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Eagles’ coaches tell Carson Wentz he needs to avoid hits

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 19:  Quarterback Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles carries the football in the first half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 19, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Getty Images

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz looks like an old pro through two games of his rookie season, but there’s one thing he needs to learn: He’s not going to last in the NFL if he doesn’t get better at avoiding hits.

The Eagles’ coaching staff has made a point this week of reminding Wentz that he needs to slide or run out of bounds rather than fighting for every last yard, noting that he took a couple unnecessary shots in Monday night’s win over the Bears.

“There’s a couple hits he shouldn’t have taken,” offensive coordinator Frank Reich said, via ESPN. “Those ones on the sideline. You just can’t do that. And he knows that. Coach, we’ve all talked to him about that. You just can’t do that.”

Wentz said he’s aware it’s something he needs to work on, after coming up in a college system at North Dakota State where there was less of an emphasis on protecting himself and more of an emphasis on picking up extra yardage with his legs.

“You know, in college, we ran the ball. I had designed runs. So you kind of go into running back mode. And here it’s not so much the case. So I’m still learning how to protect myself,” he said. “I don’t want to take those hits by any means. I’m still learning, and I can tell myself over and over again but it’s one of those things, when you’re in the heat of battle, I almost have to keep reprogramming myself.”

Reprogramming himself may not be easy for Wentz to do, but it’s necessary. He’s far too important to the Eagles to put his body at risk while fighting for an extra yard.

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33 Responses to “Eagles’ coaches tell Carson Wentz he needs to avoid hits”
  1. jburns9999 says: Sep 22, 2016 2:55 PM

    The kid is a gamer. Maybe a bit too much of one for his own good.

  2. mrmcdougle says: Sep 22, 2016 2:59 PM

    He better get things locked up, for his own survival. They’ve been gifted the two worst teams in football to start out with. That’s good to build confidence, but it’s bad in that you have an illusion of where you’re at. He has had B+ performances, and that should make fans happy. But, brace for the good teams.

  3. jovan19 says: Sep 22, 2016 3:01 PM

    oh, i thought they were going to tell him to take more hits

  4. phillycheez says: Sep 22, 2016 3:03 PM

    How much reprogramming can it take to not want to be slaughtered by 250 lb. behemoths?

  5. OG FOOL says: Sep 22, 2016 3:12 PM

    He’ll either take his coaches advice or learn the hard way. Either way, he’s been ballin’ out so far.

    Right on, Colin! (Hit that “Thumbs Down” button, clowns!)

  6. vusnu says: Sep 22, 2016 3:14 PM

    The kid is known for not making the same mistake twice. He’ll get this figured out and dealt with properly.

  7. 757ravensfan says: Sep 22, 2016 3:16 PM

    Coaches should make Wentz watch video of RG3’s rookie season. If that doesn’t motivate him to slide or get OOB, I don’t know what will.

  8. abninf says: Sep 22, 2016 3:20 PM

    He shows promise, but he’s played two bad teams and almost all of his passes have been under 10 yards. Good play calling for a rook, but we shall see what the future holds.

  9. manofaiki says: Sep 22, 2016 3:22 PM

    This running QB thing works in college, thus far Russell Wilson is the only one in today’s present NFL that makes this work and 90% of the time when he tucks it and takes off he’s using sheer speed to get to the sideline and turn upfield for yardage before stepping out of bounds.

    The first time Wentz gets hit high by a 220 pound NFL safety it’ll sink in. 97% of the guys you face in most college programs won’t even get a serious look in the NFL.

    Even the 3rd stringers on an NFL team hits harder, runs faster and is bigger than the guys you ran by and through in college.

    You either make the adjustment or you suffer. RGIII wouldn’t learn, kept taking too much contact, by the time he tried to adapt it was too late. The play he got hurt on in the 1st Browns game this year was a perfect example.

  10. bathroombenlovemachine says: Sep 22, 2016 3:23 PM

    “Eagles’ coaches tell Carson Wentz he needs to avoid hits”

    And the Eagles are the best at avoiding winning a Super Bowl.

  11. tindeaux says: Sep 22, 2016 3:32 PM

    this kid looks good, but if he keeps taking hits like that, pretty soon he’ll be GR IV.

  12. steves11 says: Sep 22, 2016 3:33 PM

    Ironically, Michael Vick used to get injured, not so much by taking big hits (although he took a lot of them), but by non-contact injuries such as hamstring pulls which would put him out for 3 or 4 games. I think the answer for Wentz is don’t try to run, period. Just throw the ball away if nothing is there….unless of course, he needs a critical first down and has an open field in front of him. In which case, slide or get out of bounds as soon as he hears a defender’s footsteps.

  13. mlenenski says: Sep 22, 2016 3:35 PM

    And don’t try to tackle anyone! …. Andy Dalton

    And don’t dive for fumbles, unless its the playoffs…. Cam Newton.

  14. jrossizzle says: Sep 22, 2016 3:40 PM

    He’s already avoided one career ending blow.
    When Cleveland passed on him….

  15. famundacheese says: Sep 22, 2016 3:44 PM

    Dallas coaches tell Romo to avoid breathing to heavy.

  16. ace8842 says: Sep 22, 2016 3:45 PM

    Wentz has the #1 completion percentage against the blitz in the NFL. You don’t usually see that from a rookie, and I think it suggests that he is good regardless of the teams he played. The two defensive coordinators for the Browns and Bears have a history of confusing young quarterbacks, but they did not confuse Wentz.

  17. leroyquimby says: Sep 22, 2016 3:50 PM

    They need Gruden back out there to hit him with pool noodles

  18. mjacks44 says: Sep 22, 2016 3:59 PM

    I’m fine with Wentz running the ball as long as he knows when to slide or how to protect himself. He’s taken quite a few unnecessary hits by trying to get one or two extra yards. Get what you can and slide or get out of bounds before contact.

  19. billmiller1991 says: Sep 22, 2016 4:01 PM

    You aint 23 forever son. Those hits you take today will haunt you like a bad smell.

  20. jackedupboonie says: Sep 22, 2016 4:02 PM

    If he faced Denver….he would start crying by the third 3 and punt…..if lucky

  21. tomthebombtracy says: Sep 22, 2016 4:22 PM

    The Eagles should make him watch the game 8 years ago at the Linc when Big Ben was sacked 8 times and hit a total of 20 times…..RIP Jim Johnson.

    Steelers haven’t won in Philly since 1965 at Franklin Field when Bill Nelsen was their QB. Of course, since the merger they only play there every 8 years but still……………..

    Oh, that year Ben took all the hits, they did win SB 43.

  22. akira1971 says: Sep 22, 2016 4:55 PM

    Coaches may not like those hits, but he earned the trust of his teammates to willingly put is body in danger.

    Now the veterans need to tell him: “That’s great heart kid, but slide or we all lose our jobs if you get hurt.”

  23. natelan says: Sep 22, 2016 5:17 PM

    QB’s don’t take hits for fun. If the QB is getting smacked around, don’t point your finger at the QB.

  24. thetooloftools says: Sep 22, 2016 6:04 PM

    Please pass this memo along to Josh McCown of the Cleveland Browns.

  25. steves11 says: Sep 22, 2016 6:09 PM

    The Eagles foremost goal for 2016 is to keep Chase Daniel off the field for the entire season.

  26. psubeerman21 says: Sep 22, 2016 6:12 PM

    The coaching staff also told him the sun rises in the East. Both should be obvious.

  27. cowboy2016 says: Sep 22, 2016 6:36 PM

    Oh whoopee doo, he’s played against two winless weaklings. He’ll be a backup in Jacksonville in two years and out of the league in five years. Carson Wentz, the flavor of the month.

  28. vonkaiser2001 says: Sep 22, 2016 6:59 PM

    Somebody better tell him Mike Mitchell and Ryan Shazier are coming to town. Not exactly the time to still be figuring out the cons of not sliding or avoiding hits in the open field. Danger is around the corner Carson. And this from a Steeler fan…you’ve looked good and have a promising future I think. But for god sakes be smart…your career and the Eagles future is more important than a week 3 game you may or may not win…

  29. famundacheese says: Sep 22, 2016 7:09 PM

    And Dallas played the Giants who beat the powerhouse Saints by 3 with time expiring and The Redskins. If Kirk didn’t decide to play catch with a Cowboy in the endzone, the Cowboys would be a winless weakling.

  30. leatherface2012 says: Sep 22, 2016 7:48 PM

    this guy is truly a gamer….according to packer fans however, take any nfl qb, starting or not, and they’ll say “yeah he’s no aaron rodgers”. if u mean playing scared, fumbling 3 times a game, and not having a rating over 100 for 15 straight games, yeah then they’re right.

  31. tonebones says: Sep 22, 2016 8:25 PM

    The coaches are being smart. If Wentz stays healthy, the head coach goes to the HOF and the offensive coordinator becomes a head coach.

  32. ReligionIsForIdiots says: Sep 22, 2016 9:05 PM

    Wentz is a beast of a QB like Newton, so him liking contact isn’t surprising.

  33. officialgame says: Sep 22, 2016 9:15 PM

    The two bad team thing is getting old. Wentz didn’t just beat those teams he dominated. Put it this way those of you who actually watched Wentz play and still have doubts about where this kid is headed give it up. You are football neophytes who don’t know greatness if it smacked you in the face. I’m not saying it’s going to be all peaches and cream but this kid is the real deal and there ain’t no questions about it.

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