One of the biggest takeaways from Nick Sirianni’s intro press conference — besides the overblown concern about his nerves — was his noncommittal approach to talking about the Eagles’ quarterback position. Philadelphia’s new head coach said he “can’t say” if Carson Wentz will at least be on the roster in 2021.
And so the intrigue about what the Eagles will do at the most important position in pro sports continues.
Naturally, the quarterback topic came up once again when Sirianni talked to the SportsRadio 94WIP Morning Show with Angelo Cataldi on Monday. Here’s everything that was said:
CATALDI: The big issue in the minds of these fans — I’ve been doing this 31 years, I know that — is your situation at quarterback. Could you give us a sense right now of what’s going to go into how you handle two very talented guys?
SIRIANNI: Yeah. We’ve watched a little bit of tape at this point now. So, we’re into that process of evaluating those players and I think we have really good talent evaluators. And one of the things that’s important to me as I’m building this staff is: can they get the player better? Once we get a player in the door, can that coach get him better with the fundamentals and technique? And can they help us get the right player in the door by evaluating that talent? And those are really the things. Can we evaluate talent well to get the right players in the door for us? And can we develop that talent once we get those players in the door? The first part of this is getting the coaches in there to help with that process. Yes, I’m watching a little bit of tape and I’m coming up with some thoughts here, but it’s a group effort. It’s Shane Steichen coming up with his thoughts and I know he can evaluate talent. And it’s Kevin Patullo and Brian Johnson coming up with their thoughts. And as we gather those thoughts — and this is every position, Angelo — it’s every single position that we have, evaluating our thoughts on all these guys, going through a thorough evaluation, getting the right guys in there, and then the coming days, weeks, months, figuring out what we have on this team and how it fits what we want to do. And so just going through that process right now.
CATALDI: Nick, in your initial conversation with Dave Spadaro on the [Eagles’] website, you really were emphatic about competition at positions. You think that brings the best out of players. But you were not ready to say that about our quarterbacks. Are you ready to say it now, and if not, where are you right now on just getting the two guys to compete and see who’s better?
SIRIANNI: Yeah, you know, a core value, like you just mentioned, is competition. And that’s competition at quarterback, that’s competition with the wide receivers, that’s competition with the DBs, that’s competition everywhere. And so it’s just — everybody is going to compete. I’m going to compete with Shane on things. And we’re going to compete in the building with coaches. And everybody’s going to compete. I just believe when you compete and people are competing, it’s like — competing, right, is like, if we’re going to run a play in a game. Let me just use this illustration. If we’re going to run a play in a game, we’ve got to practice that play. We’ve got to feel good about calling that play because we practiced it over and over again. Well, it’s the same thing in competition. Because we’re going to have to compete against Washington, and because we’re going to have to compete against Dallas, and because we’re going to have to compete against the Giants, we’ve got to practice that. Everybody. And so, competition is the core value that we’re going to use for every single position that we have here with the Philadelphia Eagles.
CATALDI: And that would include Hurts versus Wentz? They will compete for the starting job?
SIRIANNI: Yeah. Everybody. Everybody in this situation competing. Players, coaches, every position.
It’s important to note the distinction between Competition At Quarterback versus A Quarterback Competition. Sirianni didn’t outright say Wentz and Jalen Hurts will be splitting first-team reps this offseason. Then again, he can’t seriously preach about competition as a core value and then simply hand the starting job to either player with no questions asked.
If both quarterbacks are back in training camp, a quarterback competition would only be fair. Wentz played like the worst starting quarterback in the NFL last year and Hurts still has much to prove in the NFL.
Still to be determined if that’s the route the Eagles will actually take, though.