The assertion that Carson Wentz is a “broken” quarterback has led to screams for the Eagles to simplify their offense, maybe remove a few voices from the gameplan. There was even a report floating around claiming the team had “dumbed down” the play-calling for Wentz in an effort to eliminate him from running through his progressions.
If true, it’s the first indication that the organization is worried. On Wednesday, Wentz told reporters that no drastic changes had been made to either the offense or the gameplan but the face of the franchise did admit to it being “tweaked.”
That is a product of the dizzying influence of so many offensive minds in the room — the Eagles have six coaches chirping in Wentz’s ear over one offensive coordinator — as well as the rotating personnel at the skill positions. None of those were meant as excuses, just “subtleties” and innovations.
“I think every year a little bit is tweaked so to speak. I wouldn’t say anything was changed but tweaked,” Wentz told reporters on Wednesday. “I mean, with personnel and just kind of how you’re built as an offense, with your offensive personnel and all those things — and then obviously bringing different offensive minds, you kind of bring some subtleties here and there.”
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Keep it Simple, Stupid Method
Head coach Doug Pederson was a bit more direct in his assessment, telling reporters he has tried to simplify things for Wentz and the entire offense.
“The short answer to that is yes,” Pederson said of simplifying the offense for Wentz, “but, and then here’s the but, we also simplify because of some of the mistakes that we’re making at the skill positions with some of the young guys too. So, it kind of goes hand in hand with yeah we want to simplify overall, maybe for the quarterback position, but we’re also simplifying for the rest of the offense so that guys can — especially this time of year when fatigue and bodies are sore and the minds kind of get tired that we keep it simple for them also.”
Wentz, after confirming he was indeed the starting quarterback this week, elaborated on his point about establishing an identity on offense. They aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel, although they do want to incorporate everyone’s ideas.
“I wouldn’t say that as a whole the offensive identity has changed drastically,” Wentz said. “But there’s been subtleties really every year with the offense that I think we’re going to keep kind of building off of this year. Everyone knows there’s a couple of new coaches on the staff this year and I think as we’ve gone along here, we’ve really started to hone in on some things and we’re going to get this thing turned around on offense.”
The Eagles rank seventh-worst in total offensive yards per game (330.1) and fifth-worst in total passing yards (2,090). They also rank ninth-worst in both total points (220) and points per game (22.0). Something needs to change fast.
Getting Travis Fulgham Going (Again)
The decrease in production from Travis Fulgham has certainly put the skids on the offense, too. He had been a breakout star, a top waiver-wire pickup in fantasy football who had been drawing ridiculous comparisons to Calvin Johnson.
Now that everything has settled back to reality — two catches for 16 yards over his past two games — the question is how to get him back on the highlight reel. Defenses have keyed in on him, but there is still plenty of trust and confidence in the former practice-squad standout in Philly.
“I have a lot of trust in Travis,” Wentz said. “I don’t think he needs to necessarily change how he plays. I think it’s just continuing to build within this offense, and kind of his route tree and all those things. And I think he obviously came onto the scene pretty quick, caught a lot of people by surprise, and he’s been a pleasant surprise for me and for this offense, but he’s going to keep being a big part of this offense.”
Pederson was blunter about Fulgham’s recent struggles and pinned some of his inconsistencies on his own play-calling.
“I’m concerned about Travis’ production and getting him better and helping him get better,” Pederson said. “He needs to get better.”
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