On the same day Jon Marks and Ike Reese interviewed Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts, former Eagles all-time great running back and Reese's old teammate Brian Westbrook did not go easy on the third-year 23-year-old QB.
"Absolutely, absolutely," Westbrook said on Monday when asked if there is reason for concern, as Hurts has struggled to start training camp. "We talk about this football team—now we've gotten better on the defensive line, linebacker, secondary, safety, both [positions] as well as cornerback. So every level defensively has gotten better. We've gotten better offensively. Wide receiver, of course Dallas Goedert coming back, A.J. Brown we talk about wide receivers. Offensive line will always be good no matter what we do, [Jeff] Stoutland is just that type of coach. Running back, I think they have three guys that can get things done.
The Eagles have improved their roster at almost every position this offseason, as Westbrook details, creating heightened expectations for the organization, but—like all NFL teams—their ultimate ceiling will be determined by the play of the quarterback.
"On offense it's always going to come down to the quarterback," B-West said. "Look at the last four teams that have played games in the NFL for the last five or six years. They've all had quarterbacks that have had the ability to win with their arm, the ability to carry a football team. In order for us to get to where we want to go—we're not talking about just make the playoffs. We're talking about the NFC Championship game, getting to the Super Bowl, Jalen Hurts—or our quarterback—has to find a way to be able to carry this football team. And when we talk about our quarterback struggling, especially early in camp, we're saying, 'OK, we know he's not going to probably play in any of the preseason games. He's going to have an opportunity in some of these joint practices to get game time reps, but when is he going to have the ability to get much better?' To improve from being just OK, to be able to be the guy that we can depend on week in and week out.
"You have to imagine, from an old school guy just like Ike and myself, you're saying, 'Well, why did you cut so many of the other OTAs, the other practices, especially if your quarterback wasn't at the point where you can trust him every single week?' That's a big time question. When I'm hearing our quarterback is struggling early on in the preseason, early on in the camp, I'm absolutely concerned because I absolutely know that our quarterback has to carry us for a certain part of the season. We have to find a way to make sure Jalen Hurts is the guy and right now, based on some of the reports that are coming out of camp, he hasn't done too well."