In the spring of 2016, the Eagles were in a very odd predicament. Their former Head Coach, Chip Kelly, was fired right before the final game of the season after being with the team since 2013. Following that, Howie Roseman was resurrected from the outskirts of the Novacare complex where he went back to his old office, dusted off his old desk and spun his office chair while stating to himself that it was time to work.
Roseman was brought back by Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie to help right the ship and hopefully avoid a complete rebuild. Their first step was to find the right man to help lead this locker room, fortunately, the Eagles chose Doug Pederson to be Kelly’s successor. A no-name offensive coordinator who spent most of his pro career as a backup QB to Brett Favre and Donovan McNabb.
After they established their coaching staff with the likes of Duce Staley, Frank Reich, Jim Schwartz, and John Defilippo; Roseman had his eyes set on somewhat of a detox for the roster. His first couple of moves sent ripple effects throughout the NFL. Roseman was able to get rid of disgruntled cornerback Byron Maxwell, linebacker Kiko Alonso and the 13th overall pick for the 8th overall pick. After that, Roseman made sure to ship another disgruntled player in running back DeMarco Murray to the Titans for the 113th overall pick.
All of these moves would lead to Roseman making the boldest one of all, trading the number 8 overall pick along with a 3rd round pick, a 4th round pick, a 2017 first-round pick and finally a 2018 second-round pick for the number 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
At the time it seemed like a lot for an unproven rookie prospect in Carson Wentz but as time always does, it revealed that maybe it wasn’t enough.
Three years later, Carson Wentz is in familiar territory and Eagles fans can’t stand it. The franchise QB has been labeled injury-prone after failing to complete two seasons in a row due to injuries. He’s gone from possible NFL MVP to being compared to Tony Romo. Yes, take that as an insult. It was meant to be one.
Now he’s also gone from being ranked as the 3rd best player in all of the NFL to the 96th best player. For those who care, it matters. For those who don’t care about the ranking, well please teach us your ways. It’s hard to have such a deep pride for your team while ignoring all the outside noise, it’s nearly impossible. Especially if you’re from Philly.
All of this has led me to ask one question for everyone out there…
Who is Carson Wentz?
See Wentz was never supposed to be great, but he is. He was never meant to be an Elite Quarterback BUT he is. For Cowboys fans, he’s the player you love to hate because you have to convince yourself that Dak Prescott is somewhat better which isn’t true at all. For Browns fans, you’re somehow relieved that Mayfield is your QB and he’ll look amazing cause of Odell Beckham Jr and Jarvis Landry but you can’t help but wonder how would they look if Carson Wentz was your quarterback. Admit it.
As for Rams fans, it kills them to know their number one overall pick, Jared Goff, may just be a glorified game manager while Wentz is an actual playmaker.
It’s a bit comical as well, recently an article was published stating how NFL executive view certain players and Wentz was seen as a top 10 QB with a little Andrew Luck to him. The comparison is respectable, plus Wentz hasn’t given the world a full season or even a playoff game to judge yet.
In the 2017 season, Wentz put together a remarkable season while I’m almost assuring himself as the NFL’s MVP but due to a torn ACL that didn’t happen. Unfortunately for him, back up QB Nick Foles, rode the wave the Wentz established and took the franchise to their first-ever Super Bowl victory. Cue the pressure.
That all he must’ve felt when entering his rehab with the goal of starting the season as QB1. Everywhere and anywhere, Foles was receiving the highest praise for winning the Super Bowl while being the teams QB2. Which led to the Eagles franchise QB to rush himself back even quicker than he should have. Although the 2018 season was declared a “down year” for Wentz due to the team’s inability to close games and Carson injuring himself once again, Wentz still finished last season with a better passer rating than Tom Brady, Dak Prescott, Jared Goff, Aaron Rodgers, and Andrew Luck. He also finished the year with a career-high 69% completion percentage.
Wentz is on pace for a greatness that’s been overshadowed by injuries. He also hasn’t developed that calm stature in the pocket that most great QB’s learn in the careers. He does also get hit way too much but these are all things that can be fixed through growth. Wentz is already finding ways to keep himself healthy by switching up his diet in hopes to have a leaner, lighter body. He also knows he has to protect himself better but Wentz is facing something that can possibly define his career.
This Eagles offense, on paper, has already been declared to be the best talent that Coach Doug Pederson has ever had, The weapons around Wentz are endless right now. He finally has a deep threat in DeSean Jackson. He has his big body receivers in Alshon Jeffery and JJ Arcega-Whiteside. Not to mention two of the top ten Tight Ends in football, Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz. Plus he will have a healthy O-Line outside of Brandon Brooks and they’ve also built the most talented running back group in Pederson’s era with Howard, Sanders, Clement, and Sproles.
It’s all been handed to him on a silver platter but it will all mean nothing if the franchise QB can’t deliver what’s expected. Now, what is expected? Would a Super Bowl win be the only way to consider next season a success? How about seeing Wentz go a full season and play in the playoffs? Either way, the 2019 season holds more questions than answers for number eleven. One thing is for sure about this season, if Wentz stays healthy, the world will finally learn who the real Carson Wentz is.