Doug Pederson Trying To ‘Protect’ Carson Wentz From ‘Noise’
It’s been quite the week for Carson Wentz. On Sunday, he dazzled in his debut; on Tuesday, President Barack Obama talked about him; and on Wednesday, news spread about how Wentz had the top-selling jersey across the league this week.
But through it all, Doug Pederson has been trying to shield his rookie quarterback from everything that’s been happening off of the field.
“This is where I can step in and help him and protect him and keep him out of that and keep him focused. If I can keep him in the building, as long as I stay in the building, then we’re going to be okay,” Pederson said. “He and I have had conversations the last couple days and I just wanted him to be aware of just limiting the noise on the outside. Let’s just focus on football. And that’s the one thing about him and his maturity level, is how well he does balance work with some of the outside influences.”
Pederson praised how Wentz has handled the increased attention in the last few days, saying the quarterback has done “really well.” While the Eagles’ head coach wants to take precautions with the 23-year-old, he’s also aware the spotlight will continue to shine on Wentz.
“Well, if they’re not talking about you, something is wrong. That’s always been my philosophy,” Pederson said. “It is exciting to be mentioned that way but at the same time, listen, we’re on to Chicago. It’s another game week, another set of circumstances. It’s Monday Night Football, it’s a national spotlight. There’s more media attention. Everything about this week is different than last week. So we have to refocus. I have to refocus.
“The beauty of it is you get back in here this past Monday and you dive right back into football and you don’t pay attention too much of all the peripheral stuff on the outside. That’s going to take care of itself. Again, the more success you have, more things can kind of creep in, and you just have to stick to your plan and stick to what you believe in. Each week, just dive back into football and try to win another football game.”
Pederson also referenced the role Chase Daniel has played, as Daniel is helping Wentz shift his focus to the next game and disregard his last performance. But Daniel also downplayed his own influence, saying Wentz doesn’t need much help because of how mature the rookie is.
For his part, Wentz said it’s not difficult for him to ignore the extra attention he’s received.
“Not really. For me, I stay pretty focused on football and then at the end of the day, you just go home and you relax. You block out a lot of it. Plus, we’re so busy, you don’t have time to really get caught up in too much other stuff,” Wentz said. “It goes back to how I’ve approached this all the way back since the draft process, really. You just got to block out the noise, whether that’s the media or whatever it may be. The good, the bad, whatever it may be and just focus on ball.”