Extra Points: Eagles Coach Playing Games with Draft Prospects
The Eagles are leaving no rock unturned in their preparations for next week's NFL draft.
They're also leaving no paper and scissors unturned.
In addition to examining 40-yard dash times, vertical leaps, and other measurables of potential draft picks, new Birds coach Nick Sirianni decided to use an extremely unorthodox method to test their competitiveness.
During their virtual interviews, he challenged them to games of Rock, Paper, Scissors.
"Competition is a huge thing with me," Sirianni said earlier this week during a Zoom press conference.
"It's my second core value (along with connection, accountability, having a smart football team and fundamentals). I wanted to see how competitive these guys are."
And you thought former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler was quirky.
Kapler, who just won two of three over the Phils as the San Francisco Giants manager, was known for some odd strategies and personal idiosyncrasies. On opening day in 2018, he yanked starter Aaron Nola after just 68 pitches and a 5-0 lead. Roman Quinn and Scott Kingery were used as pitchers in a blowout loss to the Mets later that year.
Then there was his unique way of eating ice cream. He's such a health nut that he would lick an ice cream cone, then spit the contents into a paper cup rather than swallow it to cut calories.
Sirianni made me spit out my coffee.
For those who are unfamiliar with the basic rules, rock smashes scissors, paper covers rock, scissors cut paper. There's also an advanced version made popular in "Big Bang Theory" that adds lizard and Spock, as in rock crushes lizard, lizard poisons Spock, Spock smashes scissors, scissors decapitates lizard, lizard eats paper, paper disproves Spock and Spock vaporizes rock.
Sirianni stuck to the traditional game.
"We didn't go earth-shattering on these games, right?" he said. "I played a couple of them at rock, paper, scissors. It 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?"
Maybe that was the problem with some previous Eagles drafts.
If only Andy Reid had played rock, paper, scissors with guard Danny Watkins, he would have seen his heart wasn't into football before taking him in the first round in 2011. Of course, Watkins would have fared better in Chutes and Ladders as an aspiring fireman.
Had Chip Kelly challenged Marcus Smith to a round of Candyland, he might not have taken the mild-mannered linebacker with the 26th overall pick in 2014.
Tackle Andre Dillard may not have been Doug Pederson's choice as their first-round selection in 2019 if they had squared off in Battleship before the draft.
You sunk my battleship.
Presumably, Sirianni and his assistants got a better read on this year's crop of draft-eligible players.
The Eagles have 11 picks and have a lot of holes to fill on their roster.
If not, they'll be caught between a rock and a hard place.
"It was awesome, because anything you compete at, when you compete with somebody that's competitive, they're going to go at you no matter what game you're playing," Sirianni said.
Based on that theory, my grandson, Hampton, should be the Eagles' first-round pick Thursday night.
He's only 5 years old, but routinely talks smack to me while playing Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Trouble, and the card game War.
Hampton's also been known to knock me off my game with jokes such as, "Where did the cows go last night? ... To the Mooo-vies."
Hampton's younger brother isn't quite as creative just yet. Graham, who turns 3 in two weeks, doesn't bother trying to distract me. If he's losing the game, he simply swats all the characters and the board off the table.
Let's see Patrick Surtain top that.