Cam Newton was a fan of Jalen Hurts from afar — with Hurts the same. The two quarterbacks finally got to meet during the Philadelphia Eagles’ joint practice with the New England Patriots on Monday, and will square off against each other during the week.
Thursday may be the only opportunity for Hurts to go up against Newton in a game. The Patriots quarterback embraces the opportunity seeing a player he’s heard a lot about over the years get the chance at his own NFL glory.
“Hurts is my little bro man,” Newton said Monday. “There are a lot of guys I admire from afar. Just to see the state of the NFL have so much athleticism at the quarterback position. It’s something to smile about.
“Jalen is a person I’ve followed through college, hearing so much about him really though high school in the Houston area — with me going to JuCo (junior college). For me to see him out here today, it’s just always gonna be love between us.”
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Hurts has looked up to Newton over the years, and their games are eerily similar. Hurts and Newton are built like fullbacks that can run the football exceptionally well. Newton has the NFL record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (70) and second place isn’t relatively close (Otto Graham with 44). Newton’s 5,398 rushing yards trail only Michael Vick (6,109) for the most by a quarterback in NFL history.
Newton has inaccuracy issues — like Hurts — but was exceptional early in his career and culminated that with the league MVP award and Super Bowl appearance in his fifth season. Injuries have slowed Newton down, but he’s still a legend among the young quarterbacks in the game.
“I’ve had communication with him just from an older athlete, obviously he’s a legendary player from the things he’s done in college and in the league,” Hurts said. “I watched him a lot growing up. So being able to talk to him, being able to have a relationship with him and meet him in person for the first time was great.”
Hurts will look to pick Newton’s brain over the coming days. Already a leader on the field, the Eagles will certainly be pleased with Hurts if he can reach the level of Newton’s prime.