There’s no question that during his rookie season, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz displayed many of the qualities that you look for in a franchise quarterback.
The first inner quality about Wentz that jumps out at you is his competitive spirit. He showed this aspect of his personality numerous times throughout his rookie season. You could see it when he pulled the ball down and scrambled for the last-second touchdown against the Ravens to give the Eagles a chance at victory; or when he ducked under the Giants pass rushers and ran for a first down to lead the Birds to victory against one of the best defenses in the NFL. Add to that, the block he threw at a defender on a misdirection play in the final game of the season against the Cowboys, after he had went through the concussion protocol. Put these three incidents together and you get clear picture of just how competitive Carson Wentz is.
A quarterback showing his toughness in this way isn’t always the wisest thing to do, but his passion to compete inspired his teammates and will continue to motivate them, which qualifies him as the guy to hopefully lead us to that Lombardi Trophy.
Wentz is very bright, with an amazing work ethic. He is also a tremendous athlete with great size, good foot speed and a strong arm. The rookie has all the qualities you want in your quarterback, but he’ll need to fine-tune his game as he prepares for the 2017-18 season.
The young signal caller must become consistently accurate with his throws. Too many of his passes over the middle were sailing high. When a NFL quarterback misses high over the middle, the ball is usually picked off or his receivers get hammered.
Wentz had a problem with his passes sailing in the numerous mini-camps that were held after last year’s draft. After being drilled consistently on the proper throwing motion and footwork, by a combination of head coach Doug Pederson, offensive coordinator Frank Reich and quarterback coach John DeFilippo, Wentz shortened his delivery and was doing a much better job of throwing with his feet properly balanced. He kept the short compact delivery through the first quarter of the season.
For this period of the season, he overcame his tendency to stride too long and start with the ball too low, so that his throwing motion becomes too long. The great quarterbacks have short deliveries. They throw darts, like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.
As the season wore on, the young quarterback’s mechanics fell apart, which is understandable for a rookie. He improved at times as the season wound down, but there was no question that his delivery and accuracy were not consistent for most of the season.
The most encouraging and promising thing I have seen this off-season is the fact that Wentz, without pushing by his coaches, made improvement in these areas his number one offseason goal.
Immediately after the season, he sought out the assistance of the same quarterback gurus who worked with Brady, Matt Ryan, Carson Palmer and Drew Brees. Making this move, means Wentz is willing to do what it takes to be a great quarterback. He means he can take constructive criticism and coaching. It’s another display of his leadership abilities. It’s a loud message to his teammates.
He’s currently working with that same quarterback skills company, Train3DQB, which was founded by former MLB pitcher Tom House. The company, which is located in Southern California and has helped many of the game’s best quarterbacks greatly improve their throwing mechanics. Here’s what Brady had to say about his work with the company.
“Over the years, I was a little inefficient and I learned how to get away with it. I’ve been working with Tom House on what’s called ground-force production… Kinetic sequencing, getting the power from the ground, which translates from the ground to your legs, to your hips, to the shoulder, and all the energy is going toward the target. I’ve always had confidence throwing the football, but you have to stay on top of it. That’s going to be a never-ending quest for me. But right now, I am more confident than ever.”
I’m sure they’re emphasizing to Carson, the importance of shortening and improving his entire throwing delivery as well as his footwork. He’s got to throw the football correctly, thousands and thousands of times this off season, so that he gets it locked into his muscle memory. Wentz wants to get the point where he could be awakened in the middle of the night, then walk out into a snowy blizzard and drop back from center, then step up and throw the football in the same flawless motion to hit a target 30 or 40 yards away. This work should greatly improve his accuracy and consistency.
The offseason is the time for quarterbacks to work on these techniques because you don’t want a young quarterback thinking about that during the season and during games. The throwing mechanics must be programmed deep into his mind, so that he doesn’t have to think about them.
Wentz will also need to do a better job of throwing the deep ball and his work with the throwing experts will help him greatly in that aspect. He’s got the arm to be a great deep ball thrower, but his mechanics must be flawless and he needs to get to know the speed of his receivers. I know he’s already been working with Nelson Agholor, but he can’t be sure at this point, who his wide receivers will be in the 2017-18 season.
Later this off season, Wentz will experience countless hours to his “go to guys inside”, Zach Ertz and Jordan Matthews. Wentz will be looking to Ertz and Matthews in many crucial situations, such as third downs and in the red zone. These three have got to get to the point where “they can read each other minds”.
Finally, Wentz must continue to grow in reading defenses and looking off defenders. He’s well ahead of his years in these areas, but there’s always room for improvement. I’m confident he will get better in these areas with time and experience.
By doing this work this offseason, Wentz is setting the bar high for all the other players on the team. Wentz having the initiative to focus on improving his game means he can step in the face of each of his teammates and demand that they do the same. If a player isn’t willing to show the same commitment, Wentz could pressure the Eagles to let the guy go. The young quarterback will have more power to step into a leadership role with the team because he’s going into his second season.
He’s no longer a rookie. What he says and feels carries weight in the organization.
If the Eagles put the right people around this youngster and I believe it’s just a matter of time until they’ll be knocking on that Championship Door.
Wentz has a very bright Future and all the Tools/Skills/Maturity/Leadership that you want to see in your QB and really the Face of the Franchise.. Now the Eagles need to Upgrade the Receivers Corp and get him some Young Weapons that He and the Offense can grow with..
This is Howie Roseman’s #1 Priority this Off-Season which he has stated himself a few times… Roseman also stated that they will no longer use the “Band-Aid” approach at the Skills Position, with 1-2 Year Players from Free-Agency, so expect them to Draft WR & CB’s early and often in this upcoming Draft, though I still see them Signing at least 1 Veteran WR & CB in this Free-Agency out of necessity as they are so limited and weak at these Positions currently..
Expect more Cap Moves/Transactions coming this Week as the 2017 NFL Calendar Year begins here in March with the Franchise Tags, Free-Agency,Roster Bonus’s etc,etc
Bring in Kenny Britt. He is 28 and has had multiple 1000 yard seasons with shitty qb
To average teams and quarterbacks. He is a big body WR and has all the tools. Let him develope some chemistry with a Wentz.
He will be cheaper Then Alshon and younger then Desean with less injuries.
It’s those type of deals in Alshon Jeffry that plagues this franchise.
Draft is the answer
Kenny Britt has only had One 1,000 Yard Season over his 8 Year Career, which came Last Season, where he caught a Career High 68 Passes for 1,002 Yards and 5 TD’s for a 14.7 Yards Average per Reception. ,
He’s had 3-4 other Productive Seasons where he’s had approx 45 Receptions in that 705-750 Yard range..
The Eagles New WR Coach came from the Rams who obviously knows Britt well which could be a Plus or a negative depending how they got along…
Stay far,far away from Alshon Jeffrey and No to D-Jax..
I wouldn’t mind seeing the Eagles Sign Kenny Britt or even a Pierre Garcon and then add 1-2 WR’s in the Draft
The Eagles have put themselves in a great situation with moving up and drafting Wentz in last years draft. This year they have to upgrade the skill players around him. I am still interested in the Eagles landing Terrelle Pryor as a FA receiver.
In the draft I would like to see either Corey Davis or TE OJ Howard to further boost the receiving corps.
Then add RB D’Onta Foreman, Alvin Kamara or Joe Mixon..his incident happened 3 years ago…he has been clean since…his talent is undeniable though.
Wentz is the key to this thing though. He’s already showing his leadership by example by seeking out coaching this off season. Hopefully the other Eagles offensive skill players take notice and follow his lead too up their game.
Paulman what is your take on the Eagles offensive line? You have an aging Jason Peters you have Lane Johnson who is one suspension away from getting kicked out of football for two years. The Eagles drafted Big V and, Isaac Seumalo who had some good moments and had some struggles at times. Jason Kelce is not producing a high level anymore what would be your solution to the Eagles in upgrading the offensive line.
Great Question Mac which has many possibilities for the Eagles
I believe 3 Directions, that the Eagles Can Go….
1) The Super Aggressive Path and Building for the Future would be Trading & Releasing both (LT) Jason Peters and (C) Jason Kelce this Off-Season which would require the Eagles to move Lane Johnson to LT and then Sign a Cheaper Short-Term OT in Free-Agency to Play RT or by Drafting an OT very early on and/or by having Vaitai take over at RT
Some Veteran Cheaper OT that could play RT instead of carrying Jason Peters Contract for 2017/2018 (Ryan Clady,Kelvin Beachum, Matt Kalil, Reily Reiff, Mike Remmers, Menelik Watson)
The Eagles could then Draft OT Cam Robinson in the 1st Round with Plans to Groom at RT or even Play LT down the Road if anything happens to Lane Johnson and Robinson could even play inside at Guard where some Scouts think would be his Best Position at the NFL Level.. Robinson has been a 3 Year Starter at LT for Alabama and although he did not have a Great Senior Season, he is 6-6′ – 310lbs and a real Road Grader, I don’t believe he has the Foot Speed to Play LT but could be a Stud at RT or Dominant playing Inside at Guard in a short period of time. Or the Eagles Could Draft an OT in the 2nd/3rd Round like a Taylor Moton from Toledo, Antonio Garcia from Troy, or Adam Bisnowatny from Pitt to groom at RT
At Center, the Eagles would Replace Kelce with Issac Seumalo with
the recently signed Josh LeRibeus as the Back-up
Eagles could then have as a Starting OL of LJ, Barbree, Seumalo,Brooks and the Signed Free-Agent or Vaitai or a Draft Pick (Cam Robinson) which would have some Growing Pains but some Youth and Size to groom together for the Future)
By Trading Kelce/Peters the Eagles could knock off anywhere from
$13 Million if they had to Release them both or up to $18 Million if they could Trade them to other Teams who would then take on their Current Contracts eliminating any Dead Cap $$$ associated with either Player, which then could $$$ could be used to add a Quality Starter’s at WR and or CB or both
2) The Safe/Short-Term Play would be to have both Peters/Kelce Return for 2017 and hope for some consistency along the OL, though it’s likely to only be short-term plan (1 Year or so) for we all know Peters playing days are numbered and that both players are not going to be around in 2-3 Years anyways when Wentz should be maturing into a Franchise QB…
Eagles could then have a Starting Unit of Peters,Seumalo,Kelce,Brooks,LJ with Barbree,Vaitai, LeRibeus, Dallas Thomas & Draft Pick as back-ups
This would probably be best for the 2017 Season, but I’m not sure does any real good for growing a Core together for the Future for this Eagle Offense
Option 3) Keep either Peters or Kelce for 1 More Season for 2017
Trade/Release either Peters or Kelce to Create some Cap Space..
Obviously if Peters Remains, then he’s the LT with Lane Jonson at RT
which gives QB Wentz the strongest and most experienced Protection along the Outside while Issac Seumalo takes over for Kelce at Center
If Peters is Traded/Released, then Lane Johnson moves to LT and Suemalo could be the LG while Kelce stays at Center with Brooks at RG and then RT would be open competition for Vaitai, Barbree, a Draft Pick or a Free-Agent Signing…Heck Barbre could play LG with Seumalo playing RT so there are many possibilities.. Barbre is a nice versatile Player but is 32 Years Old now and probably on the downside of his Career in terms of Health and not really a long term Core Player along the OL c
Sorry for writing a Book, but lots of possibilities with the Eagles Offense and in particular, the OL which is not really being talked a lot about this Off-Season as most are focused on the Receivers and maybe the RB Position..The Eagles collectively between the Front Office and Coaching Staff really need to decide what takes the Priority this Draft/Off-Season..
1) Is it having a Top Notch Young OL to Grown Together as a Core Group for the next 5-7 Years or more (like the Cowboys currently have) to really help Protect Wentz while he learns to grow with new Young WR’s
2) Or is it to get some Quality Experienced Outside Weapons at the Receiver Position now which are needed to open up this Eagle Offense and support Wentz and the Passing Game and address the OL in the Future…
3) Or do the Eagles change their Scheme from what we saw last Year and utilize a more Dominant, Reliable Running Game which needs a Bigger, Younger RB’s and Younger, more Physical OL to help take some pressure off of Wentz (Do Note that New VP of Player Personnel – Joe Douglas comes from this type of background while he was with the Ravens which was always relying on having a Big OL, Bruising,Tough RB’s and Big -Armed QB who can make Plays and push the Ball down the Field which Joe Flacco does well)
Personally, I would like to see the Eagles Improve their OL and become a more Physical, Running Team for I believe that’s what ultimately Wins Football Games in the NL East, and playing in the Northeast, Outside come December time in the elements and especially in the Playoffs
Yes its a QB driven League, but controlling the Line of Scrimmage is what Wins Games and Championships… Having a nice Vertical Passing Game Requires a Big Strong-Armed QB which the Eagles have in Wentz
Do they currently have the Receivers, No.. Do they Currently have the OL to Pass-Protect for the longer period of time it takes to have big plays develop? This is debatable since LJ missed most of the 2016 Season, but they played much better when he was in, but Peters does not have much left in the tank and they are paying Lane Johnson LT $$$, so to me, you may as well make the move now and get LJ over at LT and then Draft another OT to be groomed at RT for the Future… I think Vaitai can be an effective RT in the NFL and maybe even play inside at Guard if they Drafted a Cam Robinson or other Highly Rated OT this Draft
With the Eagles Center Signing Center LeRiebus and Guard Dallas Thomas already, it’s very unlikely that they attempt to Sign Steve Wisnewski or Matt Tobin back to the Team, but I do believe they will Draft an OT