Remember at this time last year when the Eagles had a serious dilemma at the two biggest positions on a football team? They had just fired Chip Kelly so they didn’t have a head coach and combined that with having the most mediocre QB in NFL history (Sam Bradford).
Not exactly a promising outlook, even though we were all happy to see Chip get the boot.
Well, the head coaching search didn’t go as I had hoped and we eventually ended up with Doug Pederson. At this point, the jury is still out on him (in my opinion) as far as how he fared this season.
While the jury is still deliberating on Pederson, they (and by “they” I mean “I”) have come to a verdict on the QB position:
Carson Wentz is “the guy”. He has the “it” that we’ve lacked at this position since McNabb. He is the QB that will become the face of this franchise for at least the next decade.
Wentz has passed all the tests: Leader? Check. Overcome adversity? Check. Shows promise as a passer? Check. Shows promise as a play-maker? Check. Shows learning ability? Check.
Plays hard, never gives up and plays his best at crunch time? Check, check and check.
If you’ve been watching every game this season, he has shown all of the above in one form or another. And what’s most impressive is that he’s done these things while dealing with significant deficiencies elsewhere.
If you have been one of those folks comparing Dak Prescott and Wentz, look at it this way: Prescott is like a kid who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and into a family with all the nicest things while Wentz was born in a crack house with a bunch of addicts running around like fiends saying “can a get a receiver?!?!?! how ’bout a lineman?!?!?!? a running back?!?!? come on man, gimme something!”
Wentz has dealt with wide receivers who can’t catch, make a play or even help out by giving him a target on broken plays that Wentz extends. Besides the drops, that is the next most saddest thing about the current WRs…when a play breaks down and Wentz extends the play by scrambling in the pocket, these receivers — who have even more time to break free of coverage — do not know to come back to the ball or somehow give him a target to throw to.
He has also dealt with significant instability along the offensive line and a carousel at the running back position. Through all of that, Wentz has seemed to remain mentally unaffected.
And do not underestimate that. Young quarterbacks can be mentally impacted and ultimately ruined when surrounded by inferior talent that leads to them feeling like a chicken trying to escape a pack of hungry wolves all year (think David Carr, though he is the most-used example for what I’m talking about).
Wentz has shown toughness, resiliency and perseverance. His mental makeup is outstanding.
He has dropped some absolute dimes on the field with remarkable accuracy (many of which have been dropped). He has made plays with his feet. He shows command of the offense and has the ability to read defenses and make pre-snap adjustments.
Does he have flaws? Certainly. He has a tendency to throw high at times and be off-target which has led to some bad-looking interceptions. He’s had some brain-farts in the decision-making department and his mechanics could use some work.
However, all of that is correctable with coaching and experience. Even though I still wonder about Pederson as a head coach, I do have confidence in him, Reich and Defilippo to develop and mold Wentz into an elite-level QB.
Yes, I said “elite-level”. The sky is the limit for Wentz and having him means the sky is the limit for this Eagles team over the next decade.
It doesn’t guarantee anything, obviously, but it gives this team something to build around and gives everyone hope. It could take a few years to get this team where it ultimately needs to be, but the biggest and most important piece of the puzzle is now in place.