Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz makes his first career start in his first career regular-season game, despite have very limited on-field preseason experience. Wentz isn’t deterred by that, at all.
“The game definitely slowed down for me,” Wentz told Cleveland reporters on a Wednesday conference call, regarding his one and only slice of game action to date. Regardless of how much he played or how much the game did, or didn’t, slow down, Wentz is projecting the right attitude for the challenge he’s about to face.
“I feel very ready,” Wentz said. “I feel very confident. I felt ready for a while now. Missing the reps kind of is what it is, but I’m very confident I’m ready to go.”
Wentz said that the ribs he injured during his only preseason action are fully healed, and that the injury won’t change the way he plays at the NFL level. He nevertheless acknowledged the importance of playing in a way that minimizes opportunities to get hit and, in turn, to get hurt.
Although the Cleveland-Philly dynamic makes for some interesting subplots, Wentz claims he’s not paying attention to those angles. He called the decision of the Browns to trade the No. 2 overall pick to the Eagles instead of using it to take him as something that’s “in the past,” and that he gets no extra motivation from it. Wentz also said he gets no motivation from Browns chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta’s remarks that the Browns didn’t view Wentz as a top-20 quarterback.
There’s a chance Wentz means it. There’s also a chance he’s opted to internalize those feelings as he prepares to show the Browns why they should have made his name the next one on that jersey that lists all of the names of the quarterbacks who have started for the Browns since 1999.