Given the opportunity to declare Jalen Hurts the current Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback, coach Nick Sirianni and GM Howie Roseman declined.
The first-time head coach cited the early offseason process and desire for competition at every position as the reason he wouldn't declare Hurts the starter just over a week before the 2021 NFL Draft.
"To name any starters at this particular time -- we've been working with these guys for two days, right?" Sirianni said. "We've been working with these guys for two days and my biggest thing is competition."
The coach noted that he wouldn't name starters at any position without competition, including the QB spot.
"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. We're going to have competition at every position."
To underscore his desire for competition at every level, Sirianni noted that he played games of rock-paper-scissors with draft prospects to measure their level of competitiveness.
The Carson Wentz trade paved the way for Hurts to be the starter in 2021. Philly trading back in the draft to No. 12 overall from the sixth spot in the draft further underscored the likelihood that a first-round signal-caller wouldn't be in the cards this season. All signs indicate Hurts will be the starter, even if the Eagles aren't ready to make any declarations.
Roseman noted he traded back from Nos. 6 to 12 because "flexibility creates opportunity." Getting a first-rounder next year added future prospects.
Unless something dramatic happens in the draft, it's unlikely one of the top signal-callers will land in Philly. At that point, it will be easier for the Eagles to declare Hurts as the starter openly.
Even if it becomes crystal clear Hurts is the front-runner in any competition with veteran Joe Flacco, we'd still expect Sirianni to lean on his competition mantra crutch. Coaches will cling to their well-worn clichés to the end.