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‘First thing, you look yourself in the mirror:' Hurts determined to be better in 2024

‘First thing, you look yourself in the mirror:' Hurts determined to be better in 2024 originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

For Jalen Hurts, disappointment equals opportunity.

And if that’s the case, Hurts and the Eagles have an awful lot of opportunity in front of them. Because they’re coming off one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history.

Hurts met with the media on Wednesday evening and talked about the Eagles’ shocking collapse and his own play this year and his expectations for the future.

“I think this year has taught me so much,” he said. “The first thing that you do is you look yourself in the mirror, you look at what you could have been better at, how you could have led better, how you could have executed better.

“And those are all things that internally light a fire in me. So you have challenges in front of you. You do everything in your power to self-reflect and control what you can and learn from it. So that's my No. 1 desire, just to learn from everything and be the best that I can be moving forward for everybody in this locker room and in this building.

“I look myself in the mirror before I do anything else. And that's just being better on my part. … You have to continue to evolve not only as a player but as a man, as a leader. So these are all great responsibilities that I love. I love everything that comes with it and I wouldn't rather do it in another place.”

Hurts did not have a bad year.

His 38 combined touchdowns passing and rushing broke the franchise record and were tied for 2nd-most in the league, behind only Josh Allen’s 44 and tied with Dak Prescott.

But for the Eagles to be great, he had to be great, and too often late in the season he was pedestrian instead. During the team’s collapse these last two months, he – like everyone else in the franchise – was unable to help the Eagles snap out of it.

He wasn't accurate enough, he wasn't productive enough, he threw too many interceptions, made too many poor decisions.

The Eagles' inconsistency on offense wasn't all on Hurts. He didn't always get a lot of help from his coaches. But he knows he wasn't good enough to lead the Eagles to another Super Bowl.

“I think the toughest thing about all of this right now is someone else is going to win a world championship,” Hurts said. “And there's a lot of motivation in that itself and there's going to be a lot of reflection in that internally so I can be the best that I can be.”

Hurts was the MVP favorite just two months ago. But his performance late in the season mirrored the team’s performance.

“We weren't able to do what we wanted to do in the end,” he said. “But (where) we may see problems or issues, I see opportunity. There's a ton of opportunity in everything here and everyone views it that way. And so it's my job in embracing those responsibilities and growing from it, growing from everything.

“Winning is what matters (and) I feel like we left a lot of opportunity out there," he said. “It's about winning, you know. And I think that mentality was born because of everything that I have gone through, everything that I have seen. And I want to navigate that in the best way to affect those around me so we all can win. That's the name of the game. That's why we do what we do.

“So there's a ton of opportunity, a ton of lessons … to take away from, and we have to use it all to our benefit.”

A lot is about to change around here.

We don’t know the extent of that yet, but it will be significant. The Eagles need coaches who can build an offense that is unpredictable, explosive and balanced and gives Hurts more answers against the blitz and more opportunities to be the electrifying playmaker he was last year under Shane Steichen.

But also Hurts just has to be better. He has to make better decisions. He has to get rid of the ball quicker. He has to be more aware in the pocket. And he needs coaches who can get him there.

“You've got to be able to diagnose and process everything that you've experienced and then ask yourself, ‘How am I going to be better from that internally first?’” he said. “Obviously, things change, but internally first you have to be able to look at yourself and say, ‘Man, how could I have been better? How could I have been a better player on the field? How could I have brought (else) someone up? How could I have uplifted someone, the guy next to me?

“And we’ve got a lot of opportunity in front of us to reflect on that and be better from that the next time we come around. The journey continues.”

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