The outside noise can silence your thoughts, creep into your every waking move if you let it in. The Eagles have been hearing a negative din all week after a disappointing loss to the Giants. Carson Wentz has been enveloped by criticism all year for an epic regression from a former MVP candidate. So the 27-year-old felt it was time to speak up and address the elephant in the room.
Wentz, the fifth-year quarterback out of North Dakota State, huddled his teammates up after practice and instructed them to block out the outside noise. Believe it or not, the Eagles remain in first place in the dysfunctional NFC East and somehow control their own destiny. They have seven games left to prove their doubters wrong. Wentz’s message was to “stay together” and “put everything behind them.”
“Obviously, coming off a loss there are a lot of different things going on outside this building,” Wentz told Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro. “I just wanted to remind everybody to stay together in this building. Just keep believing. Put everything behind us. I’m excited for this last half of the season and I know everybody else is.
“For me, it was simply reminding everybody like, hey, I still believe in them, they still believe in me, and let’s put everything else behind us and keep that (noise) outside the building and take care of what’s in this building and take care of each other and hopefully good things happen.”
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) November 20, 2020
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Fixing Mental Mistakes, Physical Errors
Another thing the Eagles talked about all week was fixing their sloppy practice habits. Everyone from Doug Pederson to Brandon Graham admitted guys were getting a bit too lackadaisical in “policing themselves.”
“I think it’s more of a mindset, a mindset for guys to keep believing,” Wentz said. “Block out all the noise — the good, the bad, the ugly — and let’s just go play.”
Players vowed to clean up tangible things like pre-snap penalties and “people dropping balls.” (Darius Slay is doing push-ups after each dropped interception). For Wentz, that meant throwing the ball with better accuracy and limiting the turnovers. He has 16 giveaways through nine games.
Only the #DallasCowboys have more giveaways than Carson Wentz in 2020 — and Wentz didn't have a turnover today.
29 teams have fewer giveaways. The Broncos have 16 giveaways on the year (Eagles have 17). #Eagles
— Jeff Kerr (@JeffKerrCBS) November 16, 2020
“If I miss a throw by like a foot or things like that, it’s just those little things that are really keeping us back and holding us back,” Wentz said. “And whether it’s a mental mistake or a physical error, I think we can all just lock it in just a little bit more starting with myself, and I think guys are seeing how close we are to being a great team, a great offense, and a great team in all three phases. But it is those little things that are really holding us back right now.”
Pederson could see the results this week in the way guys were buzzing around the practice field. There was a different vibe out there.
Darius Slay says Carson Wentz gave the guys a little pep talk today, coaching the guys up. "He's our leader and he let us know he's going to lead us." He also let them know that this team is better than their record so go show it." #Eagles #FlyEaglesFly
— Michael Greger (@mike_greger) November 18, 2020
“They’ve focused in a little bit this week, and they’re talking about it,” Pederson said. “They’re talking about it with their position groups. I think from my standpoint not sort of beating them down with it but just communicating, having a nice conversation with them, just to reiterate the fact that, guys, we’ve got to take care of the business.”
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