Philadelphia Eagles News

On the field, Carson Wentz putting all the pieces in the right places

The quarterback, Carson Wentz, held his opening-day press conference in the press tent with more than a dozen cameras pointed in his direction, fielding questions that you would expect as the Eagles kicked off 2019 Training Camp at the NovaCare Complex.

Just a few steps away, wide receiver DeSean Jackson entertained another group of reporters as he started his second go-around with the Eagles, having been acquired in a trade with Tampa Bay in March after five seasons away from Philadelphia.

Around the corner, on the path to the locker room, running back Miles Sanders chatted with reporters after his first day on the field.

"We have," Jackson said, stating what everyone has highlighted throughout the offseason, "a lot of pieces here. Everyone has to play his part. It's one thing to look at it on paper and another to go out there and share the football and win as a team. That's what we're here doing."

Wentz, of course, is the lead "piece." He's the franchise quarterback with a new contract and, honestly, the fourth-year quarterback has never seemed more relaxed, at ease, confident, and in charge. He's healthy – "leaned out," he said, referring to an offseason diet that has allowed him to lose a few pounds and become leaner throughout his body – and he's happy to be on the field from Day 1 of camp.

"It's awesome. Before the injury, it's something you take for granted," Wentz said. "You definitely appreciate it more. It's exciting to be out here from Day 1 and get going right away."

Wentz said he "felt great" in the 10-10-10 practice, a 90-minute workout to knock off any rust accumulated during the six-week layoff from the spring practices to now. He knows what's ahead – the coming together of a talented roster, the nuances of the scheme to be mastered, and the general camaraderie and chemistry that is a daily build.

The story with Wentz is layered. There is the health issue – Wentz hasn't played 16 games since his rookie season – and there is the level of expectation as well as the idea that with all of these talented pieces, there is only one football. Nobody, Wentz said, is lobbying to be a "favored" target. It's the quarterback's job to get the ball to the pass catcher with the best matchup and to keep the chains moving and put big points on the board.

"I don't think that will be an issue, because they're all great dudes," Wentz said. "When you have a bunch of 'me, me' guys, you get that. But I don't think we have those guys. I don't think we have those personalities. At the same time, Coach (Doug Pederson) does a great job designing game plans, practices to really distribute the ball and spread it around. I think we will have a luxury of doing that with really anybody that's out there."

That's the theme with the Eagles, all the way around: Team first. On Day 1, it was just football. Eagles football. The media, both local and national, is talking about the Eagles in glowing terms and that means a whole lot of nothing at this point. They know it's going to take great work every day and some good fortune along the way to achieve their ultimate goals.

Wentz was the focal point on the first day and he echoed that message. You expect nothing less, right? The Eagles didn't win the Super Bowl on their first day of Training Camp. They just had a very good day, and they enjoyed each step of the process.

"You have a group of guys, the front office, and we have the mentality that we want to win," Jackson said, wrapping things up with the reporters. "We've had a taste of winning. That's how we're going to do it. We know that we have to win as a team.

"Today, man, it felt great out there. It felt like I never left. I just picked up where I left off. There are some differences here, and it's exciting. It just feels good to get this started and we'll see where we go with it."

The pieces are here, all 89 of them, working in the same direction with Wentz leading from in – and out – of the quarterback pocket.

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