NFC Buzz: Former Eagles LB compares Justin Fields to Jalen Hurts
Former Eagles LB TJ Edwards had a productive year with Philadelphia in 2022, earning himself a three-year, $19.5M deal with the Chicago Bears during free agency.
Edwards got a first-hand look at the rapid ascension of Jalen Hurts last season as Philly cruised to the Super Bowl and believes his new quarterback, Justin Fields, can make comparable strides in his development.
Following spring OTAs, Edwards appeared on Sirius XM Radio and was asked if he noticed any similarities between the two dynamic signal-callers.
“One thing with Jalen was he was always just kind of calm and collected,” Edwards said. “That’s why we looked to him so much, just because he was always that calming factor. You do see similarities with J Fields. He doesn’t seem to get rattled out there in terms of when we’re mixing up looks on him and stuff like that.
Just from what I’ve seen with my first year — him just throwing the ball. Dude’s got such a strong arm, and he’s been very accurate just about this entire OTAs and minicamp. It’s exciting to see, especially since he doesn’t really add in the leg factor when we’re just in helmets and things like that.
I’m really excited to play with a guy like that, a guy who can make all the plays who can also lead this team. He’s definitely the guy, so it’s exciting to be around. No doubt.”
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Fields has played just two seasons in the NFL, both with different coaching staffs — much like Hurts entering the 2023 season. He arrived at the tail end of Matt Nagy’s tenure and entered Year 2 learning an entirely new system under Matt Eberflus.
Although his club ended with a dismal 3-14 record, Fields showed moments of brilliance in 2022 and has seemingly earned a vote of confidence, evidenced by Chicago trading the No.1 overall pick in April’s draft.
Chicago could’ve had the first crack at any QB they wanted (Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, etc.) — instead, they used that resource to bring in DJ Moore, a true No. 1 WR for Fields.
“I think we’re excited about Justin’s progress since the time we got into Chicago, and we want to build off of that,” Bears GM Ryan Poles said at the NFL Combine.
“We really do. He showed the ability to be explosive as a runner, had flashes as a passer, and we both have been open talking about we want to see progress moving forward, and I know he does too. He’s a hard worker. He’s going to put the time in, so we’re excited about that.”
Fields was held under 200 yards passing in all but two games last season as the offense lacked reliable receiving talent. However, he led all NFL quarterbacks in rushing with 1,143 yards, becoming just the third QB to rush for 1,000+ yards in a single season with Lamar Jackosn and Michael Vick.
Jalen Hurts took a monumental leap once the Eagles acquired AJ Brown. If the Bears can mimic the blueprint Philadelphia effectively used, Justin Fields may develop into a franchise QB for Chicago.
Jalen Hurts 2021-2022 Stats
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