It was apparently a no-brainer for the organization. For the locker room, it’s a different story.
Joseph Santoliquito of PhillyVoice.com has published a potentially explosive article that contains quotes from “more than a half dozen players, plus other sources close to the team,” all of whom insisted on anonymity, regarding quarterback Carson Wentz.
The coaching staff and front office continue to anoint Wentz as the starter. Nick Foles seems to be on his way out, regardless of the specific mechanism by which he exits. Per the report, however, Foles is “universally loved” in the locker room. And Carson Wentz is not.
While he has been described as “incredibly hard working,” “determined,” and “highly intelligent,” Wentz also has been dubbed as, quoting from the story, “‘selfish,’ ‘uncompromising,’ ‘egotistical,’ one who plays ‘favorites’ and doesn’t like to be ‘questioned,’ one who needs to ‘practice what he preaches’ and fails ‘to take accountability.'”
“Carson Wentz’s biggest enemy is Carson Wentz,” one unnamed source told Santoliquito. “He’s had his ass kissed his whole life, and sometimes acts like he’s won 10 Super Bowls, when he hasn’t played in, let alone won, a playoff game yet. Everyone around him wants good things for him. He did more thinking on the field than he did playing [in 2018]. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon or a football expert to see how differently this team plays and reacts with one guy as opposed to the other.”
That part is true. While Wentz may be the better quarterback than Foles, the Eagles seem to be the better team when Foles plays.
The problem with Wentz, per the report, comes from alleged tendency to “complicate” the offense. Wentz could “complicate 2+2,” one source told Santoliquito.
One criticism of Wentz comes from the perception that, while Foles runs the offense and goes through the required progressions, Wentz all too often throws to tight end Zach Ertz. There also was a sense this season that Wentz’s desire to match what Foles accomplished last year, winning the Super Bowl after Wentz tore an ACL, made Wentz do too much.
“He has to return to who ‘Carson Wentz’ is,” an unnamed source told Santoliquito. “That comes with relaxing and not forcing things. It also comes with being able to take constructive criticism. He has to learn that it’s not always about him and that’s partly what hurt this team this year. We know what type of player he can be, and who he normally is. He needs to realize it’s the Philadelphia Eagles not the Philadelphia Carsons. . . . A little humility goes a long way.”
Could these criticisms prompt the Eagles to reconsider their commitment to Wentz? Probably not. If nothing else, however, these are things that the team and Wentz may need to hear and to heed in order to get back to the success the team had under Wentz in 2017, before the injury.
The Eagles also may need to change how they coach Wentz. The article suggests that former offensive coordinator Frank Reich and former quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo were able to steer Wentz the right way, but that Wentz “bullied” offensive coordinator Mike Groh in 2018.
Wentz has the skills to be an MVP. Beyond finding a way to stay healthy, however, he apparently also needs to find a way better connect with teammates, especially with the quarterback they apparently prefer on his way out.