Carson Wentz was traded to the Indianapolis Colts this offseason, marking the true end of the Doug Pedersen era with the Philadelphia Eagles and the beginning of one led by newly hired head coach Nick Sirianni. The problem at the moment, however, is the latter is doing little to separate himself from the tumult that headlined the departure of the former. It was ultimately a quarterback controversy that led to the demise of Wentz (and Pedersen) in Philadelphia, with former second-round pick Jalen Hurts taking center stage in that clash. With Wentz gone, general manager Howie Roseman initially made it clear he believed Hurts is a franchise QB and could be built around, but hold that phone.
For not only is it rumored the Eagles attempted to move up in the 2021 NFL Draft to presumably take a swing at a QB, before ultimately deciding to trade with the Miami Dolphins to move out of the top 10, but Sirianni has now declared it much too soon to award Hurts the starting job. Instead, he wants an all-out competition at all positions, including between Hurts and newly signed veteran Joe Flacco -- who joined the team in free agency on a one-year deal.
"To name any starters at this particular time -- we've been working with these guys for two days, right?" Sirianni said in a Wednesday press conference, via NFL.com. "We've been working with these guys for two days and my biggest thing is competition."
At this point in his career, it's difficult to fathom Flacco being able to beat out Hurts for the role of QB1, but Sirianni wants to at least see if it's possible. The unlikelihood of it happening, however, simply adds fuel to speculation regarding the Eagles' reported failed attempt at moving up in the draft and makes you wonder if they'd be willing to trade back into the top 10 to get back in position for a top QB prospect to generate that much more of the competition Sirianni craves.
"Again, we've talked a little bit about my core values," he added. "[Competition] is my second core value. It's this team's second core value. Competition is a huge thing, and we're going to have competition at every position."
Sirianni went so far as to hammer home his competitive ways by admitting a new scouting tactic he's deployed in Philadelphia: playing the age-old game of Rock, Paper, Scissors with NFL Draft prospects. He believes it tells a lot about their level of competitive fire just ahead of their leap into the NFL.
"I played a few of them in Rock, Paper, Scissors," he admits. "Let's see how competitive you are. I'm competitive. I'm gonna be talking trash to them. Are you gonna talk trash back to me? ... When you compete with someone that's competitive, they're gonna go at you no matter what game you're playing."
It's unknown if Hurts might've lost to Sirianni in Rock, Paper, Scissors this offseason, and if Flacco took a victory that led to the pause on Hurts being named starter after being given the role during the drawn-out divorce from Wentz. But what's clear is anyone expecting things to begin smoothing out for the Eagles in 2021 should probably stop holding their breath.
It's not happening anytime soon.