NFL

Hurts and Wentz can be like Brees and Hill - Pederson

By Sports Desk April 25, 2020

The Philadelphia Eagles stressed Carson Wentz's position is not under threat following the selection of Jalen Hurts, who was compared to Taysom Hill by head coach Doug Pederson.

Hurts was the only quarterback selected on the second day of the NFL Draft and his destination raised eyebrows as the Eagles picked the Oklahoma quarterback 53rd overall.

Philadelphia only gave starter Wentz a new four-year contract in 2019 and last year - his fourth in the NFL - he became the first Eagles quarterback to pass for 4,000 yards in a season as he led Pederson's side to the playoffs.

Dual-threat quarterback Hurts, who began his college career at Alabama, had a fine senior season with Oklahoma and finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting to Joe Burrow, the man who went first overall in the 2020 draft.

However, rather than seeing Hurts as someone to dislodge Wentz, Pederson thinks the two can work together in the same offense, in the manner Drew Brees and Hill do for the New Orleans Saints.

"He has a unique skill set," Pederson told reporters of Hurts.

"You see what Taysom Hill has done in New Orleans and how he and Drew Brees have a connection there and a bond there.

"And you look at [Joe] Flacco and Lamar [Jackson] in Baltimore for the short period of time, how they gelled together. It's just something we're going to explore."

The Eagles kept faith with Wentz in 2018 when he returned from a knee injury despite seeing Nick Foles lead them to victory at Super Bowl LII.

Foles left to sign for the Jacksonville Jaguars prior to last season and Wentz was the undisputed starter for 2019, and general manager Howie Roseman insisted the arrival of Hurts has not changed that.

"Nobody is going to be looking at a rookie quarterback as somebody who's going to be taking over [for] a Pro Bowl quarterback, a guy who's been on the cusp of winning an MVP," he said.

"We've shown how we feel about Carson by our actions, we showed it by the amount of picks we put into him and we showed it by the contract extension and we believe this is a guy to lead us to our next Super Bowl Championship.

"But, for better or worse, we are quarterback developers. We want to be a quarterback factory and we have the right people in place to do that and no team in the National Football League has benefited more from developing quarterbacks than the Philadelphia Eagles. This is who we are."

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