Why Jalen Hurts reminds Ron Rivera of Seahawks QB Russell Wilson

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Ethan Cadeaux
·2 min read
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Ron Rivera says Jalen Hurts reminds him of Russell Wilson originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

When the Washington Football Team takes on Philadelphia in the 2020 regular season finale on Sunday, Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts will be making just his fourth career start.

Hurts has impressed in his limited action, though, so much that Washington head coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday that the rookie reminds him of one of the NFL's best quarterbacks.

"Honestly, he does remind me of Russell Wilson. He really does," Rivera said. "I think that bodes well for who he's going to be as a football player in this league."

At first glance, there are plenty of similarities between the two passers. To start, although Hurts (6-foot-1) is two inches taller than Wilson (5-foot-11), both are on the shorter side of prototypical NFL quarterbacks.

To make up for their lack of height, both Wilson and Hurts are plenty effective in moving out of the pocket and making plays with their legs, whether that's throwing on the move or running the football.

Both Hurts and Wilson had similar paths to the NFL, too. Wilson was a three-year starter at NC State before transferring to Wisconsin for his final season, while Hurts started two-plus years at Alabama before moving on to Oklahoma for his last year in school.

"[Hurts was] a guy that coming out that we liked, because he's a veteran savvy guy," Rivera said. "He played a lot of football in college, and he played it successfully. There were some big games that he handled very well."

Despite having plenty of success in college, both Wilson and Hurts were overlooked in their respective drafts. The Seahawks passer going in the third round, while Hurts watched four other quarterbacks hear their name before the Eagles ultimately called his.

Although Rivera liked Hurts, the head coach never had a chance to take him because Washington did not have a second-round pick. Washington went 64 picks in between taking Chase Young (No. 2 overall) and Antonio Gibson (No. 66), while Hurts went 53rd to Philadelphia.

Asked what he likes about the Eagles signal-caller, Rivera pointed to his solid decision-making and his overall body of work.

"Well, you do see that he's a good decision-maker," Rivera said. "He's got a good arm, and they seem to rally around him as a team. He's got the intangibles you look for in a quarterback."

The Eagles have been a much better football team since turning from Carson Wentz to Hurts. Now, Philadelphia is the only team that stands in Rivera's way of capturing a division title in his first year as Washington's head coach.