When Jalen Hurts was drafted in the second round by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2020, the organization's locker room leadership was led by stars like Jason Kelce, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, and Lane Johnson
By the time Hurts begins training camp to kick off the 2024 season, he could be one of the last leaders left from that dismal 4-11-1 season.
Because of that, the Eagles are hoping that Hurts can alter his leadership style enough to not just play like the franchise's best player, but carry himself as the franchise's face.
NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo, on the morning leading up to Super Bowl LVIII explained that the team has requested Hurts be a more vocal leader and "front-facing."
"The Eagles are not questioning his long-term viability as a franchise quarterback ... Hurts is usually a few words and stoic. They want him to be more front-facing and a vocal leader, especially with (center) Jason Kelce, Fletcher Cox, and long-term fixtures could be moving on," Garafolo explained.
Garafolo explained that the quarterback is "open" to conversations being had and encouraged by the steps Hurts has taken to this point.
Questions surrounding Hurts' leadership came late into the 2023 season while Philadelphia was losing six of their final seven games. Previous reports stated the quarterback wasn't pleased with how the offense was being run with first-time playcaller Brian Johnson and head coach Nick Sirianni.
Johnson has since been fired and replaced by former Chargers and Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. Philadelphia hopes a change in the offensive system will be enough to get Hurts back to the MVP-caliber player he showed to be in 2022 and parts of the 2023 season.
The Oklahoma and Alabama product recorded 38 total touchdowns in 2023 with over 4,000 yards of total offense as well. The issue for the 25-year-old is a career-high 23 turnovers that was uncharacteristic from his first two years as a starter.
All this being said, Hurts and the Eagles being receptive to a different style of leadership is a natural part of the quarterback's development. Remember, Hurts is just 25 years old and continuing to develop as a passer. By being more receptive to becoming a vocalized leader is a sign that the quarterback understands that the franchise won't have the same kind of leaders they once had.
It's also not the first time a quarterback has taken the reigns from leaders who were on their team.
In 2005, the Pittsburgh Steelers had a young Ben Roethlisberger play behind leaders like Hall-of-Fame running back Jerome Bettis and perennial All-Pro Joey Porter. By 2008, Porter, Bettis, and head coach Bill Cowher were gone, and Roethlisberger stepped up as a team leader to win Super Bowl XLIII.
It's not uncommon to see a franchise want their young quarterback to change his leadership style to be more of the vocal face of the team. The good news is that Hurts has reportedly been receptive and appears ready to take the next logical step that is needed for the Eagles to remain a championship contender.