Buried in a series of quotes complimenting Carson Wentz was a slight knock. The “unbelievable playmaker” needs to be more consistent.
The Eagles quarterback had the seventh-best completion percentage (63.9) among signal-callers with at least 500 passing attempts in 2019. (Wentz was ranked 17th overall). For his career, Wentz has gone 1,311 for 2,055 (63.8) while throwing for 14,191 yards and 97 touchdowns.
However, Wentz’s yards-per-attempt (6.7) last year was his lowest total since 2016 (6.2). It might be nit-picking, but one certain Hall-of-Fame quarterback — and Super Bowl champion — felt a need to point out Wentz’s struggles as an “every-down passer.”
“The bottom line is I don’t think he’s consistent enough as an every-down passer to get to where his talent level can be,” former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner told The Inquirer‘s Paul Domowitch. “It starts with technique. His technique gets away from him so often that he relies too much on his arm. And that’s why you see him [being] wickedly inconsistent.”
The good news is it’s an easy fix.
“It’s just the processing and understanding,” Warner said. “Getting the ball out on time.”
Wentz Can’t ‘Live in the World’ of Special Plays
There has been much ado about Carson Wentz’s inability to get the ball out quickly and find his check-down receiver — thank you, Alshon Jeffery — but those perceived deficiencies didn’t stop him from posting one of the greatest seasons for a quarterback in Eagles’ franchise history in 2019.
He set single-season records for passing yards (4,039), completions (388) and became the first Eagles quarterback to throw at least one touchdown in the team’s 16 regular-season games.
Impressive numbers … but there’s room for improvement, according to Kurt Warner.
“Even the year he would’ve been the league MVP , he wasn’t overly consistent that year,” Warner told The Inquirer‘s Paul Domowitch. “But he was consistent in making crazy plays when things broke down.”
“But I just don’t think you can live in that world, no matter how talented you are. Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, any of those guys. You can’t live in the world of trying to make special plays every week and think that’s going to carry your team.”
Eagles Relying on New Quarterback Whisperer
Rich Scangarello. Remember that name. The Eagles hired him to be their new “senior offensive assistant” but it sure sounds like he’ll be the team’s de facto offensive coordinator.
Scangarello has worked with top-level quarterbacks like Matt Ryan and Jimmy Garoppolo, and was largely credited for developing Drew Lock last year in Denver.
“Rich doesn’t get enough credit, in my opinion,” Garoppolo told ESPN in 2017. “He’s a smart coach and he makes it a lot easier for me to go through my reads when he explains things how I understand them.”
This year, Scangarello will be tasked with fixing Carson Wentz’s mechanics and maybe changing his mindset. Yes, the Eagles want Wentz to be a pocket passer but they need him to be himself.
That means using his legs and throwing on the run. The latter is when Wentz is at his best and most dangerous. It’s something he brought out in Lock last year in Denver, especially in effectively utilizing bootlegs.
“Coach Scangarello is 100 percent the man,” Lock told reporters last July, via Broncos Wire. “I love that guy. He teaches in such an awesome way. He’ll let you go out there and make a mistake and not rip you for that mistake unless you go back out there and do it again.”
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