Wentz responds to criticism: 'I'm not perfect'

Andrew Porter
February 04, 2019 - 8:32 am

Carson Wentz's representative reached out to a handful of select Eagles reporters last week. Wentz finally wanted to address Joe Santoliquito's PhillyVoice.com article which called the Eagles' quarterback selfish

Wentz did not completely deny the story, but he did defend himself. 

Related: Santoliquito: 'I've received death threats'

"I'll be straight up," Wentz told NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com. "It hasn't been the easiest last year for me on the physical level, just battling the injuries, but then just personally going through it, sitting on the sideline and then playing and then sitting on the sideline again. So I realize like I maybe wasn't the greatest teammate at times because I was emotionally kind of all over the place. To the outside world, I probably didn't show it much. But internally, I mean, you're definitely fighting some sort of emotions. So there's things to learn just about how to handle myself in certain situations."

Zach Berman of Philly.com, who was one of the reporters Wentz spoke to, joined Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show on Monday. 

"I actually found him to be very honest, revealing, more vulnerable than I anticipated—which you can say is a credit to him there," Berman said on Monday. "I think his message was this has been a really difficult year for him, not just physically, but emotionally and that affected him in ways that he probably couldn't have imagined. It affected him as a teammate, it affected him as a person. I think that message was, moving forward, there's things he can learn from this past year. That he's not perfect."

Wentz did acknowledge at times he can be selfish saying, “It’s never fun to read, but to an extent, you look at it and be like, ‘Well, if someone did have this perception of me, why? What have I done wrong? What can I get better at?’ I realize I have my shortcomings."

"I think he's referring how he kind of allocated his time and his approach," said Berman. "He was really, honestly, I guess you can use the word driven to recover from the injury. And during last offseason especially, his focus was on getting healthy and there might have been things that he overlooked as a teammate just because of his focus on his health. That's really how I interpreted it."

Wentz denied ever not running Nick Foles plays, nor "bullying" offensive coordinator Mike Groh. Wentz also acknowledged that him and Foles have different personalities, on and off of the field. 

"It was difficult watching from the sideline and he said his biggest takeaway from the past two seasons was how it's not fun being on the sideline and watching," Berman said of Wentz. 

The question now becomes will Wentz learn from all of this and change his behavior? 

"I think that the year he's had will change it, more than that story," Berman said. "He didn't want to focus on that story specifically, but it is really the first time in three years where he's dealt with that level of criticism and really that level of personal criticism. The fact that he's getting these types of questions is new for him. I do think that the accumulation of what has happened the past two years...that will affect him more than the story itself."

Ike Reese reacted to the way Wentz handled the situation later on Monday afternoon, on the Marks & Reese show. 

"He got blind sided with this thing and it went national," Reese explained. "His reputation has been smeared all over the country by talk shot hosts and this, that, and the other because it's a scathing article written about him. He doesn't say a damn thing about it! And because he sits down and doesn't back pedal, doesn't throw his teammates under the bus, doesn't come off angry, is answering the questions, holding himself accountable, explaining how some of the quotes sort of depicted him how he could see how it came from—although it may have been a little exaggerated in some areas. The dude, I don't know if he could have did any better with the way he handled this. I love the way he handled it. Love it! You got a good leader, he's a leader! Not those rat bastards that were talking to Joe (Santoliquito)."