Eagles coach Nick Sirianni played rock-paper-scissors with draft prospects to test competitiveness

Liz Roscher
·3-min read
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It has been a tumultuous offseason for the Philadelphia Eagles. Head coach Doug Pederson was fired. Former franchise quarterback Carson Wentz was shipped off to the Indianapolis Colts. General manager Howie Roseman traded back from No. 6 to No. 12 in the 2021 NFL draft. 

That's a lot already, but it seems like the fun (or "fun") is just beginning. 

New head coach Nick Sirianni, vice president of player personnel Andy Weidl and Roseman gave a news conference Wednesday about the upcoming draft, and it contained a moment so weird that no one quite knew how to react. 

Sirianni played rock-paper-scissors with prospects (yes, really)

During the news conference, Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer asked Sirianni what kind of player is a Nick Sirianni player. Sirianni spoke about finding out how much draft prospects loves football and how competitive they are, qualities he says are as important as talent. 

So how did Sirianni gauge competitiveness? He and his coaches played games like rock-paper-scissors during interviews over Zoom. (Eagles fans, you may want to find somewhere to sit if you watch this clip, or you should position yourselves so you fall onto something soft if you faint.)

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“And if you guys are wondering, I’ll tell ya. I think some of you guys are wondering. We didn’t go earth shattering on these games. I played a couple of them in rock-paper-scissors. Right? That was as easy as that? Rock, paper, scissors. Let’s see how competitive you are. I’m competitive. I’m going to be talking trash to them. Did you talk trash back to me? Jeopardy. There's different ways to do it."

To say that no one expected that would be an understatement. But it didn't stop there. Sirianni suggested that he and Bowen play rock-paper-scissors together when they finally meet in person. Bowen barely knew what to say. 

"All right. That would be great," Bowen said in a tone that sounded like it would not be great and he'd be doing no such thing. 

Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni watches from the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni has a creative way to test the competitiveness of draft prosepcts. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Sirianni won't name starters at any position, including QB

The news conference wasn't just about the games Sirianni and his coaches played with draft prospects. He and Roseman were asked about the status of Jalen Hurts, and whether he'll be the starting quarterback for the upcoming season. 

Sirianni and Roseman deflected, choosing to frame their answers in a larger context. They wouldn't name any starters at any position.

“To name any particular starters at this particular time — we’ve been working with these guys for two days,” Sirianni said. “My biggest thing is competition.”

“We’re going to evaluate every player,” Roseman said. “Nothing is off the table.”

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