Joe Flacco Has Interesting Answer to Eagles Starting QB Competition

Joe Flacco

Getty Joe Flacco

The Philadelphia Eagles have remained non-committal about whether Jalen Hurts will enter training camp as the undisputed starter at quarterback. There are reports that team owner Jeffrey Lurie views Hurts as the future of the franchise, but no one has stated it publicly.

So when the team inked veteran quarterback Joe Flacco to a one-year deal this week, the talk soon turned to what his role might be. This isn’t some slacker they picked up off the street. He won a Super Bowl MVP award in 2013 and has racked up 40,931 yards and 224 touchdowns in 13 NFL seasons.

On Thursday, Flacco met with the Philly media to discuss why he signed with the Eagles and what his role would be in 2021. He sounded like a team-first player who was ready to embrace mentoring Hurts, contradicting reports that he was unwilling to groom Drew Lock (Denver Broncos) and Sam Darnold (New York Jets) in previous stops.

“I’m here to do what’s best for our team and help us win football games,” Flacco said. “And the thing I’ve said so far is that I think competition in any room, and on any team, is something that brings out the best and really that’s what I’m here to do. A football team is not one or two guys. It’s a bunch of guys doing what they’re supposed to do and quarterback rooms, that’s how they are in general.”

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Coming for the Starting Job in Philly?

Flacco was asked if he was competing for the starting job in Philly no less than 20 times during his 15-minute introductory press conference. And in a myriad of ways, from whether he had talked about it with either new head coach Nick Sirianni or Hurts himself.

Flacco, poised and calm each time, reiterated that he’s here to help the Eagles win football games. He’s just another player on the 53-man roster. The New Jersey native revealed that he’s texted with Hurts and both men are “excited” about working together.

“Not even really looking at it in that way at this point,” Flacco said about starting. “Like I said, I really just want to come in and your goal as a football player is to show people around you that you can play football. And I don’t care what level of playing that is. Whether you’re the first string, second string, third string guy on the team, you still want to prove to everybody on the football team that you can play football and that you deserve a spot on this team in some capacity and that’s really what my job is.”

Please don’t call the 36-year-old quarterback old, though. Despite being older than both his offensive coordinator (Shane Steichen is 35) and his quarterbacks coach (Brian Johnson is 34), Flacco wants to be treated like one of the young guys.

“It’s going out on the field and proving to everybody that I’m not just some old guy that’s been around the league, you know, is coming to a new team,” Flacco said. “My job is to prove to the guys that I deserve some respect and I can play this game at a high level.”

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Growing Up Eagles Fan in New Jersey

Much has been made over Flacco growing up as a Philadelphia Eagles fan in nearby Audubon, NJ. He joked about receiving a flood of text messages from family and friends on his homecoming. The ticket requests are already flowing faster than the Schuylkill River. Flacco’s ready for all of it, the positives and negatives of playing in a sports-crazed town like Philly.

“Listen, I grew up in this town and i know what it’s like,” Flacco said. “There can be a lot of positives, there can be a lot of negatives about that. Just knowing what we’re like around here. I just anticipate it being a lot of fun. I’m really excited about it.”

He mentioned emulating Fred Barnett and Keith Byars as a youngster throwing the pigskin around with his buddies in the backyard. He famously owned an old-school Eagles T-shirt and wore it proudly as a pre-teen. Now he’s ready to put on the real midnight green jersey after going 2-1 against the Eagles in his career.

“I was always excited to play in this city and on this field, always excited to play against the Eagles,” Flacco said. “I always felt, you know, it meant a little bit more. So now I have the opportunity to put on this jersey and I really feel like it’s going to be mean a lot and hopefully I represent it well.”

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