Carson Wentz was the best player in the NFL through 14 weeks of the 2017 season catapulting the Eagles from divisional dwellers as a rookie into a 12-2 major contender. Just before breaking the Eagles all-time record for most touchdown passes in a season against the Rams, Wentz dove for the end zone on a penalized play that would cost him the rest of the season. Although a leading MVP candidate all year, the Eagles coaching staff continued to be cautious about the sophomore QB’s playing style.
Wentz went on record shortly after the end of the season and doubled down on who he is as a player. In a radio interview with Sports Radio 94WIP on Feb. 13th, Wentz explained “That’s what made me successful this last season and my whole career… I am not going to let this change me.”
However, in recent news, former Offensive Coordinator (and now Colts Head Coach) Frank Reich expressed his concerns. Reich told CBS Sports that Wentz failed to listen to coaches in his rookie season when they would tell him to avoid contact. “It definitely went in one ear and out the other early on,” Reich said. We would say to him, ‘Hey, you just need to kind of back off on some of this tackling stuff.’ and Wentz would essentially tell us ‘No, I’m not backing off. This is me. This is how I play’.
Although Wentz seemed to protect himself better in year two, availability is still the biggest asset a player can possess and Coach Pederson fully agrees with that. “I’m going to sit down and talk to him…Longevity is everything in this business,” Pederson said at the NFL Winter Meetings implying Wentz needs to keep his health as the top priority moving forward.
As Carson aims for a return in 2018, the Eagles feel really good about Nick Foles bridging the gap until then. With a lack of a trade offer that blew the front office away, Foles provides backup stability should Wentz go down again due to his aggressive style.