It turns out we didn’t have to wait until Nick Sirianni’s first press conference as the Philadelphia Eagles’ head coach, which is scheduled for noon on Friday (January 29), to hear him weigh in on the team’s quarterback situation.
Sirianni was asked about the topic during a 17-minute interview with Dave Spadaro on PhiladelphiaEagles.com. Here’s a full transcript of the exchange:
SPADARO: So, Nick, we all want to know — and you’re going to be asked about this a ton — how do you feel about Carson Wentz, Jalen Hurts, and how much was the quarterback position discussed during the interview process?
SIRIANNI: I feel great. You look at a lot of rosters and they don’t have any quarterbacks that they feel really good about. We have two. That’s unbelievable, to have two quarterbacks that have played and have played well.
I mean, I couldn’t have watched more tape on Carson Wentz in 2018 when Frank [Reich] and I got back together and we were installing our offense with the Indianapolis Colts. We watched a lot of Chargers tape and we watched a lot of Philadelphia Eagles tape from 2017. And man, what an impressive player. He’s got so much talent and, from what I’ve heard from everybody, great person. And, you know, good talent, good person, it takes your game to really high levels. So, so excited.
And then Jalen got his snaps last year and was able to play last year. And he played good football in meaningful games.
So, not a lot of people have that luxury of having two quarterbacks having experience. And, so, super excited to be able to work with them because obviously we all know how important that position is to a football team.
SPADARO: During the interview, was that a big topic of conversation? Did you present your view of Carson and Jalen to Jeffrey Lurie?
SIRIANNI: Yes. We talked about that. We talked about how we attack defenses, really. Just the overall thought of what the offense is, how we would use players, and different variations like that. Did we talk about quarterbacks? Absolutely. But we talked about every position and how we valued that position and how we would use that position.
Ah, Nick. I’m sure you know how the old saying goes: ‘If you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterback.’
I’m quite sure people are going to have their own interpretations of his answer. And, for some, it’ll be based on what they want to glean from it.
My takeaway is that Sirianni didn’t come out and definitively commit to either player as the Eagles’ undisputed starting quarterback. He was more effusive about Wentz and spoke about him longer than he did about Hurts.
Does this mean the Eagles will have a quarterback competition? Sirianni will likely be asked that question directly on Friday. So far, it seems like a training camp battle is not out of the realm of possibility.
And it really shouldn’t be given how poorly Wentz played last year. I mean, the Los Angeles Rams are reportedly set to have a training camp battle this summer between Jared Goff, who wasn’t nearly as bad as Wentz, and John Wolford, who isn’t nearly as promising as a prospect as Hurts.
Is Wentz going to be game for a competition, though? That he reportedly “feels a little bit off in his relationship with the entire organization” makes you wonder. And he doesn’t appear to be answering the question himself anytime soon given how he’s mostly gone silent (aside from an advertisement he tweeted on Thursday).
We’ll see if Siranni shines any more light on the Eagles’ quarterback situation on Friday.
Some other things that stood out from Sirianni’s interview:
- The new head coach confirmed he WILL be calling plays for the Eagles’ offense. Not really a surprise but noteworthy considering it’s a responsibility he’s never held before.
- Sirianni said he plans to be “very involved” with the quarterback position. “You wanna talk about a guy [Frank Reich] who knows the quarterback position? That’s the guy right there. I feel like I got my master’s, my doctorate degree in quarterback play not only from Frank Reich, a great mentor to me but also from a quarterback like Philip Rivers who played 17 years in the NFL. Yes, I was able to help him become a better player but in many respects, he was able to make me a better coach.”
- Sirianni really stressed competition and accountability as two core principles. If that’s more than just coachspeak, I don’t see how the Eagles merely hand the starting job to Wentz.
- When asked about scheme, he said the following: “It’s all about who the player is and what they do well. […] What do they do best? That’s what you want to do.”
- Sirianni confirmed the Eagles’ new defensive coordinator hire. “You’ve got a really high energy coordinator in Jonathan Gannon. And his excitement, and his energy, and his juice level, and his passion for the game is contagious.”
- When asked about involvement in personnel decisions, he talked about having “all hands on deck” and valuing “everybody’s input.” So, more of the “collaboration” line the Eagles love to use when we all know it’s really Jeffrey Lurie and Howie Roseman ultimately pulling the strings.