By Peter Gleason
You want to know what the rest if the NFL thinks of Eagles’ second-year quarterback Carson Wentz?
“He is a big quarterback and he is fearless,” Panthers cornerback James Bradberry said of the 6-5, 237-pound Wentz who led a 28-23 win over Carolina Thursday night. “I saw him take on one of our linebackers and a safety down there by the goal line. You could tell he was trying to will his team to win.”
Wentz now has 13 touchdown passes to just three interceptions as the Eagles improved to 5-1. He threw 16 touchdown passes all of last season, but with 14 interceptions.
“His decision-making is night and day,” Eagles cornerback Malcolm Jenkins told Omnisport. “He’s been a gunslinger and an elusive quarterback — those things he came into the league with. But his decision-making and game management has been the next thing he’s stepped up.”
“It’s football, you’re going to get hit,” Wentz said. “It’s going to happen, so you just keep plugging along.”
“That’s the one thing about this kid, he’s so tough mentally and physically,” Pederson said of Wentz. “He just says in there and battles and still his eyes are down the field. He doesnt let that stuff get to him. He was able to extend plays with his legs.
“He’s a great leader of this football team, even in his second year. Guys really respect the way he plays. It’s exciting to see from your quarterback.”
“You saw glimpses of it when he was in college, obviously, with the championships and the success that he had,” Pederson said. “You just look at his whole sports life and the success he’s had, you just never know though until you get them in your building and you start coaching them to see exactly what you’ve got. That goes with any player, but the quarterback position is so important in this league and that’s one position that you’ve got to get right and he’s the right player for the Philadephia Eagles.”
As for his maturation process as an NFL quarterback, Pederson said Wentz is “still the same guy” he was last year.
“He still wants the ball in his hands and still wants to go down the field and score points,” Pederson said. “We do what we can to keep the ball in his hands and let him make plays.”