Nick Sirianni and Jalen Hurts fend off Quincy Williams shot, Jets’ Robert Saleh has very different mindset

PHILADELPHIA — Jalen Hurts couldn’t even dwell on the blow that had the potential for disastrous effects. The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback just moved on to the next play, a short pass to Miles Sanders for an 8-yard gain as the first-team offense continued to move upfield.

For a preseason game, New York Jets linebacker Quincy Williams put a number on Hurts — full speed as Hurts went over the line on a third-and-5 that resulted in no win. The damage was done once Williams hit Hurts on top of the helmet, resulting in a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down.

The result could have been much worse for the Eagles, especially after seeing the reaction on the other side of the pitch from Nick Sirianni. The Eagles head coach shouted obscenities about the game, not even knowing if his starting quarterback could play another game Friday night.

“I wasn’t mad at Coach Saleh. I was mad at the situation,” Sirianni said after the Eagles’ 24-21 loss to the Jets. “I was more angry with the player than Coach Saleh. Coach Saleh is a great guy. I have so much respect for him. It was just emotions from the game. I was just defending Jalen. I don’t I will never apologize for defending my players. I should have handled it a little better than I did.”

Hurts completed his next two passes after the hit, capping a 6-on-6 night that he finished with 80 yards, a touchdown pass and a perfect passer rating. The Eagles quarterback also wasn’t thrilled to discuss the hit, not after the way he played in his only streak of play.

“I’m very happy to talk about this success if it’s the biggest takeaway of the night,” Hurts said sarcastically. “You definitely don’t want to come here in these games and take hits, let alone a late hit like that. But it happened.

“I’m not tripping over this. It happens. I’m healthy. I’m fine. I got up and played the next play.”

The Eagles were upset at the time, but brushed it off and moved on. On the sidelines, Saleh had a few words for Williams – a starter he plans to play for New York this year.

The Jets defense ran out of bounds, but Williams extended the drive with his excessive out-of-bounds shot.

“Extremely awful of Quincy, and he knows that – he knows better,” Saleh said. “And those are the plays that Quincy needs to get out of his game if he’s going to be the linebacker that I think he can be, that we all think he can be. It’s one thing to make a mistake in the game, it’s another thing to make a mistake that leads to points, touchdowns.

“It’s a good practice, we’re off the court, Jalen is a phenomenal quarterback, and to stop them hold them on a basket after giving up an explosive play – pretty good performance for the first practice. Then , for this to happen extends the drive, any time you extend the drive in this way it will likely lead to bigger points.

“So Quincy knows that, but at the same time, those are the plays he has to take from his game if he’s going to be the player we think he can be.”

The penalty ended up costing the Jets dearly, as Hurts found Dallas Goedert for a 22-yard touchdown pass three plays later to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead after the first practice. The hit could also have cost the Eagles dearly, and the organization was lucky that wasn’t the case.

There’s a reason Sirianni isn’t playing his starters much in the preseason to begin with.

“We will never be afraid to do anything,” Sirianni said. “You’re going to get hit. He got hit late out of bounds. Well, what’s to stop someone from hitting him in the pocket? It’s football and it won’t play into our decision. “

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