Eagles’ Doug Pederson Defends ‘Too Much Control’ QB Carson Wentz

Carson Wentz, Doug Pederson

Getty Eagles coach Doug Pederson gets input from franchise QB Carson Wentz on a play-call.

There aren’t many in the press box who have played quarterback in the NFL. Reporting is a different art form.

So it’s safe to assume if a scribe was thrown into a game, he or she would probably throw a wobbly pass. Well, one reporter in Philly took aim at Carson Wentz with that exact line of questioning as he asked Doug Pederson how his quarterback could miss so many “layups.” A weird probe deserves a sassy response and Pederson delivered it. Perhaps it was the culmination of an 0-2 start and deep frustration over how to answer the same questions day in and day out.

“Have you played quarterback in the National Football League?,” Pederson asked. To which the reporters responded: “I have not, Doug.”

Laughter ensued. Sure, the Eagles head coach came off a little high and mighty. Then again, he certainly had a point. Pederson started 17 games under center and earned two Super Bowl rings, one as a player and another as a coach. He has seen every type of throw, from “layup” to dime. Pederson went on to explain the nuances of playing quarterback.

“They’re not layups. There isn’t a throw out here that’s a layup,” Pederson said. “Some of it is just timing with young guys. Some of it is just Carson just being not accurate at that particular time. Could be that there is a defensive guy that flashed a hand where he’s got to change his arm angle at the split second. There are all kinds of reasons for accuracy.”

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Does Wentz ‘Reluctantly’ Accept Coaching?

There have been several reports floating around about Wentz’s inability to accept constructive criticism and listen to strong-willed coaches. There have been whispers, per Joe Santoliquito, that Wentz wants to run the Eagles’ offense like Peyton Manning ran the Broncos. He wants it to be his show, including overruling Pederson’s play-calls at the line of scrimmage. That’s a real theory presented by Santoliquito on a recent podcast with Bleeding Green Nation:

And I strongly believe that this is — it’s Doug Pederson’s play design, Doug Pederson is one of the best play designers in the NFL. And Doug, 4th-and-1, that’s Doug’s call. Doug Pederson makes those calls. But in terms of walking up at the line of scrimmage, calling the plays at the line of scrimmages, running some fake cadence … Again, I don’t know the exact percentage. But there’s a hell of a lot of plays being called by Carson Wentz. And that play selection’s being done — well, for example, Doug may call a play. Carson doesn’t like it. And Carson will call his own play.

The other elephant in the room is the maybe the decision to let former quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo leave was because he was butting heads with the franchise quarterback. Wentz is reportedly really good “buddies” with Press Taylor, the Eagles current quarterbacks coach and run-game coordinator. Drama in Philly.

Pederson Explains Wentz’s Impact on Offense

Pederson was asked to detail Wentz’s freedom and influence on the Eagles’ offense on Wednesday. His answer mapped out the entire week, from putting the gameplan together on Mondays to making in-game adjustments on Sunday. The head coach didn’t hold back in peeling back the curtain.

“I’m big on not calling a play that is not in the game plan, right? It’s something that we haven’t executed in practice. It’s just hard to do at the spur of a moment,” Pederson told reporters. “But being able to make those in-game adjustments like that are all part of the conversation and the dialog that we have throughout the course of the week.”

It sounded like a completely collaborative process, mainly between Pederson, Wentz and Taylor. Senior offensive assistant Rich Scangarello reportedly has a strong voice in the room, too. Wentz’s suggestions are welcomed, not always inserted into the gameplan.

“The suggestions that he has are all positive. Doesn’t mean we have to put them in, right? Or have to change something,” Pederson said. “But at the same time, we definitely want to listen. He’s grown over the years by just — and this is the beauty of having a coaching staff that’s kind of run the same offense now for a couple years, where your core concepts remain the same. Now it’s just how can we enhance it or make it better? This is where Carson’s input has really made a difference for us.”

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