What the Chiefs’ Carson Wentz keeps getting wrong is the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts getting right

What the Chiefs’ Carson Wentz keeps getting wrong is the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts getting right

PHILADELPHIA – Jalen Hurts made a serious attempt at being diplomatic when asked about Carson Wentz.

But the reality was that their season together in 2020 was miserable for both.

Wentz was clearly concerned that the Eagles drafted Gort in the second round, and he continued to have a terrible season. He rated among the worst quarterbacks in the NFL until he was benched and replaced by Hurts over the final 4 1/2 games of a 4-11-1 losing season.

Hurts made it look like Wentz didn’t do much to help. In fact, it was not. Wentz checked that he was benched, literally and figuratively, looking for a trade even before the season was over.

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Instead of competing with Hurts for the starting job in 2021 under new coach Nick Sirianni, Wentz got his wish and was traded to Indianapolis.

That lasted one less playoff season, after which Colts owner Jim Irsay traded him to the Washington Chiefs, saying, “I think the worst thing you can do is make a mistake and try to continue living with it in the future.”

This is where the revionist history stops.

That mistake was not that Wentz is not a good quarterback. His stats with the Colts backed that up. Wentz threw 27 touchdown passes against just 7 interceptions. And he’s off to a strong start with the Chiefs, tied for the NFL lead with 7 TD passes and a passer rating of 100.3.

But there is more to it than that. A successful quarterback goes beyond the numbers, and Wentz still doesn’t get that.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) watches from the sideline as quarterback Jalen Hurts (front) starts in his place during a game against the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 20, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) watches from the sideline as quarterback Jalen Hurts (front) starts in his place during a game against the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 20, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz.

Hear what Hurts said when asked what he learned from Wentz in 2020: “I saw he has a great arm. He’s a big guy, tough to tackle. He makes crazy plays in the pocket, like I definitely noticed that when I was a rookie, and I still do now.

Hurts didn’t say anything like Wentz was a mentor, or that Wentz helped him get through a tough season, or that he and Wentz developed a close relationship.

In fact, when asked to describe their relationship, Hurts replied: “There’s definitely a mutual respect between the two of us. When he went to Indy and now (Washington), there’s definitely been respect for his together and I wish him the best of luck.”

Again, Hurts could have said that he and Wentz developed a bond, that they still keep in touch, or pretty much anything else.

But Hurts chose his words carefully, then shut down more of Wentz’s questions when asked if Wentz gave him tips while Wentz was on the bench.

“I’m going to say, I think we’re focused on that now,” Hurts said. “I’m focused on the now.”

In other words, no.

It was much the same when Wentz answered a question from reporters covering the Commanders if it means anything more going against Hurt.

“I don’t put a lot of stock in that,” Wentz said. “It’s a new team. A lot of new faces over there. So, it’s going to be fun.”

Look at it another way.

Granted, it’s only been two games, but Hurts has two wins, using his right arm and legs. He has made pinpoint passes on the run. It’s overdone. And he ran past opponents, as he did on his 26-yard TD run against the Vikings on Monday night.

He is clearly better than last season, when he only completed 61.3% of his passes and was often hesitant to throw over the middle.

So far, Hurts has completed 69.8% of his passes after a dominant performance against the Vikings in which he completed 26 of 31 passes for 333 yards and a touchdown. Injuries also ran for 57 yards and 2 more TDs.

However, that didn’t faze Eagles coach Nick Sirianni who is mostly injured.

He did this: “We talk about all his abilities as a player, but what makes you reach your ceiling as a player is when you have the other things – the toughness, the love of football, the football IQ.

“Those guys who reach that ceiling are within Jalen, and that’s what’s so special and that’s why you continue to develop him in my opinion.”

Former Philadelphia Eagles outside linebacker Jalen Hurts (1) is chased by Detroit Lions outside linebacker Charles Harris (53) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021 , in Detroit.

Former Philadelphia Eagles outside linebacker Jalen Hurts (1) is chased by Detroit Lions outside linebacker Charles Harris (53) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021 , in Detroit.

Sirianni added that he still doesn’t know what Hurts’ ceiling is.

Doesn’t hurt either.

“I’ve never put a ceiling on myself, and I’ve always felt that way,” Hurts said. “So nothing changes. I try to climb every day, learn from my mistakes and keep pushing forward. That’s the attitude.”

Sure, Wentz wants to improve every day, too. But it will be 30 in December. He had a torn ACL, a stress fracture in his back, a concussion, and foot surgery last summer (he didn’t miss a game).

But Wentz is still trying to play like he did in 2017 when he would have been MVP had he not torn his ACL.

Wentz is no longer that quarterback, at least to everyone but Wentz.

So when Wentz makes the “crazy plays in the pocket,” as Hurts described it, he often gets sacked or misses an interception.

At times, the frustration is palpable among his teammates and coaches. He was with the Colts last season, and there are even hints with the Chiefs this season.

Head coach Ron Rivera, in a conference call on Wednesday, was asked about Wentz’s rumored stubbornness and inability to coach hard, as happened in 2020 with the Eagles.

Rivera seemed to pause for a moment before answering: “I didn’t find that. It’s a two-sided thing. It’s not just about the individual but it’s also about the people who are there. You want to work with people. Don’t want to fight people.

“This guy was just a co-op and he was the guy we were hoping for.”

But that’s all relative. The Chiefs fell behind 22-0 against the Lions last week before making the final score a somewhat respectable 36-27.

“We started off pretty bad, myself included,” Wentz said.

Wentz played better in the second half, but it wasn’t enough. If that’s “exactly the guy we’ve been hoping for,” then it’s going to be a long season for the Chiefs.

Contact Martin Frank at mfrank@delawareonline.com. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.

This article originally appeared on the Delaware News Journal: What’s wrong with Carson Wentz, unlike Eagles’ Jalen Hurts

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