season will likely bring about more questions about the Eagles’ long term plans at quarterback.NEXT: Should Eagles Coach Doug Pederson Be Fired? (Argument)