There have been many knocks on Carson Wentz in this most unpredictable year, football and otherwise. From pandemics to paramedics, it’s been hard to watch at times. The Eagles remain on the cusp of greatness — seriously, look at the standings — and the franchise quarterback is eight games away from making everyone eat their words. Maybe even his own.
Wentz is never going to apologize for his aggressiveness. Neither will his head coach or quarterbacks coach. Yet the 27-year-old gunslinger was man enough to admit that there are times when he can “eat the play.” That means throwing the ball away instead of taking a sack (Wentz’s 32 lead the NFL) and not trying to jam the pigskin into tight windows (Wentz’s 12 interceptions lead the NFL).
According to Wentz, it’s all a matter of knowing the down and distance — and understanding when to “live to play another down.”
“It’s walking that fine line of aggressiveness and eating the play,” Wentz told reporters on Wednesday. “Throwing it away and those sorts of things, honestly that’s the fine line. I’ve said it over and over … some of the interceptions are being too aggressive and trying to force a play that isn’t there.”
Wentz continued: “That’s the fine line that I’ll continue to walk in my career. Turnovers are gonna happen, and I’m aware of that but there’s definitely a handful of them that I can look introspectively at and say, ‘OK, just eat that.’ Just call it a day. Live to fight another down. And I’m going to work on doing that.”
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Too Many Voices in the Coaching Room?
The Eagles’ collaborative approach to the offensive coordinator position was a topic of concern entering the 2020 campaign. How would so many strong voices come together on one cohesive message? Sounding boards are one thing but this loud experiment had the potential to turn into a deafening echo chamber on crack.
It’s too early to condemn it — and no one within the organization would dare do that — but the question isn’t going away until the turnovers cease. On Wednesday, Wentz kind of dismissed the notion of too many voices in the room. His answer was open to interpretation.
“I think in any profession, in any situation, that having too many voices in your head can be an issue,” Wentz said. “We’ve done a good job around here of not overdoing that. For me, starting with Coach [Pederson] and a handful of others, we’re on the same page and it’s not he has an opinion and I have an opinion and this that and the other. We’re trying to really build this thing together and be on the same page and I think we’ve done a pretty good of that. But, yeah, that can be a concern if you let it go south in a hurry.”
Wentz’s quarterbacks coach and passing-game coordinator Press Taylor shared a similar sentiment on Tuesday. The play-caller referenced is Pederson, aka the loudest voice in the room.
“I think the most important thing you can do is have your play-caller and quarterback be on the same page all the time, and they are doing a good job of keeping that as a priority,” Taylor said. “Then the rest of us kind of filling in the roles and try to fill in the gaps of communication with Carson as we see fit and I think that’s actually been a smooth process for us so far.”
Eagles Receivers Getting Healthy at Right Time
Not only is the Eagles’ offensive line getting healthy at the right time. So are the wide receivers. Alshon Jeffery was a full participant at Wednesday’s practice and there is a strong feeling he’ll suit up on Sunday. Adding the one-time Pro Bowler into the mix can only infuse the youth movement taking place in Philly.
Everyone is growing together, on the fly. Wentz hyped up Jeffery’s return but stressed the importance of keeping guys like Travis Fulgham and Jalen Reagor involved in the passing game.
“Those two [Fulgham and Reagor] and [John] Hightower, all those guys, I’m excited about,” Wentz said. “We’re growing our chemistry on the fly and it’s been exciting and encouraging and obviously we can be better. I can be better, more on the same page with these guys and the second half of the season you’ll keep seeing more of it.”
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