Eagles Wake-Up Call: Recalibrating Carson

-USA TODAY Sports

-USA TODAY Sports

The taste for contact was developed at an early age.

Carson Wentz always wanted to be a quarterback, but was denied the opportunity his first year playing organized ball.

“Fifth grade football,” Wentz recalled during a session with writers in the media room Friday night following his press conference. “I wanted to play quarterback but they let the other kid for some reason, [so they put me at running back] and just gave me the ball every time instead.”

Young Wentz played inside linebacker on defense that year. On both sides of the ball, he was right in the physical thick of things.

“I maintained that mentality,” said Wentz. “I always played both ways, even in high school all the way through. I just loved the contact, I love football. I loved defense dang near just as much as offense, but obviously offense was a much better fit once I got to the next level.”

He still managed to get his licks in at North Dakota State, though, despite playing QB exclusively. Read more »

Takeaways From Draft Weekend

Carson Wentz. (USA Today Sports)

Carson Wentz. (USA Today Sports)

A lot to digest following an eventful several days at the NovaCare. Here’s what stood out.

— A story about Carson Wentz I liked:

It would be understandable if the 23-year-old out of Bismarck needed a couple weeks to hibernate. Since capping his college career off with a championship-game win over Jacksonville State, it’s been a whirlwind tour. From the Senior Bowl to the Combine to his pro day; from official visits to private workouts to independent training; media obligations; a trip to Chicago for one of the biggest days of his life, and then off to his new home — Philadelphia — to meet with the masses…it’s been an exhausting run over the last several months.

And yet he’s not interested in any breathers. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Pick-By-Pick Draft Review

Howie Roseman, Carson Wentz, Jeffrey Lurie and Doug Pederson. (USA Today Sports)

Howie Roseman, Carson Wentz, Jeffrey Lurie and Doug Pederson. (USA Today Sports)

There is one — and only one — grade you should really give the Eagles for their 2016 draft picks. That letter?

‘I’, for incomplete.

Often times, grades are based on value for picks, but we forget that a lot of the “value” is created by the media. If a team selected someone in the second round whom most “draft experts” had pegged as a third-round pick, that doesn’t necessarily mean he was a “reach.” And if a team takes a prospect in the sixth round whom many in the media had as a fifth-round pick, that doesn’t necessarily mean they got “good value.”

Some media members consult teams about their round projections on certain players, but there’s no universal big board across the league. The only real way to determine if someone was a reach or not is to wait five years. Read more »

Pederson: Bradford, Cox ‘Losing Valuable Time’

Doug Pederson. (USA Today Sports)

Doug Pederson. (USA Today Sports)

Sam Bradford and Fletcher Cox are in different situations. While the Eagles don’t appear to want the quarterback long term, they hope to build their defense around the Pro Bowl tackle.

Still, according to Doug Pederson, they’re in the same boat when it comes to holding out of voluntary workouts.

“Anybody that’s not in any of the 32 offseason programs is losing valuable time at that club,” Pederson said. “So anybody that’s not in the offseason program, yes, would lose the time.” Read more »

Smallwood On ’14 Arrest: ‘I Never Did Any Of That’

Wendell Smallwood. (USA Today Sports)

Wendell Smallwood. (USA Today Sports)

West Virginia running back Wendell Smallwood led the Big 12 in rushing last season with more than 1,500 yards, but the Eagles were able to draft him in the fifth round, potentially in part because of off-the-field concerns.

In July of 2014, Smallwood was charged with witness intimidation in relation to a murder case. According to the Delaware News Journal, the charges were officially dropped after Smallwood’s friend pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

“I never came to anyone, tried to give them — as they were saying — recanted statements or anything like that. I never tried to get someone out of something. I never did any of that. I think it came to light at the end of the day, and that’s why the DA made the decisions they did,” Smallwood said at his introductory press conference. Read more »

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