Understand this about the approach quarterback Carson Wentz is taking as he prepares for his fourth season with the Eagles: He is looking ahead with confidence, with excitement and with the anticipation that great things are happening with this football team.
The past is just that. And it’s not in the conversation.
Wentz met the media on Monday as the Eagles opened their offseason conditioning program at the NovaCare Complex and his disposition was radiant. This is a time to be optimistic as the Eagles roll into the NFL Draft process having done a terrific job upgrading the roster across the board in free agency. For Wentz, adding weapons like wide receiver DeSean Jackson (“He runs like the wind. It’s impressive,” said Wentz) and running back Jordan Howard (“The physical ability he brings to the table is exciting”) adds to the dynamism offensively. There are exciting times ahead.
And that’s what Wentz, who is “throwing some, I’m running some, I’m taking it week by week and I feel good,” is focused on. He is forward facing all the way.
No new ground was broken on Monday in the 15 minutes of questions and answers. Wentz knows the goal is to get healthy and stay healthy for 2019, and while his goal is to return for the team’s Organized Team Activities in May, there is no set timetable. There is no rush. The Eagles and Wentz want to make sure that his progress from the season-ending back injury from last season is something that is stable and long-lasting. Monday represented a “first-day-of-school” feel for Wentz and the Eagles at a bustling NovaCare Complex.
Other than that …
“I don’t feel like I’ve changed too much. Anytime you're changing, that’s not really what you want to do,” Wentz said. “You can grow from opportunities and learn from things and now being a little older in the years now, some little things will keep developing more and more. You’re no longer the young guy. You’re becoming, not necessarily a vet, but now kind of in that mix. Some things will happen organically from that. It’s been good.”
Look, Wentz has particular goals for the next few months. Health, of course, is at the top of the list. No questions about that. Wentz wants to start his career peak in 2019 and grow as a player and a man and a leader and have it carry forth for the next, oh, 10 seasons or so. He wants to continue to build relationships within the locker room. He wants to win football games, stats or no stats. He wants to be great for the Philadelphia Eagles and the fans everywhere (#EaglesEverywhere) and he wants to light it up for the City of Philadelphia.
In no particular order.
“Stay the course and things will be just fine,” Wentz said of the months ahead.
Welcome back, Carson. He looks great, sounds great and, he says, is feeling good. It’s a fresh season, a new start. Wentz is among the young star athletes in the up-and-coming City Of Winning Teams and as the quarterback of one of the most popular brands in all of sports, Wentz knows that winning is the only thing that matters. It’s not about the individual. It’s not about the acclaim. It’s about the W’s.
On a day when the Eagles opened their offseason conditioning program and the energy level at the NovaCare Complex burst at the seams, Wentz steeled his focus on what’s right in front of him. And from his vantage point – under center or from the shotgun – it looks pretty gosh darn great.
“It’s exciting. I think that’s how we all feel,” Wentz said after his press conference ended. “We know we have something pretty special going on here.”