Donovan McNabb is the greatest quarterback in Eagles’ franchise history so his opinion always carries weight. Five has previously talked about the pressures of being the face of the franchise in Philly but never in such blunt terms: a six-game winning season isn’t acceptable and neither is inconsistent play under center.
McNabb isn’t calling for the Eagles to bench Carson Wentz. Not yet. However, the team’s all-time leader in wins (92), passing yards (32,873) and passing touchdowns (216) knows the turnovers have to stop. He’s concerned that Wentz is “trying to put too much pressure on his shoulders.”
“I am concerned because when I watch, it seems he’s trying to do too much,” McNabb told The Zach Gelb Show, “and he’s trying to put too much pressure on his shoulders because of the situation around him. [He’s] holding the football entirely too long. If you’re going to run and scramble and pick up yards, go. Don’t sit and wait for people to try to get open. You don’t have the weapons on the outside to be able to create that much time.”
— CBS Sports Radio (@CBSSportsRadio) November 6, 2020
It’s not time to insert backup Jalen Hurts. That would be a panic move. Wentz isn’t “looking over his shoulders by any means,” per McNabb — although the NFL’s leader in interceptions (12) and lost fumbles (4) needs to clean it up in a hurry.
“Carson Wentz is their guy, and he should be their guy,” McNabb said. “But if he continues to play the way he’s been playing, it’s going to be maybe a six-game winning season. That’s not acceptable in Philadelphia.”
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) November 2, 2020
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Fixing the ‘Mental Errors’ on Bye
One of the things Doug Pederson mentioned before the team left for their bye week was “fixing the mental errors.” The head coach promised he would sit down with Wentz and discuss the turnovers, one play at a time. Wentz has been responsible for an abysmal 16 giveaways this season.
Pederson: "A lot of trust and faith" in Wentz. "He understands he has to get better in that [turnover] area." On benching Wentz, "I wasn't in that frame of mind."
— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) November 2, 2020
“We have to show them the mental errors and we fix it and correct it and move on,” Pederson said. “We have to go through the tape. We have to go through the cutup of the turnovers and see if there’s decisions that we can make otherwise.”
There would be a special emphasis on the issues in the red zone, too.
“We’re leaving points on the field, right?,” Pederson said. “And a couple of these have come in the high red zone or the red zone where we have opportunities to put points on the board and that’s where we have to really focus in and not turn the ball over.”
Wentz Not Hiding From Criticism
The 27-year-old gunslinger from North Dakota knows he has to play better. He’s not immune to or unaware of the criticism. Despite maintaining a one-game lead in the NFC East, the Eagles don’t look like a legitimate playoff team right now. It starts with No. 11.
“I’m not good enough,” Wentz said after Sunday’s 23-9 win over Dallas. “I’m pumped we got the win, but I’m going to have to watch the tape and I’m a little frustrated with how I played and how we’ve left some plays out there, left some points out there, and missed some big opportunities.”
"Here is the similarity between the two. You sit there screaming pulling your hair out saying no no no. But then in the critical moment you see him make throws, threading the needle like he did to Boston Scott. Let him go out there and ball out." – @RealDGunn on Wentz/Favre comp
— 975TheFanatic (@975TheFanatic) October 29, 2020
Wentz has been drawing a lot of comparisons to Brett Favre in recent weeks for his gunslinger mentality. He has a cannon for an arm and isn’t afraid to let it rip, including trying to thread the needle and put the ball in very tight windows. It can be maddening at times but Wentz isn’t going to stop doing it.
“I’m going to stay aggressive,” Wentz said. “I’m not going to change who I am. But I can protect it better.”
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