Carson Wentz

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Carson Wentz: 6 thoughts on the Eagles' QB

Eliot Shorr-Parks
February 05, 2019 - 8:15 am

Without question the most important thing going on with the Eagles right now is planning the departure of former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles. Trying to figure out how they can pull off a trade is likely at the top the front office’s list of things to do prior to the start of the new league year. 

Once Foles’ eventual departure takes place, however, all of the focus and attention will turn back to the player tasked with trying to follow in Foles’ footsteps — quarterback Carson Wentz. 

Here are six thoughts on Wentz and the Eagles:

Things change quickly: One thing that consistently comes to mind for me when thinking about Wentz and the Eagles is how quickly things have changed. When Wentz went to dive into the end zone in the Eagles’ game against the Los Angeles Rams back in 2017, he was in many ways nears the top of the sports world. He was on his way to becoming the MVP of the biggest league in America, in one of the biggest sports markets in the country. Since that hit, the one that tore his ACL and ended his 2017 season, Wentz’s world has changed dramatically. His official “Welcome to the NFL” moment has stretched over the last year. With how things were looking midway through his second year, it is wild to think where things are currently at entering year four.

Pressure on Wentz: It is fairly obvious that Wentz understands and feels the pressure he faces in 2019. The idea of getting out from Foles’ shadow is not lost on him. Proving the team can succeed under him once again, and staying healthy, is the clear obsession right now. It is completely understandable why Wentz would be feeling that way. Anyone who went through what Wentz went through would feel the exact same, and very few would have handled it as well as Wentz did — even if he didn’t handle it perfectly. The combination of the pressure he faces both externally and the pressure he is putting on himself is either going to result in a breakout 2019 season or an extremely combustable one. 

Safety net will be gone: It is interesting to think how Wentz would be viewed if Foles wasn’t here. In that fictional world, the Eagles are almost certainly not Super Bowl champions and they likely miss the playoffs last year. If that is the case, are Wentz’s injuries viewed differently, and perhaps looked at more critically? The fact Foles has been in Philadelphia to save the day the last two seasons has complicated the Wentz situation, but it has also shielded him from perhaps more harsh criticism. What is clear is that next season the Foles safety net is going to be gone, and it will be up to Wentz to make sure this team succeeds — and he won’t have Foles behind him to save the day if he doesn’t. 

Tough task: What shouldn’t be understated is how tough the task ahead is for Wentz. Even if Wentz stayed healthy, being one of the top five quarterbacks in the NFL for the next 10 years — the expectations that are consistently mentioned for Wentz — is an extremely tough task. Only a very select few — Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson — have been able to stay at the top of their professions over the last 10-or-so years. Add in the fact he is coming off of back-to-back season ending injuries, plus the Foles’ factor, and the task infront of Wentz is an extremely difficult one. 

Wentz has the talent to do it: Yes, the task ahead for Wentz is a tough one. The good news is he has the talent to pull it off. Even with his struggles last season, Wentz still in many ways played at a very similar level in 2018 that he did in 2017. Wentz had more games in 2018 with a quarterback rating over 100 than he did in 2017. He was on pace to finish with more passing yards in his first 13 games in 2018 than he had in his 13 games in 2017. So even with the issues the offense had, and the struggles he did go through, there were still positives to take away from Wentz’s 2018 season, and reason to be hopeful for 2019. 

Philadelphia Carsons: In the now famous Philly Voice story, there is a line about how one source believed Wentz needs to realize it is the Philadelphia Eagles, and not the “Philadelphia Carsons.” Even if Wentz did act like that, in some ways, it is hard to blame him. Fair or not, Wentz’s reputation is going to live-and-die with the success of this team. That was the case in 2018, when he went 5-6 as a starter. That will be even truer next season, as the result of every series on offense, every game and every win or loss will fall directly at the feet of Wentz. If Wentz was indeed hard on his teammates in practice or was stubborn about what plays were run, it is hard to blame him. Wentz knows what is at stake in 2019, and in many ways, this team will indeed be the Philadelphia Carsons. 

You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at esp@94wip.com!

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