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07/24/24 02:06:00

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07/24 14:04 CDT Hurts, Sirianni say all is peaceful between QB and Coach at Eagles' training camp Hurts, Sirianni say all is peaceful between QB and Coach at Eagles' training camp By DAN GELSTON AP Sports Writer PHILADELPHIA (AP) --- Jalen Hurts got to the point faster than he gets into the end zone on a tush push. Before a reporter could finish the first question to Hurts on the first day of Eagles' training camp about the franchise QB's seemingly complicated dynamic with coach Nick Sirianni, Hurts cut him off: The bottom line, all is good between Hurts and the fourth-year coach. "I think we're in a great place," Hurts said. Do the Eagles really believe it inside the locker room? On a muggy Wednesday in Philadelphia, hundreds of fans packed the team facility to watch the first drills of camp --- the first one held without either retired greats Jason Kelce or Fletcher Cox since 2010 --- and tried to deduce if any simmering tension existed between Sirianni and Hurts. Oh, and Saquon Barkley was there, too. The former New York Giants running back was an instant fan favorite and the free agent who signed a three-year deal for $26 million guaranteed was cheered each time he touched the ball. Peacetime in South Philly, perhaps. But the lingering melodrama from last season's collapse --- when the Eagles turned a 10-1 start into a 1-5 finish and then a wild-card loss --- still loomed even as Sirianni and his Eagles tried to spread the power of positivity at camp. Notably, the No. 1 storyline started with QB1 because of months of sources and speculation that stated Hurts and Sirianni had thorny relationship issues last season. Hurts enters this season with his third straight new offensive coordinator after Brian Johnson -- who followed Shane Steichen after he left to coach Indianapolis -- was fired and Kellen Moore was hired. It's another season of another offense, one Hurts estimated at organized team activities in June was "95% new." Hurts, who often clouds his true feelings with ambiguous phrases, acknowledged at camp there was some separation inside the locker room during last season's freefall in the standings. "I think any time you have any frustration, any time you have any adversity you have to overcome, it's supposed to test you," Hurts said. "I think it's a matter of being on the same page. If you're on the same page, we maybe would have accomplished the things we would have. We didn't, but that's a learning experience. I think it's as simple as, if I made it happen, I can make it happen. This team has made it happen before, there's no doubt that we can make it happen again, but it takes what it takes. It takes being together." Sirianni, who coached the Eagles to the Super Bowl in the 2022 season, said "Jalen and I's relationship is good." He also didn't go above and beyond to heap praise on Hurts. "We've done some pretty special things and I'm excited for him," Sirianni said. "He's worked so hard at his game." The 25-year-old Hurts, who accounted for a combined 38 touchdowns passing and rushing last season, offered a lukewarm endorsement of Sirianni in the aftermath of the playoff loss at Tampa Bay. Hurts said days later his tepid response was only because he was caught off guard by questions about Sirianni's job status. Sirianni has three playoff trips in three seasons, a Super Bowl appearance and wins in 67% of his regular-season games. Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown, who had a career-best 106 catches last season, dismissed any idea that Hurts and Sirianni had problems to sort out headed into camp. "Football is back," Brown said, laughing. "It's part of it. You just roll with the punches." Without Kelce, without Cox, Hurts knows he has to assume a larger piece of the leadership role. Often soft-spoken in the media, Hurts made sure his voice was heard at camp --- which opened with the Eagles again carrying legitimate Super Bowl aspirations. "My message to the team," Hurt said, "(was) I've been on very talented teams pretty much my whole career. I've played around talent. Talent wins you games. It'll take you very far. But it don't last. Teams is what wins championships. That's what we're trying to do." Hurts spoke from experience after he delivered a record performance in the Super Bowl, throwing for 304 yards and a touchdown, running for 70 yards and three scores, and adding a game-tying 2-point conversion in a loss to Kansas City. He was named NFL MVP runner-up and was rewarded with a five-year, $255 million extension, including $179.3 million guaranteed. It's what Philly needs more of if they want to win the Super Bowl. "I think he's got tremendous energy, tremendous work ethic. Just like all of us, everything that he feels like he can continue to work on, he will do," general manager Howie Roseman said. "This is a guy that obviously has brought us tremendous success since he's been our starting quarterback. He's played at a tremendously high level. I have tremendous confidence in him that whatever he has to do to continue being an MVP candidate, he will do." ___ AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl
 
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