The Philadelphia Eagles‘ decision to draft quarterback Jalen Hurts with Carson Wentz on the roster raised eyebrows from the outset.
Hurts wound up replacing Wentz as the starter by the end of the 2020 season, and officially became QB1 when Wentz was dealt to the Indianapolis Colts in March. However, former Eagles head coach Doug Pederson says the team didn’t draft Hurts with the intention of sabotaging what it had with Wentz.
In an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio, Pederson said that drafting Hurts was about adding quality depth at a position where the Eagles have needed it in the recent past.
“You go into drafts and you go into each year looking for quarterbacks,” Pederson said. “And we continued to look for quarterbacks, and that’s always something that will never change. We won a Super Bowl with our backup quarterback, and we’ve had to play with our backups a couple of times in Philadelphia. So we did that a year ago and brought in Jalen Hurts — not to undermine Carson Wentz, not to do anything to take away his job or anything because Carson was definitely our starter. He was the franchise and all that moving forward. But [we wanted] someone that could come in and could be the backup and learn how to play the NFL game — bring his talent to the Philadelphia Eagles.”
Former #Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson discussed last season, Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts, and how he reflects on his time in Philadelphia.
Take a listen to what he told us recently…
— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) July 7, 2021
Unfortunately, the Eagles’ best-laid plans did not work out. Wentz played poorly, Hurts wound up taking over and the situation became untenable.
“And really as the season began, things just started to kind of I guess spiral out of control,” Pederson said. Injuries began to set in. We weren’t playing very well. Turnovers offensively, just a number of things, penalties, more injuries compounded problems, and it just became harder and harder as the year wore on.
“No one person is to blame for any of what happened last year. And it’s just unfortunate for me because I was hoping to really have an opportunity to fix the issues that we had and kind of get everything back on track — whether it be this year or the next year. And, obviously, that didn’t happen. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the ifs, ands, and buts. I just focus on the future and look forward to that.”
Pederson, who was fired in January after five seasons, recently said he is hoping his future will include a return to being a head coach.