Dorial Green-Beckham Could Be The Perfect Target For Carson Wentz
It didn’t take long for Dorial Green-Beckham to show a sample of what he can bring to the Eagles’ offense. In Philadelphia’s third preseason game, the 6-5, 237 pound receiver showed exactly why he’s a legitimate red zone weapon by catching a fade pass for a touchdown and making it look easy. The shorter Colts cornerback defending him never really stood a chance. The fade pass is a weapon the Eagles haven’t successfully employed for quite some time. The Eagles haven’t had a quarterback who could make the throw consistently. And even if they did, they didn’t have a reliable jump ball receiver who could make the catch.
But perhaps now there’s hope for change. Green-Beckham’s red zone receiving prowess is apparent. And when it comes to the throwing aspect, the Eagles’ coaching staff has faith in Carson Wentz’s ability to get the ball to his tall receiver.
“When throwing a fade ball, there’s a certain [element that] you’ve got to throw it to the same guy again and again, but [sometimes it comes down to the idea that] a fade ball is a fade ball and some quarterbacks have a natural touch and feel for it,” said Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich. “I think Carson loves throwing the fade ball and has a natural touch and feel for it. So the confidence will build with a guy like DGB the more you throw it to him, but some of it is just DGB’s ability to go up and get it.”
There’s obviously a learning curve to be expected. It’s unrealistic for Wentz to master the fade pass as a rookie. Making matters more difficult is the fact Wentz and Green-Beckham haven’t had a lot of time to work together. Wentz missed the entire preseason with a rib injury he suffered in the first preseason game. Green-Beckham didn’t arrive in Philadelphia until mid-August. So far, though, Green-Beckham has liked what he’s seen out of the rookie quarterback.
“Yeah,” said Green-Beckham when asked if he’s been impressed by Wentz’s ability to throw the fade. “Plus we continue to work after practice. It’s all about timing. As a receiver, you’ve got to have that timing with the quarterback. In close games, that’s critical. We’ve just got to be able to have that timing and communicate with the quarterback and make a play on the ball.”
“I can make his job easier being one of the tallest receivers on the field. For me, I know fade balls, I’m probably thinking Carson is going to be looking at me a lot more than them. Because he knows I’m a lot taller than everybody else.”
Green-Beckham said he expects to “play a lot” but the truth is that might not happen right away. Doug Pederson said the team still hasn’t thrown the entire playbook at the second-year player since he’s been in Philadelphia for less than a full month.
Eventually, though, Green-Beckham’s role in the Eagles’ offense could grow. He might not be limited to just being a red zone threat. If his rookie season was any indication, Green-Beckham has the ability to make big plays down the field. Green-Beckham finished sixth in the NFL last season in yards per reception (17.2). Only two of his total 32 receptions did not result in first downs.
The big plays for Green-Beckham should only continue in Philadelphia. Wentz has a penchant for going deep and the Eagles’ coaching staff has made it clear they’re not afraid to let their rookie be aggressive. And aggression is exactly what Eagles receivers have seen out of Wentz.
“Carson loves throwing the deep ball,” said Jordan Matthews.” That’s the one thing about, man, that has been a big topic for us. Like, yo, some of those routes, where you used run them for the love of the game for 15 years, where you’re just taking the top off … Carson will go back and throw that thing. There’s nothing but land in North Dakota so they just be slinging.”
“So I’m like, when you’re [running deep], look [out], because you don’t want to be the guy who’s kind of jogging, thinking he’s throwing underneath. He’s letting that thing ride. That’s one thing that I feel like he actually takes pride in because he doesn’t want that defense to come up. So he’ll mention to guys too, ‘Hey, be looking for this deep ball because I might sling it up there.’ And he’s not lying. It’s definitely something he’s really good at too and I think it’s going to help us out.”
It’s far too early to say if the Wentz to Green-Beckham connection will be a successful one. At the very least, though, the two players seem to have tendencies and skill-sets that compliment each other. For an Eagles offense that lacks explosive play-makers, there’s reason to believe this quarterback-receiver relationship could prove to be promising.