By Ben Sullivan
It’s Year 5 in the Era of Carson Wentz as Eagles quarterback.
“For Carson, it’s just a matter of running the show, running the offense, running the team,” coach Doug Pederson told the AP. “He knows how to play this game. He plays it just like a professional. He’s aggressive.”
Wentz rebounded from two injury-shortened seasons to start 16 games last year. He led a depleted offense to four straight wins down the stretch and an NFC East title. But he suffered a concussion in the first quarter of a wild-card loss to Seattle, so he is still seeking his first career playoff win.
Backup Nick Foles stepped in when Wentz injured his knee in 2017 and led the Eagles to the franchise’s first Super Bowl title. Foles filled in again the following year and guided the team to a playoff win on the road after Wentz sustained a season-ending back injury late in that season.
“We have to maintain that aggressiveness, and I think with just continuing to teach and maybe part of the injuries that he’s gone through in the last couple of seasons are things that he can learn from,” Pederson said. “Things that we’ve talked about that he’s learned from and you see that out on the field. It’s a one-day-at-a-time mentality. It’s a one-game mentality once we get into the regular season, and that’s what we focus on.”
Wentz has embraced his leadership role, calling it a “natural progression.” He has a group of talented young receivers to go with veterans DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery, and his go-to guys are tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert.
“I’m just trying to not only get better personally but to make everyone around me better,” Wentz said. “That’s more than just physical things on the field. That’s the mental side of things, understanding the whys behind how we do things or run certain routes or certain concepts. And just trying to make sure that everyone is on the same page so they can think and react and respond the same way I see things on certain plays and certain things.”