Doug Pederson: Jalen Hurts is going to defy all odds

Doug Pederson was the Eagles head coach in 2020 when the team drafted quarterback Jalen Hurts in the second round.

Hurts ended up starting the last four games of that season as a rookie, flashing some of his potential. Philadelphia then fired Pederson and traded quarterback Carson Wentz after the season, moving on with Hurts and head coach Nick Sirianni.

Now the Jaguars head coach, Pederson will coach against Hurts this weekend when Jacksonville plays Philadelphia. And Pederson told Eagles reporters in a Wednesday Zoom call that he’s not surprised by how well the quarterback is playing in 2022.

“He’s going to defy all odds,” Pederson said, via Dave Zangaro of “That’s just the way his career has been built. He’s overcome adversity everywhere he’s been, at Alabama and Oklahoma.

“Just not surprised. Not surprised that he’s playing this well and he’s playing and really utilizing the guys around him to help him get these wins that they’re piling up.”

Hurts has completed 67 percent of his passes for 916 yards with four touchdowns and one interception this season. He’s also rushed for 167 yards and three touchdowns.

The Eagles coaches have praised Hurts’ work ethic, which is something else Pederson isn’t surprised by. Pederson said Hurts “was the same way” when he was the Eagles coach.

“He was a sponge, he wants to learn, he wants to get better,” Pederson said. “He’s a professional and he takes it serious. Those are the things that you want in your quarterback, out of the leader of your team. So there’s no surprise that he’s still doing that.”