The Eagles’ quarterbacks reported for training camp last week. Carson Wentz spoke to the media on Thursday afternoon about training camp during the pandemic, how the offense will look this fall, and his impression of the rookie wideouts.
Here’s what the QB had to say.
On opting out and pandemic planning
Wentz admitted that, being a new dad, he looked at the situation a little differently and had to think about what playing this season would look like and what it would mean for him and his family. But, ultimately, he noted that he feels safe at the NovaCare Complex.
He did say that he spoke with Marquise Goodwin the other day and, while he was sad he wouldn’t get a chance to play with the receiver this season, he totally respects his decision. The quarterback said he wasn’t surprised that so many players throughout the league were opting out given the health risks to both the players and their families.
Several times Wentz mentioned that you never know how it all unfolds, but he’s optimistic that they can use all the protocols in place and stay healthy — although he admits that you have to know there is a chance that something happens or someone gets sick.
“Very aware that it is going to be a challenge.”
Wentz pointed out that the team is going to have be a professional 24/7 and have to take care of themselves out of the building and make good decisions. It’s also up to the leaders in the building to make sure guys are handling their business, but he thinks that the team is up for the challenge.
The quarterback later said that he thinks that leadership voice evolves over time, and now that he’s into his 5th year in the league, he feels like a veteran.
On the offense this season
Wentz isn’t worried about having new offensive staff without any grass time this spring, and since the rest of the NFL is in the same situation, they’re actually in a good spot with so much carryover.
“I think for the most part, we’re going to look the same.”
He noted that there will be some young and new guys out there, and then Rich Scangarello has come in and showed them how to marry some of the run game with RPOs, and things like that. But, it’s not a completely new offense.
The QB said that improving in the redzone and on third downs are two things he is going ot emphasize every year. He’s learned during his career that those things will make or break games all the time. He’s also hoping the offense gets more explosive with DeSean Jackson back (“hopefully”) and some of the younger guys. And personally, Wentz wants to get better at holding onto the ball in the pocket and limiting turnovers.
On specific players
Wentz talked about the three rookie wide receiver picks — Jalen Reagor, John Hightower, and Quez Watkins — and his first impression was that all three are fast. He noted that they aren’t on the field practicing in pads yet, or close to full speed, but all three are quick and natural ball catchers, and all have a chance to contribute in Year 1.
The quarterback said that he’s excited about JJ Arcega-Whiteside, and the two spoke quite a bit this offseason both about football and just as friends. Wentz said that he’s excited to see how the WR grows off his up and down first year, and that he needs to continue to gain confidence — but, Wentz has never questioned JJAW’s work ethic.
- During the spring, Wentz was able to work out at home, and without having to worry about rehabbing an injury, he’s put on some muscle by being able to focus on strength training.
- Wentz was asked about how he’ll take to mentoring Jalen Hurts, and he said that it’ll be the same as how he works with the rest of the quarterback room. The QB said that he’s going to be here for Hurts and help him understand the ins and outs of the game.
- He wasn’t too concerns with being left off the NFL’s Top 100 list, “I usually don’t get too caught up in all that stuff”. And while Wentz wishes he didn’t have to hear or see about those kinds of things, “I do look forward to going out this year and showing what I can do with my teammates.”