The Philadelphia Eagles made some big improvements to their roster this offseason, adding players like wide receiver A.J. Brown, cornerback James Bradberry, edge-rusher Haason Reddick and rookies Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean, among others.
The major question for the team, though, is whether third-year quarterback Jalen Hurts can take the next step and lead the Eagles on a deep playoff run.
Hurts has his doubters, but don't be surprised if he tunes them out. As Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni told Albert Breer of The MMQB, the young quarterback has already proven to have a fairly unflappable demeanor:
"What I'm amazed with is he's just unfazed by things. It could be anything from a play in the game that doesn't go the way it's supposed to go to me yelling at him on the sideline or him scoring one of the biggest touchdowns of the year. And I know there's been a lot of good touchdowns in the history of Philadelphia, but that one he had against New Orleans, kids all over Philadelphia are gonna be imitating that run where he jukes the defensive end, goes and scores to put the game away, for the next 20 years.
"And he's unfazed by that. He's got the same demeanor. The stadium falls on him in Washington, he's unfazed. The guy hits him out of bounds in the first preseason game, the first drive; he's unfazed. So I think it's just who the man is. He's unfazed by things, which is what you want. You want a guy that doesn't ride the waves of the season. You want that with all your guys, but especially at that position."
Hurts led the Eagles to a 9-8 record and a playoff berth last season, his first as the full-time starter, throwing for 3,144 yards, 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions, completing 61.3 percent of his passes. Those numbers may be uninspiring, though he also rushed for 784 yards and 10 scores.
If the Eagles are going to surpass the Dallas Cowboys and win the NFC East, they'll need Hurts to make a leap. Just don't expect the pressure to bother him much.