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  • Eagles QB Wentz says his personality ‘ain’t going to change,’ and it shouldn’t

    Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz says his personality ‘ain’t going to change,’ and it shouldn’t | Jeff McLane
    by Jeff McLane, Updated: February 4, 2019- 6:00 AM

    Carson Wentz shouldn’t change. He shouldn’t alter his Type-A personality even if it rankles a few teammates. The Eagles quarterback has already proved in just three seasons that he has what it takes to thrive in the NFL.

    Are there minor modifications he can make? Absolutely. The room for improvement is one of mankind’s largest. But having a competitive disposition is vital for athletes, especially quarterbacks. Most elite ones have it in doses. And above all, to thine own self should Wentz be true, because authenticity is what resonates most in the locker room and on the field.

    “I’m 26 years old; my personality, to some extent, ain’t going to change,” Wentz said during a recent interview. It’s “what’s gotten me here, what’s gotten me successful. I’m not going to say, ‘Oh, now I’m going to have this free-spirited, Cali-guy vibe.’ That’s just not going to change.”

    Wentz’s character previously never came into question until a recent PhillyVoice.com painted him as “selfish,” “uncompromising,” and “egotistical.” There weren’t names behind any of the quotes cited in the story, however. And conspicuously missing was Wentz’s voice or a fair attempt to allow him to respond to the charges.

    On Thursday, Wentz sat down with a half-dozen reporters at the NovaCare Complex to address the accusations made in the article. While he didn’t counter some of the general characterizations culled together from “more than a half dozen players, plus other sources close to the team,” according to the story, he rebutted some of the specific claims:

    On “a highly respected teammate” calling him out for not being “a team guy,” Wentz said, “I didn’t know what that was about.”

    On that he “bullied” offensive coordinator Mike Groh, Wentz said, “Groh and I talked to each other that day when it came out, and I think we all know that never took place.”

    On that he didn’t want to run Nick “Foles’ stuff,” Wentz said, “to say I was resistant to running his stuff … there’s so many things to the X’s and O’s of the game, to just say a blanket statement like that just doesn’t necessarily do it justice.”

    But the charges made against Wentz’s character were the ones that seemed to hit home the hardest and that he seemed to contemplate the most.

    “I know who I am, first of all. I know how I carry myself. I know I’m not perfect. I know I have flaws,” Wentz said. “So I’m not going to sit here and say it was inaccurate and completely made up. I’m not going to do that.”

    Wentz said that he wished whichever teammate(s) it was who felt the need to air grievances would have come to him first. He said that he did briefly “play detective,” and that he and some teammates considered the “why,” but Wentz said he tried not to dwell on the hypotheticals. He looked inward instead.

    “I realize I have my shortcomings,” Wentz said. “Yes, I can be selfish. I think we all have selfishness inside of us. There’s human elements to that, that I really look at and say, ‘Well, I can get better.’ ”

    Get better, yes. Change, no. For his first two seasons, and especially in 2017, Wentz’s Type-A personality was viewed as only a positive. But the circumstances of the last year – in which he suffered back-to-back season-ending injuries and his backup led the Eagles to a Super Bowl win and the second round of the playoffs – have somewhat altered the narrative.

    But to think that Wentz did a 180 or, at the least, became a megalomaniac in the span of 12 months defies logic and what many of his teammates, past and present, have publicly said as they came to his defense.

    Wentz can be ambitious, stubborn, exacting, demanding, but the same has been said of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and on and on and on. He has “so much stinking juice,” as former Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich said recently after he heard of the criticism, the subtext being, why would you ever want him to be less confident?

    But there is a tightrope to walk.

    “Anytime you’re a Type-A guy, there’s a fine line being pushy and shove-y and humble and humility and walking that line,” Wentz said. “Definitely learning to navigate that always and never trying to look down on anybody or make it seem like I’m better than anybody.

    “But at the same time, as a Type-A, so-to-speak, confident person that’s confident in off-the-field things and then on the field with what we like, that’s not going to change.”

    In a locker room with 53 different personalities, it’s difficult to please everyone. But they must respect you, and they won’t if you are fake. They won’t if you don’t back your words with actions. And there has yet to be a single instance of Wentz not fulfilling his starting quarterback obligations.

    In fact, he may push the envelope too far. He has more responsibilities than others, but he always seems to be, at least at the NovaCare, in a constant state of motion. His close friends on the team, like Jordan Hicks, Zach Ertz, Jordan Matthews, and Chris Maragos, have told stories about his impatience.

    He was also isolated, at times, from the team during offseason practices. And rehab kept him from organizing another spring trip with his receivers.

    “You can miss out on the human side of the things and the personal side of being a teammate and being around your brothers,” Wentz said.

    But he may need to make more of an effort to go outside his comfort zone with teammates. Wentz forged a bond with a core group partly because of their shared Christian faith. But it may be viewed by others as a clique.

    He has made some effort, once organizing a cookout with Eagles offensive linemen at his South Jersey home. Jason Kelce and Wentz may be opposites when it comes to religion, politics or hobbies, but they have a friendship. The center was one of the non-“Brotherhood” players – as Wentz’s posse likes to call itself – to be invited to Wentz’s wedding in July.

    But more could be done. He could attend more functions for other teammates’ charities. He could pick a destination – other than his native North Dakota – for his getaway with receivers. He could slow down a little and just hang out more with the guys in the locker room.

    Last year was different, though. Wentz was rehabbing after tearing ligaments in his left knee, and his quest to be ready by the season opener was borderline obsessive. He wasn’t as explosive when he returned – something he acknowledged Thursday – and the physical limitations, along with the losing, bogged him down.

    “I realize, like, I maybe wasn’t the greatest teammate at times, because I was emotionally kind of all over the place,” Wentz said. “To the outside world, I probably didn’t show it much. But internally, I mean, you’re definitely fighting some sort of emotions.”

    And then he got hurt again, and, this time, the Eagles played better with Nick Foles. There were various reasons for the turnaround, but the team seemed to be galvanized by the switch. Wentz and Foles have different personalities, but it also helped that the former had yet to take a dominant leadership role.

    That will change, as veterans leave, and after the Eagles give Wentz a franchise-quarterback contract extension, possibly this offseason. Foles’ eventual departure will also help keep Wentz from having to look over his shoulder whenever he does struggle.

    But the specter will remain until Wentz wins a championship. Even at this, possibly the lowest point of his career, he understands he can’t let outside pressure change who he is.

    “I know what I’m capable of on the field. I know what I’ve done in the past, and I know where I envision this team going,” Wentz said. “And so, I don’t really worry about what’s happened in the past -- the shadow, the pressure, the stress.

    “There’s plenty of it. Whether that’s from living in, quote, that shadow or whatever, there’s plenty of stress and pressure here that you try and block out as much as you can.”

    Wentz has room to improve as a player and a teammate, but it will be his drive, and not compromising himself, that gets him there.


  • #2
    Very interesting and candid comments in response to that original article. I find this situation fascinating. It's hard not to read the line about not having a "free-spirited, Cali-guy vibe" as a commentary on Goff.

    Comment


    • #3
      Sounds like a classy guy. That has not let success go through to his head. Same with Goff!
      Carolina Panthers @ Denver Broncos 2/7/2016 CBS 6:30PM EST Santa Clara CA!

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't respect people who are critical of others and won't stand by their comments. This shows a lack of character and when it comes from a teammate, it can have a damaging effect on a locker room. Put your name to it and show some guts, or attempt to work it out privately. Otherwise, keep your mouth shut.

        That said, usually these things have at least SOME semblance of truth- and reading between the lines, it is not hard to envision a butt-hurt Carson Wentz get ticked off that Nick Foles came in and stole glory (TWICE) that would have been his but for his injuries. And he's feeling threatened because despite him being a #2 draft selection he hasn't stayed healthy and his teammates have played well behind his replacement- well enough to warrant questions about the future.

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        • Nick
          Eagles defend Wentz from Philly Voice article
          by Nick
          Philadelphia Eagles players push back on report labeling QB Carson Wentz as 'selfish'
          Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY Published 1:08 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2019

          A collection of Philadelphia Eagles players defended quarterback Carson Wentz in the wake of a report that labeled Wentz as “selfish,” “uncompromising,” and “egotistical.”

          The article, published Monday morning by the Philly Voice, cites “more than half a dozen players, plus other sources close to the team” – all of which were unnamed. The story paints the image of a fractured locker room and calls Wentz’s leadership into question.

          Some of Wentz’s teammates quickly fired back.

          “Reading through this Carson Wentz thing and as a leader on this team none of that is true Carson is a great teammate and great player we are all behind him 100% he’s our guy and will come back and prove the world wrong,” all-pro defensive tackle Fletcher Cox posted on his verified Twitter account. “If you got a problem feel free to @ me I’ll respond”

          Tight end Zach Ertz, one of Wentz’s closest friends, also chimed in.

          “Don’t believe everything you read!!!” Ertz wrote on Twitter. “Carson has been nothing but a GREAT person, GREAT teammate and GREAT leader since Day 1. Our locker room stands behind him all the way. We can’t wait to get back to work and be the best team we can be in 2019! #FlyEaglesFly”

          Right tackle Lane Johnson also wrote on Twitter: “Whoever wrote that article needs to check their "sources". #fakenews

          Carson has been and is our leader and our QB. Y'all know where to find me if you have any issues.#flyeaglesfly”

          Wentz has been productive over the past two seasons, throwing for 54 touchdowns with 14 interceptions. In each year, however, an injury late in the season has forced him to miss time and put backup quarterback Nick Foles in control of the offense as the team embarked on runs to the postseason.

          Behind Foles, the Eagles won their first Super Bowl title last year by beating the New England Patriots. Philadelphia reached the divisional round this season after beating the Chicago Bears in a wild-card matchup, but the defending champions then fell to the New Orleans Saints.

          But the franchise has some decisions to make with Foles’ future. Coach Doug Pederson and general manager Howie Roseman said in a news conference last week that Wentz will continue to be the team’s starter into next season, but the two also said they would like to have Foles back.

          Foles, 30, has a mutual option in his contract that the Eagles must first exercise for the 2019 season. If they do, then Foles will get the chance to accept or decline the option, worth $20 million for next season. If he voids the option, he has to pay back $2 million

          Wentz, meanwhile, is set to enter the final season of his fully guaranteed, four-year rookie contract, though the Eagles...
          -01-21-2019, 04:42 PM
        • r8rh8rmike
          Farmer: North Dakota State's Carson Wentz Is A 'No-Brainer' Choice For The Rams
          by r8rh8rmike
          North Dakota State's Carson Wentz is a 'no-brainer' choice for the L.A. Rams






          Sam Farmer - Contact Reporter

          Football is a game of disguise and misdirection, so fittingly the Rams aren't disclosing which quarterback they'll select with the No. 1 pick in this month's draft, Cal's Jared Goff or North Dakota State's Carson Wentz.

          This much is known: They'll take a quarterback, not surprising considering the hefty price tag required to make the unprecedented move from No. 15 to No. 1.

          The Rams had private workouts with both players and it's highly improbable the team hasn't zeroed in on one. As General Manager Les Snead said Thursday in a news conference formally announcing the trade with the Tennessee Titans, "the hay is in the barn" in terms of scouting the quarterbacks. An interesting wrinkle is that both players are represented by agent Bruce Tollner, son of former USC football coach Ted Tollner.

          While the Rams have praised both players and caution against assuming that either is out of the running, some outside experts see the choice as clear: It's Wentz who should wind up in L.A.



          Nineteen years ago, the newly minted St. Louis Rams made a stunning move, trading up five spots -- and leapfrogging the Oakland Raiders -- to grab the No. 1 pick in the draft and select tackle Orlando Pace, a future Hall of Famer.

          The Los Angeles Rams can only hope things go as well this time.

          Nineteen years ago, the newly minted St. Louis Rams made a stunning move, trading up five spots -- and leapfrogging the Oakland Raiders -- to grab the No. 1 pick in the draft and select tackle Orlando Pace, a future Hall of Famer.

          The Los Angeles Rams can only hope things go as well this time.

          "I really like Jared Goff, but he doesn't have the upside that this kid [Wentz] has," said Mike Mayock, NFL Network draft analyst. "So in my mind, it has to be Wentz — it's not even a question — and I think it's the intangibles that sold [Rams Coach] Jeff Fisher and Les Snead, on top of the physical stuff."



          Mayock said he was impressed when studying video of Goff after the season and initially thought he was the best quarterback prospect in the class. He changed his mind, though, after watching tape of Wentz.
          "At that point, I had never heard of Carson Wentz," Mayock said. "He was just a name on a quarterback list. I put in his tape against Northern Iowa and when I got done with it I was like, 'Wow, I hope the next one is just as good, because this was kind of special.' And the next one was just as good if not better, as was the next one."

          But there wasn't a large body of work from Wentz's 2015 season because he sat out eight games because of a broken wrist. He shined at the Senior Bowl,...
          -04-15-2016, 10:32 AM
        • r8rh8rmike
          North Dakota State's Carson Wentz has all the tools, great upside for the Rams
          by r8rh8rmike
          North Dakota State's Carson Wentz has all the tools, great upside for the Rams

          April 16, 2016
          Updated April 17, 2016 10:40 a.m.


          North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz has a great arm, ideal physical skills and a locker-room presence, experts say.BRUCE CRUMMY, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


          By RYAN KARTJE / STAFF WRITER

          As any conversation about this 6-foot-5, 235-pound North Dakotan with a howitzer arm, barrel frame and the undeniable look of a franchise quarterback seems to begin these days, let us first address the Bison in the room.

          Carson Wentz spent the past five years playing college football in Fargo, N.D. After starting just one season at Bismarck Century High, a late growth spurt left his recruiting profile so low that the popular online scouting services didn’t bother to make a page for him. At North Dakota State, an FCS powerhouse, Wentz didn’t start until his redshirt junior season, and he threw just 612 passes over his entire career – only 28 of which came against FBS opponent. All of these things are true.

          Of course, there’s the 28-3 record and the two FCS championships in two seasons and the glowing off-the-field profile there for your consideration. But there’s no avoiding the reality of the situation. Not since 1974 has an NFL team used the top pick on a player below college football’s highest level.

          As the Rams wonder whether Wentz or Cal’s Jared Goff would be best to carry a rebranded franchise on their shoulders, this lack of experience against top competition is the specter that hangs over the draft’s most intriguing quarterback prospect.

          “I know a lot of people have that question,” Wentz said at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. “I know what I’m capable of.”

          Before deciding for yourself, consider one of those 28 throws against an FBS defense. It’s 2014, Wentz’s first start, and the Bison have just crossed midfield on the road against Iowa State. Wentz drops back from under center, fakes a handoff and steps up into a clean pocket. There are some questions about his pocket presence, but at this moment, he is cool in the face of chaos. On a late read, he launches a bomb 40 yards in the air to wideout Zach Vraa, tucking it cleanly between a charging help safety and a cornerback in man coverage.

          The throw is a dazzling reminder of why Wentz has risen this far, from small-school nobody to lofty Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger comparisons. “He’s got some seriously great arm talent,” said Randy Hedberg, North Dakota State’s quarterbacks coach.

          No scout will dispute that. Wentz has a cannon. Next year, his arm might immediately rank among the league’s dozen best.

          His tools, from the mammoth frame to his 10-inch hands to the 4.77 40 time, suggest that a potential great quarterback can be molded...
          -04-18-2016, 11:55 AM
        • Nick
          If you're a supporter of analytics, then Football Outsiders says Goff's your guy
          by Nick
          http://espn.go.com/nfl/draft2016/ins...rson-wentz-nfl

          Not all the charts are translating so I'm just linking to the article, but the TL;DR version of it is this...

          Based on their metrics, Wentz has a 61.9% chance to bust with a 38.1% chance to be an adequate starter or better. Goff has a 28.1% chance to bust and a whopping 71.8% chance to be adequate or better (37.7% chance of being upper tier). Lynch, Cook, Hackenberg, and Prescott are also examined....
          -04-16-2016, 08:43 AM
        • r8rh8rmike
          UPDATE: Wentz officially out vs. Rams
          by r8rh8rmike
          Carson Wentz (back) not expected to play vs. Rams

          By Kevin Patra NFL.com
          Around the NFL Writer
          Published: Dec. 12, 2018 at 11:18 a.m.


          Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz won't practice Wednesday due to a back injury, and the team could ultimately shut down the starting quarterback for the rest of the 2018 season.

          NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that Wentz is not expected to play Sunday versus the Los Angeles Rams, per a source informed of the decision. Rapoport adds that given the timing of the back issue, Wentz might not play again in 2018. The Eagles are still gathering information on his health.

          Wentz dealt with a back injury earlier in the season. The team believed it was under control, but it flared up again this week. Coach Doug Pederson noted Wednesday the back soreness did not occur during Sunday's loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

          With the 6-7 Eagles still owning an outside shot at the playoffs, losing Wentz for this week is a blow. Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles will take over under center. Foles started the first two games of the season as Wentz returned from a torn ACL, completing 65 percent of his passes with one touchdown and one interception as the Eagles started 1-1.

          If the Eagles play it safe and shut down Wentz for the season, they'll need Foles to recapture his postseason magic from a year ago to keep their waning playoff hopes alive.

          The back injury is the latest in a string of issues for Wentz, who played through a rib injury early in his rookie campaign (missed preseason games) and suffered a season-ending ACL tear last December....
          -12-12-2018, 10:02 AM
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