Jalen Hurts has no time to be satisfied.
After a breakout season in which he nearly led the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl victory and earned him a record-setting contract, Hurts is working like a “madman” to be even better.
“Everybody aspires to be the best and works to be the best, but ultimately you have to find some separation,” Hurts said on the AP Pro Football Podcast. “And that’s the thrill. There’s a thrill in not being satisfied and there’s a thrill in being on this journey, and I have embraced that. I love this game and I know my purpose within this game. I truly just want to be intentional. … So every day I just try to be the best that I can be and that is not based off of external factors. Those things don’t matter. You just try and control what you can.”
The 24-year-old quarterback drafted in the second round in 2020 emerged as one of the league’s brightest young stars in his second full season as a starter. Hurts threw for 3,701 yards with 22 touchdowns and ran for 760 yards and 13 scores. He finished second in voting for AP NFL MVP and third for the Offensive Player of the Year award.
Hurts was spectacular in the Super Bowl, throwing for 304 yards and one TD with 70 yards rushing and three scores. But he also lost a fumble that was returned for a TD in a 38-35 loss to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.
In April, the Eagles rewarded Hurts with a $255 million, five-year contract extension that was the richest in NFL history until Lamar Jackson surpassed it two weeks later.
Hurts also received a master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma in a busy offseason that included his acting debut in a short film by Teyana Taylor. Last week, Hurts signed a multiyear deal with A Shoc beverages to promote Accelerator energy drinks, giving him an equity stake in the business.
Despite a hectic schedule over the summer, Hurts has made sure to keep focused on improving his game. Eagles coach Nick Sirianni and offensive coordinator Brian Johnson rave about his work ethic.
“We’ll never put a ceiling on what he can accomplish,” Johnson said. “I think with Jalen, nothing that he ever does will surprise me. He works like a madman. He’s very, very diligent. He’s very intentional about what he wants, and that shows on a daily basis in how he operates.”
The Eagles went 16-2 with Hurts last year, including 14-1 in the regular season. They lost two games that he missed with a shoulder injury. Some in Philadelphia are concerned Hurts can’t sustain his excellence because his running style makes him susceptible to injury.
If Hurts is planning to stay in the pocket more this season, he’s not saying.
“I put a lot of work in. I invest a ton into this and always have, and I just want to continue to quantify my work,” he said when asked about it. “That’s been something that I’ve been able to do since I’ve been in college. So that’s always my goal. Find those weaknesses and turn them into your strengths. And then if you do have a strength, boost it and make it a touch stronger.”