Carson Wentz discusses work with QB coach, Philadelphia Eagles’ playoff chances and more
PHILADELPHIA — At this time last year, Carson Wentz was veering toward the conclusion of a pre-draft process that tested his psyche and stamina. He flew across the country meeting with NFL teams last spring, adopted a grueling workout routine and conducted countless interviews at various events before landing in this city as the No. 2 overall pick.
“I just remember being tired all the time,” Wentz joked Monday.
But early spring 2017 has unfolded in a different fashion for the 24-year-old Wentz, who has emerged as a promising young NFL quarterback and the scruffy face of the Philadelphia Eagles franchise.
So when the Birds opened their offseason workout program Monday, they trotted Wentz out in front of reporters to talk about his own growth. He touched on the team’s expectations for 2017 and his excitement to play with a new crop of wideouts, too.
Here’s a roundup of the most interesting notes.
Wentz discusses work with QB coach
Monday marked the first time Wentz spoke to the media since he spent time with quarterback guru Adam Dedeaux this offseason.
And Wentz’s decision to hire Dedeaux for personal training sessions took some pundits by surprise, considering the rookie quarterback has several coaches with experience at the position to lean on. But coaches and players can’t converse between the end of the regular season and start of the offseason workout program, so Wentz turned to Dedeaux.
“There was never really any resistance [from the team],” Wentz said. “I think coaches want everybody to do their own thing — whatever they think is going to help them get better. And I thought it was a benefit.”
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Though Dedeaux has helped quarterbacks reconstruct their mechanics in the past, Wentz was adamant that he didn’t change his throwing motion this offseason. Instead, the North Dakota State grad explained that the work with Dedeaux pushed him to become more efficient and consistent.
“I don’t think it was anything really specific,” Wentz said, “but just overall, it just helped me fine-tune some things.”
The Eagles stunned several experts last season by jumping out to a 3-0 start. They throttled their first three opponents with a rookie quarterback, first-year head coach and reshaped defense leading the way.
That success soon fizzled, though, as Philadelphia lost nine of its next 12 games and missed the postseason with a 7-9 record.
This year, Wentz wants the team to take strides forward. He’s insisted he wouldn’t accept the same struggles in Year 2.
“7-9 is not going to make the cut,” Wentz said Monday.
And perhaps more importantly, he explained what would be acceptable: a playoff appearance.
Wentz said that the Eagles have their sights set on winning the NFC East one season after finishing in last place in the division. He spouted words of confidence, too, claiming the team has the talent to make a postseason run.
“We truly believe we have the pieces in place,” Wentz said. “We got a lot of work to do. We have a lot of work ahead of us here. It’s early — it’s April still. But we truly believe that.”
New WRs in the fold
Last season, Wentz didn’t have many explosive options to throw to at wide receiver, and the team addressed the lack of playmaking in March by signing two former Pro Bowlers.
Wentz said he talked with both Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith before they arrived at the NovaCare Complex in South Philadelphia on Monday. The signal-caller even had dinner with Jeffrey one night to get to know his new teammate.
“It’s always exciting anytime you add new players like that,” Wentz said. “It creates a lot of buzz, a lot of interest and it’s a lot of excitement in that locker room.”