Carson Wentz Needs To ‘Let It Loose’
As the Eagles prepare to go up I-95 to take on the New York Giants, let’s take a look at some of the best stories from the week.
While watching last week’s game, Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com thinks Carson Wentz has to start throwing the ball deep.
Why won’t the Eagles take shots down the field? Carson Wentz threw one pass that traveled more than 15 yards in the air last week in the loss to the Cowboys, and none over 20. That makes it easier to defend him.
Yes, the Cowboys played more two-high looks that took away some of that, and forced Wentz to be patient, but the tape shows a quarterback who is too apt to rush his check-down at times. He needs to let the routes develop more.
There was a play in the second quarter when Wentz had a chance for a big play. Zach Ertz went in motion to feel the defense, then went back and settled on the left before the snap. He ran a corner route with Jordan Matthews running a go route. The corner on that side had safety help, but settled down and Wentz had a chance for a big play to either Matthews on the sideline or Ertz on the corner route. But Wentz instead checked it down to Ryan Matthews on the right for a 1-yard gain.
He had a another chance with Ertz and Nelson Agholor later in the second quarter when the route combination stressed the safety, but he chose to check the ball down. He did that way too many times last week. That has to change or it makes it easy to defend the Eagles offense. He has the arm to make all the throws, so it’s time to let it loose.
Wide receiver Bryce Treggs is taking his father’s advice as he prepares for what could be his NFL debut, pens Bob Ford of the Inquirer.
Brian Treggs had come very close himself, but his NFL career was limited to four punt returns in two season-ending games for the 2-14 Seattle Seahawks in 1992. If there was a way to make it happen for Bryce, whose final receiving totals at Cal were greater than dad’s, a little extra time was the very least he could do. However, while you can stand in the dusk and throw passes, and teach a good athlete how to catch them, you can’t teach someone to run a 4.39 in the 40-yard dash, which is what Bryce Treggs did at Cal’s pro day, and it is the reason he will get his shot in the NFL.
“The thing my father always told me was to play fast. That’s solves a lot of problems most of the time,” Treggs said. “But there’s a lot you have to focus on to stick here, not just playing fast. So, you watch the film and study the game, do all those things I’ve been doing since high school.”
Treggs, at 6-foot and 185 pounds, would seem suited to the slot position, but he said he’s been asked to practice at each of the three receiver positions. He’s also been used at the speed positions on the special team coverage units.
“They seem a lot more comfortable with me. The first few weeks, I hadn’t had training camp here, and I didn’t get the installs, and they had to tell me what to do,” he said. “Now, it’s: ‘Treggs, go to X.’ ‘Treggs, go to Z.’ ‘Treggs, go to S.’ I know all three positions. I needed to get them to trust me before they put me out there. Hopefully, that’s this week. I want to go out and make an impact.”
Even after releasing Josh Huff, Doug Pederson will try to help him in whatever way he can, as well as doing what’s best for the Eagles, writes Dave Zangaro of CSNPhilly.com.
“That’s a tough thing,” Pederson said on Friday. “This business is all about performance and how you perform. And, listen, I love every one of these players. Don’t get me wrong. I want to make sure that these players are doing right by themselves, by their families and by the Philadelphia Eagles.
“And again, at the end of the day, I’m going to continue to love on Josh and help him in every way I can. But at the end of the day, there’s a process that needs to be handled and needs to go through. And again, doing the best thing for the team and the organization.”
On Friday, Pederson made it clear that a decision about Huff’s future with the team had not been made on Wednesday when he spoke to the media and when Huff actually practiced with the team.
The head coach said Huff was allowed to practice on Wednesday because the team was still fact-finding and was trying to go about its business as usual.
Field Yates of ESPN In$ider says the Eagles will need to look to get more skill players on offense during the offseason.
Tracking skill players on offense: The Eagles invested significant draft capital to acquire Carson Wentz with the second pick in the 2016 draft, but the next step is surrounding him with better weapons. Specifically, the Eagles need a difference-making wide receiver who can do two things consistently: generate space versus man coverage and catch the football (drops have been an issue in Philly). And although the Eagles have relied on a variety of backs this year, finding a workhorse would take the stress off of Wentz, too.
The Eagles are an over-.500 team that will not make the playoffs, opines Chris Chase of FoxSports.com.
Chris Chase, FOX: Besides the Vikings? Let’s go with the Eagles, a yo-yo team that looks primed for January one week and then appears desperately in need of the top-10 pick they won’t have in the next. (Remember, their 2017 first-rounder was jettisoned in the Carson Wentz deal.) At least one team from the NFC East — where all four teams have winning records — will miss out on the postseason, and the one with the rookie quarterback and new coach seems like the natural choice.
Wentz and Ertz are players ESPN.com’s Matthew Berry doesn’t like in fantasy this week.
Quarterbacks I hate in Week 9
Carson Wentz, Eagles: With less than 240 yards passing in four straight and the offensive line struggling, Wentz heads to New Jersey to face a Giants team that is coming off a bye and has given up more than 15 fantasy points to an opposing QB just once this season. I prefer the Giants as a streaming defense this week more so than Wentz as a potential bye-week fill-in.
Tight Ends I hate in Week 9
Zach Ertz, Eagles: The Eagles just aren’t looking for him, as he has less than 25 yards in three straight games. And while he has the talent to break out of the slump, it won’t be this week, as the Giants have allowed just one touchdown to an opposing tight end and given up more than 65 yards to a tight end just once this season.
NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling has Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox on his midseason All-Pro team.
Defensive end: Brandon Graham, Philadelphia Eagles and Calais Campbell, Arizona Cardinals
Perennially one of the league’s most efficient per-snap pass rushers in a situational role, Graham has been waiting to shine in new coordinator Jim Schwartz‘s Wide-9 scheme since 2010. Graham has “just” four sacks this season, but he has been relentless off the edge; he and Von Miller are the only players with at least 40 QB pressures (combined sacks, hits and hurries). Disruption is production.
Defensive tackle: Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams and Fletcher Cox, Philadelphia Eagles
Graham isn’t the only defensive star excelling under Schwartz. Transitioning from end to his more natural position of three-technique tackle, Cox routinely overpowers guards and centers to disrupt opposing ground attacks. He’s the most integral force on an Eagles front seven that ranks among the league’s stingiest units this season.
Two Eagles make FoxSports.com’s Dan Carson‘s list of top 25 players under 25.
10. Jordan Matthews, 24
You forget how young Jordan Matthews is, but the Eagles’ number one receiving threat is just getting started.
8. Carson Wentz, 23
The man, the myth. The rookie whose existence literally sent Sam Bradford fleeing from the state of Pennsylvania.
Carson Wentz came into Philadelphia with big expectations and continues to deliver in a rookie year that was supposed to be a passive-aggressive tutelage. He might be Joe Montana, he might be Nick Foles. For now, he’s just a good quarterback.
In one NFL Mock Draft, the Eagles will select Clemson cornerback Cordrea Tankersley, pens Dane Brugler of CBSSports.com.
31. Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota)
Cordrea Tankersley , CB, Clemson: The Eagles are very thin at cornerback on the depth chart, especially with Nolan Carroll on a one-year deal. Jones is wiry, but tough and has the athleticism and ball skills to blanket receivers on the outside.