Whether you’re an Eagles fan or not, anyone who watches football knew Philadelphia benched their franchise quarterback Carson Wentz last season. Though many blame it on poor performance, there are many reasons why Wentz “failed.”
For starters, the front office didn’t properly build around him, play calls were senseless, and injury depleted the team. Rather than plans being black and white, each week became fifty shades more confusing. The staff didn’t have his back, and rather than mending things, resentment formed, and relationships deteriorated.
Wentz may have left Philadelphia, passing the job over to second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts, but are the Eagles bound to burn that bridge too?
QUARTERBACK COMPETITION 2.0
Let’s rewind. It’s 2020, Week 13. The Eagles are playing the Green Bay Packers, and Carson Wentz gets benched. Jalen Hurts takes the field in the third quarter, finishing 5 for 12 for 109 yards and his first career touchdown. The Eagles lose 30-16.
The following day, former head coach Doug Pederson tells the media that he doesn’t know who the starting quarterback will be for Week 14, despite saying that pulling Wentz would be “sending the wrong message” two weeks prior. Then a “quarterback competition” ensues.
The Eagles won one of Hurts’ four starts finishing out the season, but the Wentz vs. Hurts topic was far from over. Fans continued to wonder how the 2021 season would play out. However, once Pederson was fired, and Wentz was traded, Philadelphia was sure they had their answer.
Then the Eagles go and sign veteran quarterback Joe Flacco and rather than stating he’ll be a back-up, new head coach Nick Sirianni calls for another competition.
Last Wednesday, Hurts met with the media for the first time since the 2020 season ended. He stated, “Everybody gotta go to work. For me, I know rent is due every day. It’s always been that way for me. I always had a get-better mentality every day, grow every day, be a better leader every day, be a better quarterback every day. When that rent is due, I don’t plan on missing no payments… I know I’m not above anything with competition or football IQ.”
WHEN IS ENOUGH ENOUGH?
Though Hurts may not mind the competition, there comes a point in time when a decision must be made. The Eagles are now halfway through their offseason, making fans question how much more Hurts needs to show the team before he’s announced as the starter.
Unlike Wentz’s situation, the Eagles have upgraded the offense this year, beginning at the wide receiver position after drafting Alabama’s DeVonta Smith. The team will also enter the 2021 season much healthier than last, and for the quarterback’s sake, a new QB coach, Brian Johnson, was hired.
Though Philadelphia is on the mend, confidence must be restored. By not choosing a starting quarterback, they are telling their team that neither candidate stands out just yet. The Eagles are missing the opportunity to say, “This is who our guy is; these are the guys we are going to put around him, and these are the plays we are going to carry out.”
Only time will tell if Philadelphia’s approach at back-seat decision-making will have the same outcome.