Ex-Eagles QB Brings Tim Tebow Into ‘Fragile’ Carson Wentz Debate

Mark Sanchez

Getty Mark Sanchez spent two seasons in Philadelphia and backed up Nick Foles.

Mark Sanchez has a hunch about how the evolving quarterback situation in Philadelphia might end. And it won’t necessarily be a fairy-tale one. The former Eagles quarterback sees some eerie similarities between what the New York Jets attempted to do with him and Tim Tebow in 2012. It didn’t work.

Sanchez, who appeared on ESPN’s Get Up show, was asked to compare his situation to what’s happening in Philly with Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts. The Eagles are shuffling both quarterbacks in and out of various formations, but there doesn’t seem to be a comprehensive plan in place for how to use them.

Hurts has been utilized mostly as a gadget-play specialist, running strictly zone-read plays. He hasn’t been able to find a rhythm in limited snaps while Wentz continues to regress in multiple ways. It’s not going well.

“Right now they draft Jalen Hurts to come in and do some of the same things that maybe Carson Wentz does,” Sanchez said. “Now you’re sending mixed messages to Carson Wentz who at this point is a little fragile. And the entire team, the organization, the fan base, nobody knows what’s going on. So if you’re not really practicing that, if you’re not really dedicated to that, and he’s coming in to throw a quick out, what is that?”

Hurts did exactly that in Week 12. He was inserted to throw a quick six-yard pass and then left the game. For good. Meanwhile, Wentz has thrown a league-leading 15 interceptions while accounting for 19 total giveaways in 2020. Sanchez equated the situation to the Jets’ botched handling of him and Tebow who rushed for 102 yards on 32 carries in 2012.

“As long as that person isn’t infringing on that person’s real estate, to take that starter’s job, then there’s no issues,” Sanchez said. “We know this is a gadget thing. We work on this. We are dedicated to it. We worked on it in the offseason, ad nauseam really — and the idea was this is going to help our offense, our rushing attack and it did.”

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Doug Pederson Looking to Spark Offense

Doug Pederson has been asked to explain his decision-making process on several occasions regarding the quarterback shuffle in Philly. The Eagles head coach compared it to his own experiences in 1999 when the franchise was subbing in Donovan McNabb. It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison, but he can draw on it to help him in 2020.

“Well, it happened to me back in 1999, so I have firsthand experience of that,” Pederson told reporters earlier this week. “My philosophy is we do whatever it takes to spark the offense, whatever it takes to win a football game and be successful. And, look, I mean, I know it may — people may think it’s different and you can’t get a guy into a rhythm or whatever, but when you struggle as an offense you’re looking for ways to create some plays.”

Pederson started nine games for the Eagles in 1999 before McNabb usurped the starting job. He threw for 1,276 yards and seven touchdowns against nine interceptions that year. McNabb took over in Week 10 and went on to become the greatest quarterback in franchise history.