The Philadelphia Eagles enter 2021 with Nick Sirianni as their new boat captain.
He has yet to determine who will be his first mate.
Sirianni was introduced Friday as the new head coach of the Eagles and almost immediately met questions about the quarterback position, the No. 1 issue for Philadelphia in 2021 and perhaps beyond. Instead of providing a concrete answer, he expressed a need for time to consider every factor.
“I took this job because of what a great organization this is. The plan here, is that we have to go through a lot of things here,” Sirianni explained. “We’re getting our coaching staff in place, we’re getting that in place so we can get the best people in here as coaches. What we need to do is evaluate the entire roster. We have a lot of things to go through with these next couple weeks of evaluating the entire roster at every position. Quarterback, wide receiver, defensive back — that is what we will be diving into here.
“We have two quarterbacks in Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts that are top notch quarterbacks. A lot of teams don’t have any, and so I’m really excited to work with both of them.”
Wentz had a dreadful 2020 before he was benched in favor of rookie Hurts, who showed signs of promise but didn’t receive enough playing time for anything close to a full evaluation. Sirianni will have to rely on the tape to make his own judgements before heading into the offseason with a better idea of who might be his guy come September.
In the meantime, Sirianni hasn’t wasted time in establishing a rapport with his new players. The coach said he’s spoken with both Wentz and Hurts and had “good conversations,” adding that he was impressed by Hurts’ college tape and expressing excitement over the opportunity to work with both of them.
“I’m going to learn a lot about them in football,” Sirianni said. “I know I’m going to learn a lot about them in football this next week, but I wanted to know a little more about each player that I’ve talked to personally. Then when I look at the tape, and I look forward to this, is being honest and having honest and open conversations with each one of them on what I saw on the tape and how we can improve.”
Though he did a solid job of working around directly addressing the franchise’s most pivotal question Friday, Sirianni couldn’t avoid being pressed on it again. He remained firm in his response, though, when asked point blank if Wentz would be back with the Eagles in 2021.
“I can’t answer that. Again, evaluating everything,” Sirianni said. “Again, there’s a lot of things to go through. Evaluating everything.”
The Eagles are at a potential crossroads under center, which has been discussed plenty already.
Philadelphia is somewhat beholden to Wentz because of his current contract, which includes a cap hit of $34.67 million this season and a dead cap number that is significantly higher at $59.2 million. The Eagles head into this potential point of decision with Sirianni in charge of on-field operations after a process that owner Jeffrey Lurie touted as one that started with 25 candidates and ended with the Eagles identifying Sirianni as their choice as the “best football leader” for their team.
“It became apparent that this is a very special communicator,” Lurie said. “Somebody who connects with everybody.”
Sirianni will need those communication skills to navigate potentially rough waters under center in his first season with the Eagles.
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