Ever since he was drafted with the second overall pic, his status has never been questioned. Carson Wentz has always been ‘the guy’. The franchise quarterback, the prince who was promised. The road to becoming the starting quarterback took some very wild turns and involved an immediate shortcut, but the destination was always going to be the same. What did change however, was the company surrounding Wentz.
Drafted into the NFL behind Sam Bradford, who at the time, coming off of a relatively strong end to 2015, would’ve been the perfect bridge until Wentz was ready to take the reins. That was the aim, to have a veteran help develop Wentz…but as we all know, things changed, fast.
Wentz found himself starting in week one and the rest, as they say, was history. Behind Wentz though, helping him throughout was Chase Daniel. Doug Pederson had experience with Daniel from his time in Kansas City, so the familiarity, chemistry and understanding was worth its weight in gold to a rookie head Coach coach who was trying to expedite the growth of Carson Wentz.
$21M seemed like an awful lot for a backup, but even Alex Smith, who by this point was entrenched as the guy in Kansas City before the Pat Mahomes era, understood the reasons why.
“For me, it’s nice to have the perspective of another guy, a guy that’s played quarterback and knows what it’s like,” Smith said.“It’s crucial sometimes to have that, and I really did have it with Chase the last few years. He’s a guy whose opinion I really trusted and think a lot of.”
“I think a lot of times people kind of make the assumption — especially with a veteran starter — that it’s a one-direction relationship where the starter’s the guy that has all this wisdom and goes out and plays, and he’s helping out the younger guys, and helping develop them,” Smith said. “And, certainly, that is half of it.
“But I do think it’s very, very important that that comes back, that your backup is watching film with you. Because as soon as I’m stepping off the field here, you know, I’m asking, ‘Hey, what did you guys see on this, what did you guys see on that?’ I’m constantly bouncing things off of those guys, and it can’t always be coaches (helping me).”– Alex Smith on Chase Daniel’s impact. https://www.kansascity.com/sports/nfl/kansas-city-chiefs/article81633047.html
The Eagles had signed Daniel to a three-year, $21M deal in order to help the growth of their shining new hope. One year later, Daniel departed in the belief that he could become a starter (that didn’t happen) and in his place stepped Nick Foles. Again, another quarterback who Doug Pederson was familiar with. In fact, Pederson was hammering the table for the Eagles to draft Foles way back when he was the team’s quarterback’s coach in 2012.
Of course, this road took several twists and turns that nobody could’ve foreseen and without diving into the incredible Super Bowl run or the value that Foles brought to the offense when on the field, because that fairytale level of excellence is a can of worms that has been and will be opened in different articles. But off the field, Foles was again, instrumental in helping Carson Wentz grow. Especially following the Super Bowl win and a torn ACL, a unique circumstance where Wentz was almost forced to take a back seat and find new ways to help the team.
“The relationship in that quarterback room I think is excellent in terms of the support that they all give each other and that’s [QB] Carson [Wentz], to [QB] Nate [Sudfeld], or Nate and Nick for Carson, that room, they do a great job of helping each other, talking through game plans, talking through issues. They are up in their room all the time throughout the course of the week and then certainly on the sidelines supporting each other and cheering each other on.”Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh on the QB room chemistry in 2018.
But now, there is no Nick Foles, there is no Chase Daniel, there is no Sam Bradford. Entering his fourth season, Wentz is the oldest in the room. Sure, Kessler is only a few months younger, but in terms of experience as a starter, he’s now the clear leader.
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Liam is a 24-year old sports journalist from the UK and founder of the Philly Sports Network. In just five years he turned a hobby into one of the fastest-growing Philadelphia sports sites in the world, amassing 7,000,000 views and writing over 3,000 articles. Drawing attention from the likes of CSN, NJ.Com and Bleacher Report in the process, Liam is set on changing the way Philadelphia sports teams are reported on forever.
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