According to Carson Wentz, the preseason should go away. The mundane ritual of lining up for meaningless football in the middle of August just isn’t a necessity. The Eagles quarterback might take some heat for saying that, but it’s the same sentiment everyone in the NFL feels.
Wentz, working in his fourth NFL preseason with the Eagles, wasn’t trying to be controversial. In fact, he buffered his knock on the preseason by saying “preseason’s helpful.” However, if it could be avoided then Wentz would be fine with that.
“Preseason’s helpful, but I don’t think it’s a necessity,” Wentz told reporters after Tuesday’s practice. “No matter how much I’m out there I’ll be confident in Week 1. … I think a little bit is helpful. But it’s definitely never needed.”
Head coach Doug Pederson still hasn’t committed on whether Wentz will start Thursday night’s preseason opener against Tennessee. All indications are pointing to no on that front. Pederson also had some interesting insight on how he approaches these summer tune-up games. The coach noted the delicate balance between “how much rest and how much push” factors into all his decisions.
“I look at how our team practices during the week. Our starters, they get most of the reps in practice,” Pederson told reporters. “I’ve got to look at all that have and that’s why I haven’t really made a decision yet. Outside of the guys that are nicked and hurt and won’t play.
“But there’s a fine line between how much rest and how much push, and so that’s the thing we’re working through right now. But I’m taking all that into consideration going into this first game.”
The ‘Rest vs. Push’ Debate at Eagles Camp
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson will decide how much to play his starters on a gut feeling. It’s an internal struggle going on in every locker room in the NFL. If you play them too long and someone gets hurt, you’ll be labeled an idiot. Play them not long enough and they struggle in Week 1, you’ll be labeled an idiot. It’s really a lose-lose situation.
Pederson will stick to what he knows works for his team, a formula that resulted in the franchise’s first-ever Super Bowl in 2017. That usually means trotting his starters out for a series and then returning them to the safety of the bench. The thought is to try and get a field goal or a touchdown from the offense, maybe a three-and-out from the defense. That’s it.
“The way the starters have approached at least these first couple of games, they have been into it, they’ve been attentive,” Pederson said. “Offensively, we try to get at least a touchdown or three points in that opening drive and defensively, we try to get a three-and-out a couple times.
“I’ve been pleased with how they have started, and it’s also part of the emphasis, too, on how we start games during the regular season, being able to put your starters out there and start games fast and it’s all part of our process, part of our progression in preseason.”
Eagles-Titans: Game Information
When: Thursday, August 8, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
How to Watch: NBC10 (TV), 94WIP (Radio), FuboTV (Online), NFL Network (replay at 8 a.m. on August 10)
TV Announcers: Scott Graham (play-by-play), Ross Tucker (color), Dave Spadaro (sideline)
Series History: The Eagles lead the all-time series 7-5-0, with the Titans most recently winning 26-23 on September 30, 2018. The meeting prior to that went to the Eagles following a 43-24 blowout victory on November 23, 2014.
Odds: Eagles -4 (via Bovada.com)
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