Training Camp is here! The players are back in the building on Wednesday, and the first practice is Thursday. This is the final installment of our pre-Training Camp Big Question series looking at the top storylines. Today, it's all about quarterback Carson Wentz and what to expect from him this summer.
Dave Spadaro: All eyes are on No. 11, and with good reason. He’s hard not to watch because, well, Carson Wentz is a supremely talented quarterback. That he enters Training Camp razor sharp after practicing throughout the spring is the best news for the Eagles here. Wentz is leaner, he’s on point, and he’s determined to have his best season. So, what do we want to see from him in this camp? The general stuff, really. Command in the huddle. Great leadership on and off the field. Accuracy with his throws. A great rhythm dropping back and getting rid of the football quickly and spreading it around and going to the open target.
What we really want to see is Wentz fine-tuning his game ahead of the regular-season opener against Washington. Wentz has some rust to knock off in terms of chemistry with a couple of his receivers, but that shouldn’t be a problem in the least. Wentz carried with him an air of confidence and comfort in the spring and that should continue with the heat turned up. Physically, he’s all there. Wentz looks great. He feels better. His level of optimism is remarkably high, and he’s got a new contract and can focus solely on football.
This is a fun time for Wentz and he’s enjoying every minute of it. We all know how important this season is for Wentz and the offense. The pieces appear to be in place for a strong year offensively for the Eagles, with Wentz leading the way. Seeing him every day on the field throughout camp and not wondering about his health is going to be a joy. The 2019 season starts now for Carson Wentz. As he goes, so go the Philadelphia Eagles.
Chris McPherson: In terms of Training Camp and the preseason, Wentz needs to continue to develop the rapport that he built in the spring with his teammates. He hosted a number of Eagles in Houston in the run-up to Training Camp.
It's Year 4 in the same system. Continuity is so critical for success in the NFL. It's his second season with Press Taylor as his quarterbacks coach, although they worked together before that, and Mike Groh as his offensive coordinator.
Unlike last year, he had a full offseason, so that he is ready to go for Training Camp. He wasn't full go in Training Camp last season and didn't play in the preseason.
I know some have dubbed this season as Wentz's "Revenge Tour" to show the league that he is one of the premier quarterbacks. You can take the NFL Top 100 rankings – he was No. 96 after being No. 3 prior to last season – with a grain of salt, but even Wentz's peers have forgotten just how good he was in 2017. He was Patrick Mahomes before Patrick Mahomes.
Wentz has his contract extension, and with it the public declaration that he's the face of the franchise. Not that there was ever any debate internally. He's got his health and the right mindset heading into 2019. Plus, he's got quite a supporting cast with proven playmakers and young talent across the board.
I expect Wentz to generate a lot of positive buzz in the rest of the summer as the regular season inches closer.
Fran Duffy: I’m just excited to see Carson with this supporting cast, and these are the players we’ve been talking about over the last few weeks. Yesterday, we talked about DeSean Jackson. Wentz has never had a dynamic deep threat like D-Jax. Last week we talked about Dallas Goedert. The Eagles are going to have the most dynamic two-tight end set in the league with him and Zach Ertz. You add in a rookie back like Miles Sanders and the continuity in the coaching staff like you talked about, Chris. This is just really exciting to see Wentz come into a situation like this fully healthy.