Eagles prioritizing development of Wentz over preparing for short-term success

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles-Rookie Minicamp
May 13, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) runs drills during rookie minicamp at the NovaCare Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

When Sam Bradford first returned to OTA’s, Doug Pederson ensured that the reps were split evenly between all three quarterbacks. The Eagles Head Coach met the media yesterday and hinted that this may be the norm for most of the pre-season preparations.

“Frank Reich and myself are still kind of discussing how we’re going to handle training camp, I would say that this is not the last time reps won’t be cut. Right now, it’s equal. It’s thirds. It’s equal, and right now we’re leaning toward that heading into training camp.”

So just how long is it going to be before starting quarterback Sam Bradford begins to take more reps than Chase Daniel and Carson Wentz? Pederson also shed some light on that question a few moments later:

“…usually around your third preseason game when your starters take the bulk of that game. At that point then you start making the decision that your starters need to get 60, 70, 80 percent of the snaps in practice. But right now, we’re in the negotiations of splitting that time equally with all the groups.”

This may seem like a logical response, but it’s still pleasant to hear..especially considering the amount of noise created by Sam Bradford and his agent after the drafting of Carson Wentz.

It would have been very easy for Pederson to avoid angering Bradford further and give him as many reps as possible..but the Eagles are evidently adamant on maintaining their current vision..which is one for the future.

By maintaining an even split in reps between all quarterbacks, Pederson is ensuring that Wentz isn’t having his development hindered by a bias to the making sure the starting quarterback is ready for week one.

It gives Wentz more opportunities to work with the first team than he would see in other organizations and more experience with both the Offense and the system in the run up to the regular season. With these opportunities come chances to impress coaches and potentially even show that he’s ready to take the next step sooner than expected.

Pre-season in itself is often experimental. Last season saw the war between Tim Tebow, Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley take center stage until Bradford eased his way back into action. 12 months later, we could see just how beneficial these extra reps for Wentz have been as he could see over a quarter of play in both of the team’s first two pre-season games.

Seeing a considerable amount of live-game action in pre-season would really benefit Carson Wentz, who has been impressing consistently since his arrival in Philadelphia. With Frank Reich, Doug Pederson and John DeFilippo acting as one of the best coaching trees for a rookie quarterback to learn under, an even rep distribution is the perfect scenario for Carson Wentz.

There’s no guarantee that this will happen, but Pederson seems intent on keeping things as they are..which means an even split in reps throughout training camp and even opportunities for all three quarterbacks on the roster.

The Eagles aren’t leaning heavily towards Sam Bradford this off-season despite his holdout. Instead, the birds are focused on creating equal opportunities for every position on the roster. It just so happens that at the quarterback position, it means developing Wentz has taken a priority over giving a veteran as much first-team action as possible. The right decision for a franchise looking to build for the future.


Photo credit: USA-TODAY