LeBron James loves him. The MVP talk is for another time. What Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is focused on is winning a game in Seattle on Sunday night and moving the team to 11-1 and clinching a postseason spot.
But boy, there sure is a lot flying around Wentz these days.
The second-year quarterback met the media on Wednesday for his weekly press conference and insisted that last year's visit to Seattle, a 26-15 loss, will serve him and the team well the second time around.
"It's a huge help. Going into there last year, had heard all about it, kind of knew what to expect. It's definitely loud, it's quite the atmosphere. It's a fun place to play," Wentz said. "Most of the guys have been there now, so that will pay dividends I think just in our week of prep knowing how much we need to emphasize hand signals and communicating things non-verbally.
"I think that will be a big help for us."
It was a struggle for the Eagles' offense a season ago against a swarming Seattle defense, but of course both teams are different now. The Eagles are leading the league in points scored. The Seattle defense has lost stars in the secondary, with cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Kam Chancellor out for the season with injuries.
Wentz said it is about the offense's ability to "execute our game plan" and he's right. To do so, the Eagles will employ their silent count to snap the ball in a coordinated fashion. That means the non-verbal communication must be on point and the players must all be on the same page in the deafening conditions of CenturyLink Field.
"We feel really good with it," Wentz said. "I personally always prefer playing at home and using the cadence, but you can always use the silent cadence as a weapon as well. We feel really confident with it. We've used it enough with that road stretch early in the year where we feel good about it."
Wentz has made what he termed a "natural progression" from last year when he started all 16 games for the Eagles. He's taking that improvement into Sunday's game against Seattle's defense, which he called "very sound, very solid."
"The thing about the scheme that they run and a number of other defenses run, it kind of cuts your playbook in half, because there's not a lot of Cover 2 and those things. It cuts your playbook in half and they just really focus in on what you do against those teams," he said. "They lock in on route concepts and those types of things and they just play really fast.
"Even though they're playing a lot of zone coverage they just match things so fast and you've just got to be cognizant of using your eyes and kind of moving guys when you can. It's impressive. You can tell they're coached really well."
As for the off-the-field chatter, it's not part of what Wentz is spending time thinking about. He and New England quarterback Tom Brady are mentioned frequently in the Most Valuable Player talk in the media, but Wentz has other things on his mind.
"I'm not really focused on that stuff," he said. "I'm focused on Seattle and this week and then the road stretch that we have ahead of us. We have to take care of business on the field. Those things will all come down the road. I'm not really worried about those. The goal is to win the week."
Then there is King James. Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James said prior to Monday night's game against the Philadelphia 76ers that Wentz is his favorite player to watch right now in the NFL. That, of course, is a huge endorsement, very flattering and extremely big news.
And very fun stuff.
"It's pretty cool. I've got a ton of respect for a guy like LeBron. When I was a kid watching him tear up the league when he was a rookie … I love watching that guy play," Wentz said. "He's unbelievable, quite the talented one, one of the most impressive athletes in the world. It's pretty humbling to hear that stuff."