Fresh off his first victory as Eagles head coach, Nick Sirianni prepared for his team’s home opener this weekend by rocking a fresh new t-shirt to Friday’s practice. The face you see on the front of Sirianni’s shirt belongs to none other than starting quarterback Jalen Hurts, who threw for three touchdowns (including one to his former Alabama teammate, DeVonta Smith) while completing a career-high 77.1 percent of his passes in last week’s 32-6 rout of the hapless Falcons.
Sirianni revealed Sunday that he and Hurts have developed a special “sunglass handshake,” which may have inspired the head-turning outfit he displayed at Friday’s practice. The shirt, which Sirianni said was sent to him as a gift, is available for $26 (and in five different colors) on Etsy.
The Eagles’ flirtation with other quarterbacks, both in the draft and throughout the summer when rumors swirled of Deshaun Watson potentially coming to Philadelphia in a blockbuster trade, likely didn’t instill much confidence in Hurts, a former Heisman runner-up and second-round pick, who, when called upon to replace Carson Wentz late last season, showed plenty of potential.
One superb performance against Atlanta’s turnstile secondary doesn’t necessarily make Hurts a franchise quarterback, but he should at least be afforded that opportunity, not having to look over his shoulder at Joe Flacco or Gardner Minshew threatening his QB1 status. Sirianni’s t-shirt choice, though admittedly a small gesture, represents a much-needed and long overdue endorsement of Hurts. We’ll see what tricks the 23-year-old pajama enthusiast has up his sleeve for Sunday’s showdown with San Francisco.