To close out the 2019 regular season, a stretch where the Eagles had to win all four games against division rivals in order to make the playoffs, quarterback Carson Wentz completed nearly 67 percent of his pass attempts for 1,199 yards with seven touchdowns against no interceptions for a 100.8 QB rating. For good measure, Wentz orchestrated three game-winning drives – two in the fourth quarter/overtime.
He did all of this without a single wide receiver who started in Week 1.
In the offseason, the Eagles added Rich Scangarello to the coaching staff as a senior offensive assistant. Scangarello is a disciple of Kyle Shanahan who was the offensive coordinator in Denver last season. The Eagles put more on Quarterbacks Coach Press Taylor's plate, adding passing game coordinator to his title.
From a personnel standpoint, the Eagles invested heavily in the draft with three picks at wide receiver, including No. 21 overall selection Jalen Reagor. The Eagles also look to have DeSean Jackson back in the lineup as well as Alshon Jeffery, both of whom were shut down by the end of last season due to injury.
Wentz thinks overall the offense will look the same "but" ... there's always that but.
"I think some things will look a little different, but I'm really excited about it," Wentz said Thursday afternoon during a video teleconference from the NovaCare Complex. "I think it'll really complement what we (are) as an offense and who we are identity-wise."
Specifically, with Scangarello, Wentz expects to see a "new element" of the offense where the run game is married up with play-action and other facets to take advantage of the quarterback's ability to thrive outside of the pocket.
Wentz has had the opportunity to work with the young receivers on the grass at the team's training facility for some strength and conditioning work. He's ready to build a rapport, quickly, and get them integrated in the offense as soon as possible.
"My first impressions is all three of them, they can roll. They're quick. They're fast, natural ball catchers, so I'm excited for all those guys," Wentz said. "They all have a great chance to help this team right away this year, even in Week 1 and so, not to put too much pressure on those guys, but I'm excited to see how they develop here over the next couple of weeks."
Personally, Wentz looks to continue to excel in red zone and third/fourth-down situations. Over the past three seasons, Wentz ranks second in the NFL in QB rating in both areas.
"I've really realized over the first couple years of my career that those downs make or break ballgames all the time," Wentz said, who added that he wants to improve protecting the ball after losing seven fumbles last season.
Still, Wentz surged when it mattered most at the end of the year to get the Eagles into the postseason for the third year in a row. In the process, Wentz:
• Finished last season with the most passing yards (4,039) in franchise history.
• Was the only quarterback to throw at least one touchdown pass in every regular-season game.
• Was one of only three to account for at least 20 total red zone touchdowns without committing a turnover.
Yet, Wentz's name happened to be left off the NFL Top 100 countdown that concluded Wednesday night with Baltimore's Lamar Jackson, the reigning MVP, atop the list.
"When I see it, I usually wish I didn't see it or hear about it. You can always use anything and everything as just a little bit of extra motivation," he said.
"I do look forward to going out this year and showing what I can do with my teammates."