Carson Wentz Addresses NFL 100 Snub, Eagles QB on ‘Knowing When to Say Die’

Carson Wentz

Getty Eagles franchise QB Carson Wentz is out to prove his doubters wrong in his fifth year in the NFL.

Carson Wentz has been hearing the doubters for a long time. So when players around the league snubbed him on the NFL Top 100, the Eagles quarterback turned the other ear.

Wentz, who saw 13 signal-callers get named better than him, told reporters on Thursday that he wasn’t losing any sleep over the controversial slight in one breath. In the next breath, the 27-year-old seemed to indicate that he would let his play do the talking in 2020. Wentz wasn’t taking names Pat Mahomes-style, but he certainly has a tiny chip on his shoulder.

“I usually don’t get too caught up in that stuff. When I see it, I usually wish I didn’t see it or hear about it but you can always use everything and anything just as a little bit of extra motivation, so that is what it is, it’s voted on by the players, it is what it is … I’m not going to cause that to let me lose sleep or anything, but I do look forward to going out this year and showing what I can do with my teammates.”

Why not? His teammates are much improved. The defending NFC East champions totally stocked their depleted wide-receiver cupboard with speed threats all over the field. The Eagles get DeSean Jackson back from injury, along with top draft picks Jalen Reagor (first round), John Hightower (fifth round) and Quez Watkins (sixth round). It’s a complete 180 from throwing to spare parts and practice-squad players, so pardon Wentz’s excitement over his highly combustible new offense.

“I’d love to see more explosive plays,” Wentz said. “We had a lot of long drives [in 2019] and obviously getting DeSean back, and some of these younger guys, can lend itself to some more explosive plays. Maybe we always don’t have to put together 15-play drives … but if that’s what we got to do, that’s what we got to do.”

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Wentz Working on Pocket Presence, Knowing ‘When to Say Die’

Wentz has traditionally set goals for himself heading into each season. Last year, the quarterback talked about getting more efficient on third down. Well, he was 94-of-164 for 1,038 yards on third down with 11 touchdowns, while picking up 74 first downs for a 96.0 rating. Mission accomplished.

This year, Wentz stated that he wants to take better care of the football. Not interceptions. He’s always been among the league leaders in that department, 27 touchdowns versus seven picks in 2019 (97 versus 35 career). No, he wants to eliminate those costly, momentum-changing fumbles (48 in 56 games).

“For me, personally, just taking care of the ball,” Wentz said. “I’ve limited the interceptions over the years, I just got to keep getting better at in the pocket holding onto the ball, trying to extend plays and knowing when to say die. And when to try and stretch the play out and we’ve talked about that a lot. I’m always going to be trying to learn and be hard on myself and that’s what we’re trying to work on.”

Another constant area of emphasis is the red zone. Not that he needs much work there. Wentz posted the fourth-most touchdowns in the red zone in 2019 after throwing 19 touchdowns and zero interceptions on 69 attempts. For his four-year career, Wentz has thrown 73 touchdowns against — ready for it — two interceptions. Insane.

“To be honest, red zone and third down,” Wentz said when asked about his benchmarks. “That’s going to be something I hit on every year whether we’re first in the league or last in the league because I’ve really realized over the first couple years of my career, those downs make or break ball games all the time.”

Eagles Quarterback Packed on Muscle in Offseason

On the first day of training camp, a video kind of went viral after fans pointed out a noticeably swelled Wentz. Not from injury, but from what appeared to be extra bulk and muscle. The Eagles quarterback laughed when a reporter asked him about it saying “nothing really changed” before revealing that he had indeed packed on a few pounds. He has been working out during quarantine at his home gym.

“For me, the last couple of offseasons I was dealing with injuries and trying to bounce back from injuries so this offseason I was really able to get after it and work out a little harder in the gym and all those things,” Wentz said. “I haven’t gained anything insane for weight but I definitely gained some weight and I feel really good for where I’m at.”

Remember, Wentz committed to a healthier diet and lifestyle in 2019 in an effort to avoid injuries. He even gave up eating one of his all-time favorite foods, too. It seemed to work as he played all 16 games for the first time since his rookie year in 2016.

“I was fortunate,” he said. “I got a gym at the house and a lot of ground to do a lot of my workouts in so I’ve been very fortunate.”

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