Doug Pederson 'excited' for Jalen Hurts in 2021

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By , Audacy Sports

Just because Doug Pederson was fired as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles following a disappointing 2020 season doesn't mean he's done paying attention to what the Birds are doing. Besides, he hasn't signed on in any capacity with another NFL team yet, and so he'll probably be watching the Eagles closer than any other team — unless, of course, a potential future landing spot catches his eye as a place he'd like to coach.

And, like many of us, he's excited for what's about to unfold. Reminder: it's okay to be excited about the Eagles this year!

John Clark of NBC Sports Philadelphia caught up with Pederson at the Mike Quick Celebrity Invitational and asked him about two of the most intriguing players that the roster has to offer, both of whom were rookies under Pederson. To start, quarterback Jalen Hurts was the focus, and the question of whether or not Pederson thought he could truly be the team's No. 1 quarterback going forward was brought up.

"I do. I like Jalen Hurts," Pederson said. "And I think now with the opportunity he has, with the guys around him and getting DeVonta (Smith), getting him in here and getting him working... I'm excited for Jalen and what he can do."

It's not surprising that Pederson should speak highly of the young quarterback, seeing as Troy Aikman said on "The Michael Irvin Podcast" that Pederson liked Hurts as the QB option going forward whereas owner Jeffrey Lurie liked Carson Wentz (h/t Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk). Pederson also oversaw some of Hurts' success after a struggling Wentz couldn't get the job done. While the Philadelphia playbook looked quite stale with Wentz in the picture, Hurts served as an immediate jolt of energy once he took over the job, giving Philadelphia their only back-to-back 300-yard passing games of the season in Weeks 15 and 16.

Another sophomore Jalen on the team, speedy wideout Jalen Reagor, is another player that Pederson is excited for in 2021.

"I don't think he got to show the best (he had)," Pederson said. "I think the injury really set him back just a little bit last year as a rookie, and he'll come in healthy. He knows exactly how to attack the game, to attack the offseason, and come in healthy and be ready to go.

"I think it's kind of a great 1-2 punch that they have, and really looking forward to watching them."

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