Competition at every position has been Nick Sirianni’s mantra since arriving in South Philadelphia. And he wasn’t willing to budge from that opinion after the first day of rookie minicamp.
The Philadelphia Eagles’ new head coach was asked again about the quarterback spot. Jalen Hurts and Joe Flacco remain the two top names on the depth chart. So, which guy is going to be the starter under center in Week 1?
“You guys won’t leave this one alone, will you? No, I mean, it’s competition at every position,” Sirianni told reporters on Friday. “Competition is great. Competition elevates everybody’s play. Everybody’s play. If you come in and you have somebody that’s competing with you every single day, it makes you better.”
Sirianni went position by position to emphasize his point, naming himself and offensive coordinator Shane Steichen as other guys fighting for their jobs. It’s a good strategy to cultivate coming off the guarantees given to Carson Wentz over the last few years.
“This is all part of the strategy of we want everyone to feel that they’re competing for their jobs. I’m competing for my job,” Sirianni said. “Shane [Steichen] is competing for his job. [Jonathan] Gannon is competing for his job.
“Like every single day, there are so many people that want to do what we do in the NFL, right? So we’ve got to compete — we’ve got to fight — everybody on this team has got to fight every single day to get better and to compete, and competition is never a bad thing.”
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Playing to Hurts’ Strengths, Athleticism
While Sirianni refuses to officially name Hurts the starter, it’s only a matter of time. He complimented the second-year quarterback for being able to extend plays and move around in the pocket. The Eagles plan to tailor their offense to the former Heisman Trophy candidate’s mobility and athleticism.
“Jalen has done a heck of a job learning the offense. I’ll say that. He’s impressive in there. He’s really got a good control of it,” Sirianni said. “And Jalen has just done a good job of taking the plays that have been taught to him, and he can really rattle off exactly what he’s supposed to do on every single play. It’ll be exciting to get on the field with him and see him do it physically.”
Sirianni wants to get the most out of all his players and play to everyone’s strengths. It’s not something exclusive to just Hurts.
“I don’t believe that that’s good coaching when you just say, here’s our offense and let’s go,” Sirianni said. “Good offensive football and good defensive football and good special teams football for that matter is adapting to the players you have and playing to their strengths.”
Impressive Rookie Free Agent QB
There are only two quarterbacks with guaranteed jobs on the roster right now. And speculation remains rampant that the team could sign a veteran free agent — Alex Smith is one intriguing option out there — and there was a report they turned down Nick Foles in a trade.
The Eagles signed former Wake Forest quarterback Jamie Newman as an undrafted free agent on Friday to heat up the competition at camp. He threw for 3,959 yards in college, with 826 rushing yards and 45 total touchdowns.
“Jamie is an impressive — he’s got great stature. He’s a big man,” Sirianni said of the 6-foot-3, 235-pounder. “As we watch tape on him, too, he’s hard to bring down. He’s a really good athlete, hard to bring down. He’s really sharp in the classroom. You can see why he was successful at Wake Forest when he was there. You know, he’s got qualities that you want to be able to develop and so good first day for Jamie.”