“Last year at this time was such an uncomfortable situation for him,” recalled tight end Zach Ertz. “He’s such a natural leader, and for him to sit back and let the other quarterbacks do their thing, it was difficult. Now he’s the face of the franchise, and there’s a level of comfort.”
Wentz’s reality changed last Aug. 30, when Minnesota Vikings starter Teddy Bridgewater suffered a severe knee injury in practice. Four days later, the Vikings traded a 2017 first-round pick and a 2018 conditional fourth-rounder to the Eagles for starting quarterback Sam Bradford, scuttling the plan to have Wentz watch and learn during his rookie campaign.
First-year Eagles coach Doug Pederson elevated Wentz, who’d been sidelined by a preseason rib injury, above second-stringer Chase Daniel. Eight days later, Wentz shined in a 29-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns that launched a three-game winning streak to start the season — and what Wentz’s employers believe will be a long, fruitful era: