Is Jalen Hurts “The Guy”? That’s the big question for any young quarterback in the NFL as the QB have-nots search for the guy around whom they can build their franchise.
So far, Hurts has looked more like “A Guy” rather than “The Guy,” but as The Inquirer’s David Murphy writes, maybe we’re approaching this all wrong. Rather than holding Hurts to the standard that for so long has shaped the debate about Eagles quarterbacks, perhaps we should hold him to the standard that decides each game. Is he better than the other guy?
By that standard, Hurts’ chances against “A Guy,” Teddy Bridgewater, and the Broncos on Sunday seem pretty strong. May the best “Guy” win.
— Inquirer Sports Staff, @phillysport
Tell us what you think — and if Jalen Hurts is your guy for the Eagles: email@example.com
Hurts has thrown fewer than 20 passes in each of the last two games as the Eagles rely more on the run game. Does that conservative approach make it more difficult for the Eagles to evaluate whether he’s their answer at quarterback? Former Eagles GM Joe Banner believes the game plan is more of a reflection of the team’s feelings about where Hurts is at in his development. The Eagles “feel like the best way to develop him is to gradually put a little bit more on his plate,” Banner tells The Inquirer’s EJ Smith.
Eagles or Broncos? Check out our writers’ predictions for Sunday’s game.
Next: Eagles at Broncos, 4:25 p.m. Sunday (CBS, WIP-FM)
Baseball purists likely will have to get used to the idea of the designated hitter in the National League as early as 2022. Adopting the DH is expected to be a part of the new collective bargaining agreement and has NL teams making plans for how they can utilize an extra hitter in their lineup. How will the Phillies use the DH? They likely will use the spot on a committee basis, rotating players such as catcher J.T. Realmuto in and out rather than committing to one big bat.
Off the Dribble
The Sixers finally received some good news Thursday. Before you ask, it was not Ben Simmons news. He has returned not to the court, but just to a film session. Tobias Harris did come back, however.
Harris, who missed 10 days under COVID-19 protocols, returned to the team after a coronavirus bout that included fatigue and congestion. In fact, there was doubt that he would return to the team even as players attended pregame warmups, then The Inquirer’s Keith Pompey reported his return.
Harris scored the first points of the night for a team still playing without Joel Embiid, Matisse Thybulle, and Isaiah Joe. He finished the night with 19 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists as the shorthanded Sixers dropped their third straight game, falling by 115-109 to the Raptors.
Next: The Sixers play the Indiana Pacers at 7 p.m. Saturday, the first matchup on a six-game road trip.
On the Fly
The good news is the Flyers are off to a solid 6-3-2 start.
The bad news, as Sam Carchidi points out, is that the Flyers have scored just eight goals (excluding empty netters) over the last six games (1.33 per game). Alain Vigneault agrees that the status quo won’t cut it, and proved as much Thursday by shaking up both power-play units and swapping Oskar Lindblom in for Joel Farabee on the second line.
Will the tweaks pay off? We will get our first look at the new-look lineup at 7 p.m. Friday against the Carolina Hurricanes (NBCSP).
For some Philly soccer fans, the focus Friday will be on whether Zack Steffen will start (yes!) or whether Christian Pulisic will start (no!), but the big picture of the game goes beyond the rosters or the players on the field with local ties.
It’s the end of an era in a storied rivalry between the U.S. and Mexico. Since the two countries are cohosting after this coming World Cup, they won’t have to qualify against each other for that. Even when qualifying competition returns after 2026, the expanded World Cup field is likely to make the process less stressful and thus less intense for both teams. But meanwhile, there’s tonight’s game in Cincinnati to serve as the latest and likely last of the many humdingers between the neighboring countries during a period when both were near the peak of their competitive powers, fighting it out over the only two automatic qualifying spots in Concacaf.
As big as the U.S.-Mexico game is, the rest of the soccer world isn’t stopping for it, so plan accordingly your viewing schedule. Also, for two Union players in particular, these World Cup qualifying games offer a special opportunity to make dreams come true for themselves and their countries.
Worth a look
UCLA has come calling before for Villanova coach Jay Wright, but, as his wife joked, Bel Air is kind of nice, but it ain’t Radnor.”
Penn State wants to win the turnover battle, and Ji’Ayir Brown is doing his part. The senior safety has six of the Nittany Lions’ 15 takeaways going into Saturday’s matchup with No. 9 Michigan.
Getting strong now — if you’ve ever run up the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps with the Rocky theme song playing in your earbuds, you, like many athletes, have been inspired by the film.