By Peter Gleason
The elephant in the room at Eagles mini-camp is obvious:
Nick Foles is taking first-team reps at quarterback while Carson Wentz continues to rehab his wrecked left knee, injured six months ago against the Rams in the L. A. Coliseum.
There we have said it.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson has made it clear there’s no quarterback controversy since the minute Foles finished a sensational performance in the 41-33 win over the Patriots. When he’s healthy, Wentz is the guy. He’s the face of the franchise.
”I still believe this is Carson’s team,” Pederson said yesterday. ”There are no egos involved. They’re in this thing together. Both support each other. Nick supported Carson during the season last year, and then Carson turned around and supported Nick at the end of the year.
”Their relationship has carried over into this spring and summer, and it’s really good. I see them working in the classroom. I see them working on the field. They keep talking. They want to get better individually. They want to get our team better. And so it’s been a really good, really good dynamic between those two.”
Foles has maintained since he replaced Wentz last December that he understands his role is the backup. He wants to start again in the NFL, but was happy to stay in Philly.
”I’ve shown what I can do,” Foles said. ”I love the team and I love the city. I’m excited for Carson to get back.”
As for Wentz?
”Being able to partner up with Mission of Hope in Haiti and to see how everything is so Christ-centered, they had a sports complex in thought so we were on board for that,” Wentz said. ”I know how sports changed my life, how so many doors have opened up and how my faith has grown through guys who have mentored me in sports. Just to know that can be given and provided to the people in Haiti, it’ll really change their perspective on so many things and restore some dignity and hope. It gets me fired up and I’m excited to go back and be hands-on and see the impact it’s making.”
Wentz then held the inaugural AO1 Foundation charity softball game at the home of the Phillies on June 1, drawing more than 25,000 fans who came out to see the Super Bowl champs compete in a home run derby – left guard Stefen Wisniewski was the winner with a fantastic power display – and a game that featured Foles and 23 other Eagles.
”The brotherhood we have on this team, we’re so close,” Wentz said. ”We genuinely care about each other. A lot of unselfish players. To see these guys come out (to support me) is so humbling.”
Make no mistake, despite all his outside interests, Wentz is determined to help the Eagles become the ninth team to repeat as Super Bowl champs.
”The biggest thing is the culture of excellence that we’ve created,” Wentz said. ”I don’t see why the sky can’t be the limit for us again. Our roster is rock-solid and our camaraderie and our culture is still rock-solid and growing. We have high expectations.”