It was one series, more of a decoy than anything else. Maybe just another way for the Eagles to put some confusing film out to torment opposing defenses. But, yes, Carson Wentz did line up in the backfield for a few hand-offs during Tuesday’s practice. He looked extremely comfortable, too.
Wentz started out wide left and then slowly crept over behind the quarterback for some work down in the red zone. Wentz never actually touched the ball as all three backup quarterbacks — Nate Sudfeld, Clayton Thorson, Cody Kessler — took turns faking a hand-off into Wentz’s breadbasket and then throwing the ball away.
Don’t read too much into it, even the assistant coaches were laughing. For the record, Wentz didn’t look nervous at all in the split second he was lined up in the backfield. The drill went on for an extended period at the end of practice during individual position drills.
Carson Wentz Not Done Scrambling
There is an overwhelming consensus that Wentz needs to protect himself better, meaning not scrambling and putting himself in harm’s way. It’s all well and good to say out loud, but doing that might alter Wentz’s biggest strength — and that’s extending plays with his legs. Eagles head coach Doug Pederson doesn’t expect that to change in 2019.
“Well, there were a lot of broken plays where he scrambled,” Pederson said of Wentz’s ability to convert third downs. “I mean, when I was in KC with Alex Smith, he’d convert a 3rd and 15 just by running. Just a broken play. Some of that’s that. Some of it is Carson’s athleticism, just a big, strong, physical guy just making a play for you and extending drives.”
The DeSean Jackson Connection Returns
Wentz looked a bit erratic on a few throws during Tuesday’s practice despite connecting on 10 straight passes at the outset. He hasn’t been able to develop strong chemistry with rookie wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and overthrew him on three deep balls, including one that was intercepted by Sidney Jones.
Of course, he’ll get credit for a long touchdown toss to Arcega-Whiteside even though the ball was deflected into his hands off a lucky bounce. Sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than accurate. According to NJ Advance Media, Wentz finished the day going 22-of-29 with one touchdown and one interception.
The bigger takeaway was that Wentz continues to click with speedster DeSean Jackson in their first season together. For the second straight day, the Wentz-to-Jackson connection sent fantasy football owners into a feeding frenzy. These two look unstoppable, as evidenced by a 40-yard strike during 11-on-11 drills. Wentz targeted Jackson six times in the 96-degree heat.
“It’s great to see out on the practice field, and they spent some time even after practice kind of getting some throws, and that’s what it takes,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. “You don’t develop chemistry overnight. We start obviously in the offseason and progress through training camp and try to get them and all the skill positions together and try to be on the same page.”
“It’s different playing with a guy like him,” Wentz said of Jackson. “It’s definitely exciting at the same time and that’s why it just takes a lot of communication. Chemistry grows in a million different ways,” Wentz said. “Physical reps are second to none, but just talking through everything … I feel in a really good spot with him.”
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