Eagles Wake-Up Call: Wentz Progressing Well
Carson Wentz hasn’t had much time to simply take a step back and enjoy the rollercoaster ride he’s been on in the last several months, often referring to it as a “whirlwind.” He pole-vaulted up to be the second pick in the draft, and he signed a rookie contract worth tens of millions of dollars, but becoming a starting quarterback in the NFL is what really consumes him every day.
“He came back in the right frame of mind and [we] just told him to go. We’re going to get him plenty of work, plenty of reps not only during practice but after practice, and get him where he needs to be,” Doug Pederson said. “So him having gone through it now for 10 weeks and coming back and just having him relax, be himself, don’t press, we’re still working on some things fundamentally with him, with his feet and with his eyes.”
According to Wentz, Chase Daniel has been “very helpful” by aiding his effort to improve his footwork, particularly when they were in San Diego with Sam Bradford and a slew of receivers. The rookie quarterback labeled the trip as “really good” for developing relationships, adding that it “absolutely” helped create some unity on the team.
“That was just a really good week to get down there and get to know them even more so off the field, and obviously get some good work in on the field,” Wentz said. “For me, it was just big for timing. Get timing down with some of these guys and good just to be around them off the field.”
Around the same time Pederson put the breaks on calling 2016 a redshirt year for Wentz for the entire season yesterday, the North Dakota State product said he also didn’t think of the upcoming year in those exact terms. Wentz detailed the difference between the transition from college to NFL, compared to high school to college, when he did redshirt for a season.
“It’s a little different. Coming out of high school to North Dakota State, it was kind of a whirlwind,” Wentz said. “A high school offense is pretty dumbed down in comparison, so I feel like I have a good grasp of the offense coming in here and I feel pretty confident.”
One rookie who may play right away is third-round pick Isaac Seumalo. The Oregon State offensive lineman, whom Pederson says faces a “little bit” of an uphill battle because he missed most of the spring practices due to the graduation rule, is focusing on learning left guard during training camp. Seumalo appears to be one of three main contenders for the starting job with Allen Barbre and Stefen Wisniewski.
Seumalo was clearly a bit flustered that he couldn’t learn along side his teammates during OTAs and training camp.
“It sucks. I want to be here practicing. I just tried to work out, get in shape, gain weight [and] get healthy as much as I could to come back ready to go,” Seumalo said. “It’s not too bad playbook-wise; I’ve always been good at that stuff. It’s football, so it’s gonna suck the first week or two, especially with the heat.”
Seumalo spent hours every week Skyping with Stoutland, whom he called “extremely helpful.” Pederson spoke enthusiastically about Seumalo yesterday after the first day of training camp, noting that the lineman “looked good” and reported to the NovaCare Complex in shape.
“[Missing the] chance of getting those live reps obviously might set you back a little bit, but he’s such a hard worker,” Pederson said. “He’s smart. The time spent with [offensive line] coach [Jeff] Stoutland in the offseason has proved itself even today coming back. It’s almost like he, you know, has gone through a whole offseason of the information. I don’t have any issues with Isaac.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
“I just try to be myself and take control when I need to.” Sam Bradford on his distinct style of leadership.
With plenty of cornerbacks vying for the starting spot opposite of Leodis McKelvin, it appears Eric Rowe has some work to do.
“We can’t speculate that far out, but going into the season there’s a good chance it starts that way.” Doug Pederson is still sticking with Bradford as his starter, but may not keep Carson Wentz inactive for the entire season.
Will the Eagles be as bad as many people predict?
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
PhillyVoice’s Jimmy Kempski offers observations from the first day of camp, including Byron Marshall showing some flashes.
Pederson values running backs who can be weapons out of the backfield as receivers. Today Marshall made a lot of catches and looked comfortable snatching the ball with his hands. On one play, I had a little bit of an obstructed view, but it looked like he made a nice one-handed stab. Marshall would certainly fit the bill as a back with receiving skills.
I also liked what I saw out of Marshall as a pass protector, Travis Long was coming off the edge and Marshall aggressively ran up and struck him. Admittedly, I did not watch tape of Marshall to see what kind of pass protector he was in college, but at a minimum, he seems willing.
Marshall did not participate in spring camps because Oregon is on the quarters system, but he is off to a nice start.
The Eagles’ cornerbacks are ready for a big competition, writes the Inquirer’s Jeff McLane.
“I don’t think [the injury] set me back at all,” Carroll said on Monday as the Eagles opened training camp. “But, at the same time, I don’t feel like I’m entitled to anything just based off of things that happened last year. I go through it the same way every year, thinking the same way. I’m going to compete.”
Carroll was one of the few established veterans who attended the early portion of camp that is usually reserved for quarterbacks, rookies and fringe roster types. The rest of team reports on Wednesday and will practice full on Thursday.
JaCorey Shepherd, like Carroll, watched most of spring team drills from the sidelines as he neared his return from the anterior cruciate ligament he tore last August. It’s been a long road – one traversed by many – but Shepherd felt snake bitten. He had ascended to the top of the depth chart at slot corner, despite being a sixth-round rookie, just a week before his injury.
Practice begins at 8:30, with Jim Schwartz set to speak afterward.
Chris Jastrzembski contributed to this post.