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Eagles plan to bring back QB Jalen Hurts as 2022 starter

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Eagles plan to bring back QB Jalen Hurts as 2022 starter
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts completed 61.3% of his passes this season. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 19 (UPI) -- The Philadelphia Eagles intend to bring back Jalen Hurts as their starting quarterback in 2022, despite his struggles as a passer in 2021, general manager Howie Roseman and coach Nick Sirianni told reporters Wednesday.

Roseman and Sirianni made the comments at a joint news conference. The Eagles' 2021 season ended with a 31-15 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday in Tampa, Fla.

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"Jalen knows where he stands with us. He knows he's our quarterback," Sirianni told reporters. "I thought he did a great job of getting better throughout the year. There's no secrets there. He knows he's our guy."

Hurts joined the Eagles as a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The former Alabama and Oklahoma quarterback completed 52% of his throws for 1,061 yards, six scores and four interceptions in four starts his rookie year.

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He completed 61.3% of his passes for 3,144 yards, 16 scores and nine interceptions in 15 starts in 2021. Hurts also ran for 784 yards and 10 scores this season.

The Eagles ranked 25th in passing yards and passing touchdowns, but owned the No. 1 rushing offense in the NFL in terms of yards and touchdowns.

"When we talk about Jalen and the growth he had, first-year starter, second-year player, leading this team to the playoffs ... I'm tremendously impressed by his work ethic and his leadership," Roseman said.

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"The last time we talked [to reporters] was during training camp and we said we wanted to see him take the bull by the horn, and he certainly did that."

Hurts, 23, dealt with a high-ankle sprain in the second half of the season, but still managed to help the Eagles earn the final seed in the NFC playoffs. He completed 23 of 43 passes for 258 yards, a score and two interceptions in the Eagles' loss to the Buccaneers.

"We've got to do whatever we can to continue to help him develop. And how do we do that? By surrounding him with really good players," Roseman said.

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"Players continue to grow -- that's a huge part of developing. They grow. How they are in their second year is not how they're going to be in Year 4,5,6,7, and they're also products of the people around them. That's on us to continue to build this team."

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The Eagles own three picks in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. The NFC East franchise used the No. 10 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft to select former Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith. They also used a first-round pick to select former TCU wide receiver Jalen Reagor in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Roseman was asked if the Eagles could use their draft capital to move up in the draft order or in a potential trade for a premier veteran quarterback. The Eagles general manager he will continue to evaluate the roster and "find ways to build assets."

The 2022 NFL Draft is April 28 to 30 in Las Vegas. The Eagles' first-round draft slots currently sit at No. 15, No. 16 and No. 19 overall.

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