From the day he was drafted 2nd overall in the 2016 NFL draft, Carson Wentz has been the face of the Philadelphia Eagles franchise. Now heading into his 5th season and entering his prime at 27 years old as the clear-cut leader of the team, every facet of the Eagles brass has to step up and work to help this organization win at the highest level with Wentz at the head of it.
|2016||Jordan Matthews||Nelson Agholor||Dorial Green-Beckham|
|2017||Alshon Jeffery||Nelson Agholor||Torrey Smith|
|2018||Alshon Jeffery||Nelson Agholor||Mike Wallace (For one Game)|
Listed above is every receiver that has started a game with Carson Wentz as the QB. From his rookie year with Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham, Carson Wentz has never had a clear-cut, top 10 elite wide receiver on the outside. Yes, Alshon Jeffery is/was a starting caliber talent, that can and has produced for the Eagles as the number one receiver, but he has never (neither has any other receiver in Carson Wentz’s tenure with the Eagles) eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark in a season. There have been re-treads such as Mike Wallace (who only played one game in an Eagles uniform) and the repeated returning to the well of Jordan Matthews two years in a row, which is understandable considering he knows the playbook and Wentz is/was comfortable with him, but at some point, you have to realize your eyes aren’t lying and call a spade a spade and attempt to go into a different direction. I understand Howie Roseman when he says his goal was to attempt to maximize the Superbowl window and in doing so, he attempted to find bargains in free agency but one of the main objectives for the organization once Wentz was drafted needed to be to find a running mate to develop and grow with Carson Wentz.
A phrase that has been restated from last season to this point in the offseason is “Carson and the kids”, in reference to Wentz’s play down the stretch and leading the team to the playoffs with lesser and younger receivers, if Wentz can be successful with those caliber of players, imagine what he can do with a top level talent. Even looking at 2017 during his MVP caliber 33 touchdown passes and 7 interceptions, the receiver play was good but there wasn’t an elite level talent. Howie Roseman must invest premium level picks (Rounds 1-2) in the position. Yes, JJ Arcega-Whiteside was drafted in last year’s second round but he showed next to nothing for me to have any optimism for his development in the future, outside of a pre-season touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens. Bottom line the front office from Roseman down has to do more to get Wentz a top level weapon outside of tight end and running back. We’ve seen this story before in Philadelphia with Donovan McNabb and Joe Banner and the lack of top level talent they gave McNabb in his first five years outside of Brian Westbrook and a lackluster receiving core which consisted of Freddie Mitchell, James Thrash, Todd Pinkston and Greg Lewis. The Eagles brass cannot allow history to repeat itself, they like all of us have seen the potential of number 11. They cannot afford to waste his prime by not acquiring a top level talent in the draft to grow with Carson Wentz.
Along with the scouting and front office side of things, the coaching has to improve also. Every move made with this coaching staff on the offensive side of the ball has been done with number 11 in mind. From the firing of Mike Groh and the hiring of Rich Scangarello, the addition of Andrew Breiner and the promoting of Press Taylor, each move was done to try to get Carson Wentz back to his 2017 form when the staff around Wentz was one of the best in the league, specifically that of the former quarterbacks coach John Defilippo. Some of the main things Defilippo instilled into Wentz were discipline and the sharpening of his mechanics, two things, which have seemed to erode a bit in the two years Defilippo has been out of the NovaCare Complex. Enter Rich Scangarello who has been revered for his work with quarterbacks such as Drew Lock, Jimmy Garappolo, Nick Mullens and Brandon Allen. The implementation of new wrinkles in passing concepts and play designs will also be huge for Wentz’s development. It’s clear to everyone who has watched the Eagles offense since Carson Wentz was drafted that Wentz is comfortable moving out of the pocket and not being forced to be a pocket QB. Enter the promoted Press Taylor and Andrew Breiner. Both of whom will work on play design, Breiner specifically from the college ranks and Taylor, who can offer a bevy of knowledge from different coaches he’s worked around in his career that he may not have been able to introduce in his role as assistant QB coach (2016-17) and QB coach (2018-current). Finally, the man that will play probably the biggest role in Wentz’s future outside of Wentz himself, Doug Pederson. It’s Pederson’s job to listen to his new coaches and let his them coach and put Wentz as well as the entire offense in the best position to succeed. Whether on the practice field, film room and on Lincoln Financial Field on gamedays, Pederson has to do the very best job of listening to his quarterback and helping him with playcalling that maximizes his quarterback’s talent/potential.
Finally, the person who will ultimately decide how the prime of Wentz’s career goes is himself. We’ve all seen the top 5 QB potential he has, first in 2017 and also down the stretch last season when things looked bleak but Wentz didn’t fret or complain, he put the team on his back and led them. One thing I can say from watching Wentz over his first 4 seasons is he is a hard worker. Whether that be on the field or off the field, the man is a competitor through and through. Even though he could become content with the fact that he has a well paying contract and a Superbowl ring already, the fact that he wasn’t on the field to lead the franchise to its first Superbowl in franchise history was according to Wentz “a challenge”. I have no doubt in my mind that Wentz will continue to compete and work to achieve the ultimate goal not only for himself but for the organization as well.
The one thing that is clear to me, this is Carson’s Wentz’s team. He is the leader and will be the head huncho of the players entering the 2020 season. The pieces around him have to improve and no doubt, he also has to be better, but it takes a group effort. The front office has to get players to compliment the quarterback, the coaching have to scheme and put the players in the best position to succeed and the players have to execute. Time will tell if these facets of the Eagles brass, players included can accomplish this in order to achieve the ultimate goal again.
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