How to repair & rebuild Carson Wentz
Around this time 3 years ago, the future for the Eagles looked as promising as ever with Carson Wentz rounding into MVP form. An ACL tear, Nick Foles Super Bowl win, and Jalen Hurts draft selection later and the Eagles have a broken quarterback on their hands. This broken mentality that the Eagles have instilled in Wentz has led to the worst season of his career and his eventual benching in favor of Jalen Hurts.
So now Carson Wentz finds himself in the very QB controversy that he had thought he avoided when Foles left town. And there’s a good reason for it, he’s been flat out abysmal this season:
Carson Wentz this season:
- 57.4 completion % (31st)
- 15 INTS (leads NFL)
- 49.2 QBR (27th)
- 6.0 yards/attempt (30th)
The Eagles aren’t going to go very far with this version of Carson Wentz and to be frank, they have nobody to blame but themselves. I believe that the talent is still there, however, and there are steps that the Eagles can take to fix their franchise quarterback.
The talent is still there. pic.twitter.com/opReObnk3l— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) December 7, 2020
I’ve seen too many fans this week clamoring to trade Wentz simply because he deserves better. Why anyone would be content with that outcome is beyond me; so I’ve come up with a plan on how to resurrect Wentz’s career while keeping him in Philadelphia:
1. Preserve Carson Wentz
After Sunday’s loss to the Packers, the Eagles fell to 3-8-1 and all but effectively ended their postseason hopes for this season. Now I understand that you could technically never be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs in this depressing division, but we can all see the writing on the wall here.
The Eagles have officially named Jalen Hurts the starter this week against New Orleans, and he should be for the remainder of the season. There’s no logical reason to continue to play Wentz when there is nothing to play for. The Eagles might as well see what they have in Hurts before heading into the offseason.
Wentz has been sacked 50 times this season (sacked 3+ times in 10 consecutive games) and allowing Hurts to play would keep him from getting beat up any further. I personally don’t believe the offense is going to look any different with Hurts in there. The OL is still in shambles; Hurts was sacked 3 times in one quarter and threw a pick in his limited action on Sunday.
At the very worst, a team comes knocking for him if he plays well and the Eagles could flip him for an asset that would actually be beneficial to Carson Wentz. At the end of the day, this isn’t the “end of the Wentz era” and he’s still the franchise QB (contracts don’t lie). Get him right and save him for next season.
2. Relieve Howie Roseman of GM Duties
Now I’m not sure Jeffrey Lurie could ever cut ties completely with Howie Roseman, but as far as the role of acting general manager is concerned, Roseman needs to be fired. Super Bowl season aside, he has failed to put the team in a position to succeed and his draft record speaks for itself.
As a refresher, here are some of his recent moves:
- Signed Javon Hargrave to 3-year, $39M contract (2.5 sacks, 9 solo tackles on the year)
- Signed Jake Elliot to 5-year, $21.8M (Missed 4 FGs & 2 PATs this season)
- Didn’t sign Robby Anderson (75 catches, 912 yards for Carolina this season)
- Drafted JJ Arcega-Whiteside 7 spots before DK Metcalf (Beating a dead horse, I know)
- Signed Alshon Jeffery to 4-year, $52M extension in 2017
And that isn’t even scratching the surface. Add in the fact that it was Roseman’s call to draft Jalen Reagor over Justin Jefferson as well as Jalen Hurts, it’s very clear that there is a disconnect within the front office. Howie has always found ways to maneuver the cap but the talent evaluation has been subpar, to say the least. From my perspective, he’s exhausted all of his chances.
It takes a cumulative effort to ruin a franchise guy as talented as Wentz, and Howie Roseman is at the forefront of that group. The Eagles owe it to Wentz to at least attempt to fix everything surrounding him before they entertain possibly moving on.
Friendly reminder: pic.twitter.com/Ix5YnC8xRh— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) November 15, 2020
3. Hire a new QB Coach, Offensive Coordinator
I’m probably in the minority here but I think Doug Pederson is a fine head coach. His ego has been a little much this season but Pederson is a good leader and his players do play for him. What Pederson lacks, however, is offensive creativity. The Eagles offense has been stale and inconsistent all season long, getting away from what’s been effective (running the football) and asking Wentz to be something he’s not.
QB coach Press Taylor is just as responsible for Carson’s regression as anyone else. Wentz has made poor decisions, displayed rookie mechanics, and has looked clueless at times. All of those problems point back to coaching. Whatever Press Taylor has been teaching Carson Wentz this season, it’s nonexistent. Yes, Carson should be held accountable for his own mistakes but it’s also up to the coaching staff to rectify those mistakes.
Regardless of who the QB is in this offense, the current gameplan isn’t doing the team any favors. Doug ran Miles Sanders 5 times for 17 yards in the first half on Sunday and we didn’t see him again for the rest of the half. Whether it’s Wentz, Hurts or whatever QB they add to the “factory” next, the Eagles need to get an offensive innovator that can complement Pederson sooner rather than later.
If Pederson plans to stick around in Philadelphia, it would serve him well to entertain the idea of having a traditional OC.— Victor Williams (@ThePhillyPod) November 23, 2020
Here’s 5 candidates that could potentially repair Carson Wentz:https://t.co/34igbCkFYy
4. Cut the remaining dead weight on the roster
Why Doug Pederson isn’t primarily focused on developing his young players is a mystery to me. Travis Fulgham is seeing fewer snaps by the week in favor of Alshon Jeffery while Jason Peters is still forcing himself to play organized football for some reason. With the season all but over, you would think that now is the time get your young players as much experience as you can:
Week 13 Snap Counts:
- Jalen Reagor: 44 snaps (71%)
- Greg Ward: 44 snaps (71%)
- Alshon Jeffery: 35 snaps (56%)
- Travis Fulgham: 25 snaps (40%)
- John Hightower: 18 snaps (29%)
Alshon Jeffery has caught 2 passes for 15 yards since returning from injury. DeSean Jackson has recorded 22 receptions for 314 yards and 2 TDs since being handed his 3-year, $27M contract. Jason Peters held the Eagles at ransom for more money just to allow 8 sacks on Wentz this season.
The organization needs to bite the bullet, get younger, and release the dead weight on this team. Mailata, Reagor, Fulgham, etc. need the opportunity to sink or swim on their own and it isn’t going to happen while holding onto players for sentimental reasons.
The #Eagles cap hit for Alshon Jeffery this season is $15.3 million.— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 7, 2020
He caught 0 passes in three of four games this season.
Next year, his cap hit is $18.4 million for the team. pic.twitter.com/j7OTNfGQWb
5. Hold Carson Wentz accountable
Wentz is a professional and always addresses the media as such. The tired “I have to be better speeches” are growing old though and at some point, he has to take a deep look at himself. Perhaps this benching will allow him to reassess and see the game from a different angle. Maybe Wentz felt entitled at one point and never thought that he would actually be benched, and now that this has come to fruition it’ll light some type of fire within him.
One thing I would’ve liked to hear from Wentz this week is “I didn’t play well and coach had to do what was best for the team” rather than the “it’s frustrating to be benched” monologue. Again, this goes back to the coaching staff holding their players accountable. Carson realizes his mistakes and knows that he has to play better. Watching Jalen Hurts play on Sunday could possibly be the wake-up call his career needs.
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