Jalen Hurts reflects on the 2023 season
That was a phrase echoed by quarterback Jalen Hurts multiple times in his postgame press conference following Monday night’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Wild Card game.
“Things didn’t end the way we wanted, but it’s simply not our turn,” Hurts said. “We got a taste of it last year. Winning the Conference Championship and having an opportunity to play in the Super Bowl, and it wasn’t our turn then.”
Those accomplishments last season put high expectations on Hurts and this Eagles team. That made the internal standard higher for those on the field.
“I talked about the standard a lot this year,” Hurts said. “The standard changes from year to year because this is a whole different team. That is one thing I have learned and one thing I will continue to mature on. Different years require different versions of a person and I’ll just continue to learn to be the best leader I can be for this team and for this organization.”
Hurts, just like the team, experienced many ups and downs this season.
The quarterback dealt with many challenges, whether it was an injured knee in the middle of the season, playing multiple games while sick, or starting in the playoffs a week after dislocating the middle finger on his throwing hand.
“It’s definitely been a journey,” Hurts said. “Every year has presented different joys and different challenges. I feel like I have been able to use those things to better myself and better the people around me.”
In his postgame message, Hurts looked to get positives out of a negative situation.
During the quarterback’s first season as a starter in 2021, the Eagles lost on the road to the Bucs in the NFC Wild Card Round. A year later, the team had a successful season that culminated in a Conference Championship and a trip to football’s biggest game.
“As crazy as it is, you have to be able to use this for your advantage and find a positive out of this negative,” Hurts said. “For whatever reason, the last time we were here, the very next opportunity we had, we had a pretty dang good year. We just have to learn from it all.”
While it wasn’t the Eagles’ turn this year, Hurts knows what is needed for them to be prepared for their turn.
After the loss, Hurts already came to terms with the outcome of the game and was focused on how he and his teammates can get back to where they want to be next season.
“I think a time of self-reflection in the offseason for sure,” Hurts said. “My number one message is use every opportunity to learn and grow. It may not show now, but it will show.
“As I said, it wasn’t our turn. We’ve had the opportunities, we’ve had the crumbs, we’ve had everything to our disposal, but it wasn’t our turn, and I can accept that. And I think we can accept that knowing that the sun will rise tomorrow and there will be another opportunity to attack it.” – Owen Boyle