‘Two Different Personalities’ Dictated Two Different Eagles Offenses

Carson Wentz and Nick Foles

Getty Carson Wentz and Nick Foles remain good friends and emnbraced Thursday at midfield.

It was a strange question but Doug Pederson stood in there like the former quarterback he is and answered it.

The Eagles head coach was asked to reflect on his relationship with Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles in comparison to Carson Wentz. It seemed like maybe the play-calling was easier on Pederson with Foles at the helm, perhaps there was more of a “natural mesh” to the casual observer.

Some have argued that the offense wasn’t as complex after Wentz got hurt in 2017 as the team tried to put less pressure on Foles. Dumb it down a bit. Pederson admitted that, yes, there may be some truth to that.

“Well, I think you’re talking about two different guys, obviously, two different personalities,” Pederson told reporters on Monday. “Two guys that approach the game a little bit differently. You tailor it to their strengths and that was one of the things that I had to do with Nick when he took over a few years ago, is find out what he liked.”

Then, before the follow-up question could be asked, Pederson added: “That’s what we do with Carson, even to today, and as we even in-game make decisions, continuing to have conversations on the sideline.”

The coach and quarterback talk about a lot of things on that sideline, according to Pederson. They evaluate in-game decisions, like what to do on certain downs and distances. Wentz might see something that Pederson missed or vice versa. All the plays are a la carte, available on a whim. They also get input from passing-game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Press Taylor.

It was the same with Foles — except for the lightning in a bottle from 2017. Whatever that was, Pederson needs to find it and repackage it in a new container. He’s already working on it.

“And both guys are different, and we understand that,” Pederson said. “And just want to make sure that Carson does feel comfortable with the game plan because quite honestly, the quarterbacks have input, right, just as Nick had input, and all the guys have input with what we’re doing each week.”

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What’s Eating Wentz? Is Eagles QB Broken?

No one is quite sure what is wrong with Wentz. His throws are oddly inaccurate, too high or off the mark. He’s hanging in the pocket way too long, unable to run around and make unscripted throws. And he’s throwing more interceptions than ever. What’s going on?

“It’s a good question. For us, it’s a matter of continuing to work,” Pederson told reporters. “I think as coaches and players, we continue to strive to get better every single day. I just don’t want Carson to feel like he has to make all the plays every single time.”

Wentz himself can’t put a finger on why he’s regressed so much in his fifth year. Neither can Pederson. But everyone can see that he’s a tad broken in 2020, maybe it has something to do with the groin tightness that limited him in training camp. The quarterback missed the final week of practices, including a live scrimmage.

“I feel great now. I had a little groin tightness, and it was a really good week to just let it rest and take care of myself off the field,” Wentz told reporters on Sept. 7. “I was out there today practicing and feeling great so, yeah, that will be behind me for sure.”

Three weeks later, Wentz ranks second-worst among NFL starters in quarterback rating (64.4) and total quarterback rating (27.9). He also ranks 29th in completion percentage (58.8), 17th in yards per game (256), and 20th in passing first downs (26). His four interceptions and eight sacks in two games are both tied for last place. Bottom line, there’s a laundry list of things to clean up.

“We have to execute, plain and simple. We have to execute,” Wentz said on Sunday. “I’ve said it a couple times now – we’re not panicking, the sky is not falling. There’s some good things that we’re doing and we’ll get back on it.”

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