"Carson, can you score about 35 a game?"
Linebackers coach Ken Flajole joked around Monday when asked about Carson Wentz's four-year contract extension which cements the quarterback's position in Philadelphia for the next six seasons. But there's no doubt that he, and the rest of the assistants on the staff, are huge fans of the move.
"I applaud the organization and Howie (Roseman) for getting that done. If you know what you've got ahead of you and you got your quarterback locked up, I think it just helps you right now be able to fill out your roster and know where your resources are to extend other people than Carson," said Flajole, who has more than 20 years of NFL coaching experience. "I think it's a good thing for us and I think Carson coming back after the second year after his ACL I think he's going to be a much better player. My experience has always been the second year after an ACL is really your best year."
Assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley knows firsthand that it takes a special type of player to thrive in Philadelphia. As a running back for the Eagles from 1997-2003, he was the team's Offensive MVP three times, but was part of some lean years as Philadelphia. Wentz's extension, in Staley's opinion, is something that should be celebrated by everyone.
"I think it's awesome. I'm super excited about it. It sends a message to his teammates, of course, also to Carson, our community, our great Eagle fans. It sends a message to them. We're committed. We're committed as an organization. We're committed as a team, coaching staff. Of course, Mr. (Jeffrey) Lurie is committed," Staley said. "We all what Carson can do. He's definitely going to have a good season in my opinion. He's been working so hard, being able to come out to practice just to see the guy being out there 10-15 minutes early sometimes just working on his craft. I'm super excited about it."
A consistent theme among the assistant coaches was that they all fully expect Wentz to regain the form that made him an MVP candidate in 2017 before he suffered a season-ending knee injury. But more than what he brings on the field as a quarterback, the coaches are proud of the example No. 11 sets for the franchise. Tight ends coach Justin Peelle says that it's not surprising to see the quarterback meeting room on the second floor of the NovaCare Complex buzzing with activity by the time he gets to his office in the morning.
"There's a lot of guys who don't do that in this league," says Peelle, a 10-year player in the league before getting into the coaching ranks.
Offensive line coach/run game coordinator Jeff Stoutland appreciates Wentz's desire to know every intricate detail about the offense.
"I have a lot of respect for Carson Wentz and what he's able to do. I really love his professionalism and the way he conducts himself in the meeting room, in meetings, learning, taking pride in learning," Stoutland said. "All of the calls up front. All of the techniques that we use. He'll ask me, 'Why do you do this? Why are you teaching this? Why are you teaching that?' It's exciting knowing you're going to have him around for a long time. He's an elite player."
What about Wentz's position coach? Yes, Press Taylor relishes the challenge of working with Wentz to help bring the best out of him during the prime years of his career.
"That's very exciting," Taylor said. "I mean obviously for the franchise just to know who our quarterback is for the next six years is very comforting, and being able to continue building around him from the front office getting to build around knowing who your quarterback is and us as coaches building our scheme to make sure we're doing the best to present his abilities in the best way possible."
The 2018 offseason presented a lot of challenges for Wentz. He was recovering from the knee injury that ended what would have been an MVP season. He had to get on the same page with a new offensive coordinator in Mike Groh and a new quarterbacks coach in Taylor. It's much different this offseason. Wentz shed the knee brace that was an annoyance to him last season and has regained a sense of freedom. He's been on the field for all of the Organized Team Activities leading into this week's minicamp.
"That's invaluable," Taylor said. "Bringing in new pieces on our offense, getting a chance to work with them, getting through the communication, that's the biggest thing of this offseason."
It's been more personal as Wentz can go through his tape from practice to make adjustments.
"He was very involved last year when he was not taking the physical reps on the field," Taylor added. "He was involved in meetings. We have a very good room in terms of the communication that goes on in that room and how things go within meetings, within film, different things like that, so I think he's as involved as he's ever been."
Defensive backs coach Cory Undlin said that Wentz checks all of the boxes of what you want in your quarterback. Every position coach is fully aware of what it means to have a franchise quarterback on your team. And now that franchise quarterback is signed for the next six years.
"He's very excited. This is always where he's wanted to be," Taylor said. "I think there's a lot of comfort in him knowing how the franchise sees him and just where he's going to be long term. There's a lot of comfort and peace in knowing that he's going to be here. I know he's excited about it and just ready to get to work."