Once upon a time, Nick Saban replaced multi-year starting quarterback Jalen Hurts with youngster Tua Tagovailoa; he never looked back, either.
Fast forward to 2022, both former Alabama stars are starting quarterbacks in the NFL. Hurts will lead the Eagles in their attempt to win the NFC East while Tagovailoa tries to help the Dolphins meet expectations.
There's a big group of NFL fans and analysts who expect Tagovailoa to have a breakout year. That may prove to be true. However, ESPN NFL reporter Sal Paolantonio thinks it's Hurts who will have the better season.
“Think about this..[Jalen Hurts] is in the same offense with the same offensive coaches for 2 years in row for the first time since he was 16 years old,” Paolantonio said. “He goes to California and gets 3 or 4 weeks of really good training on his footwork and mechanics and it’s really showed…He’s delivering the ball definitely with more velocity and accuracy, now he just has to make quick decisions.”
He adds, “I think it’ll be Jalen Hurts. Tua’s going to be good. There are so many quarterbacks that are going to be in ‘prove it’ years.”
Some think Jalen Hurts is a dark horse to win the NFL MVP. Only time will tell.
Tagovailoa, meanwhile, simply needs to meet expectations for fans to be satisfied.