By Annie Ross
One of the only legitimate criticism of Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz is that he takes too many chances with his 6-5, 237-pound body.
Witness the two ribs he injured in the preseason when he took off and got pounded.
Well, now the Birds are planning more called plays for Wentz to run against the Lions this Sunday.
“Without giving away the game-plan?” Pederson joked today at NovaCare when asked if he is reluctant to call more designed running plays for Wentz at this point. “No. I’m not. Now, it’s our fourth game of the season. Obviously, as a staff we have to be very smart about how we handle that aspect of the game. Probably the deeper you go into your regular season and if you are in a position to make the postseason, you might increase that a little bit.”
Pederson’s comments echo those made by offensive coordinator Frank Reich prior to Week 3 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“I think there has been a little bit of thought into not putting him into that position too much, too early,” Reich explained. “I would envision as the season goes on that that is brought more and more into it.
“But, we’re just starting out and we want to make sure he gets the message, which he needs to prove that he’s gotten the message that we can give him that responsibility and he can protect himself. And, he was coming off an injury. We knew he was fine, but as a coach there was always that thing in the back of your mind saying ‘hey, let’s just play it safe for a week or two’ until we know for sure.”
Pederson says that he intends to follow the model he and Andy Reid used with Alex Smith’s designed runs in Kansas City with Wentz.
“One of the things, a little bit, that defenses sometimes forget is the quarterback’s ability to run,” Pederson says. “I think that was an advantage to us in Kansas City with Alex [Smith] and his ability to run the football. As we got deeper into the season, we dialed up a few more of those for him. It will be the same type of formula for Carson.”