Quarterback Carson Wentz took part in practice on Wednesday at the NovaCare Complex, the second day of a three-day minicamp, and he impressed in the time he was on the field. Wearing a brace on his surgically repaired left knee, Wentz went through individual drills, threw dozens of passes to receivers to establish chemistry and took part in 7-on-7 drills. And he looked great. Like, really great. Amazingly terrific just, what, six-plus months after surgery on a torn anterior cruciate ligament?
But his recovery – which is going great – and his timetable – which remains on a day-to-day basis – isn’t the story here. The story is how the offense will look with Wentz back in command, no matter when that happens. The prospects are tantalizing.
By signing wide receiver Mike Wallace in free agency, by adding tight end Dallas Goedert in the draft, and by re-signing running back Darren Sproles, and welcoming back left tackle Jason Peters from injury, the Eagles are expected to have the kind of multiple, so-difficult-to-pin-down type of attack in the fall and winter.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Wentz said after practice, after taking a shower, as he wound down from another day of work. “We have a lot of weapons here and the scheme is great, evolving. It’s all about making the offense better. I don’t think it’s going to look all that different, but it’s exciting. I think we’re going to have an explosive, sometimes-up tempo offense. We believe we have some really big-play guys. The run/pass option that was so big last year will continually grow and evolve.
“There are some intricacies, some things here and there, but largely I think the offense is going to look the same.”
If that’s possible.
Remember, the Eagles led the NFL in scoring until Wentz was injured in 2017, displaying the balance to shred defenses on the ground and in the air. The Eagles should be just as versatile this season, if not even a bit more difficult to match against on the field. The quarterback is the key, and as noted here early in the spring, the relationship forged between Wentz and Nick Foles sets the tone for the locker room: Both place the team goals first. No team in the league has as strong a quarterback room as do the Eagles.
Of course, all eyes are on Wentz as he moves through his rehab. His progress has been stunning to watch during practice as his involvement has increased as the weeks have passed and his confidence surges with every sprint that he runs and every rep he takes in command of the offense.
“Feels good, feels good. I’m doing a little bit more every day,” Wentz said. “Getting involved a little bit more in practice. Doing more off to the side as well with the trainers. Feel good, feel confident with where I’m at. Just gotta keep staying the course.”
Wentz will stay in Philadelphia to rehab in the five-plus weeks before Training Camp begins. The coaching staff will wait for the clearance from the athletic training department to up Wentz’s activity, but he sure has done more than most observers anticipated this spring. Wentz looks great, just great. And when he’s unleashed, this offense should have the resources – great offensive line, terrific weapons, outstanding scheme – to soar.
“It’s exciting to see what we’ve done this spring, kind of picking up where we left off last year,” Wentz said. “We have a lot of work to do, but you can see the pieces starting to come together.”
There have been many eye-opening parts to this Eagles spring, notably the depth accrued across the board on the roster, making for an extremely competitive camp in July and August. The Eagles aggressively pushed the limits in personnel acquisition, and it shows. And then there is the Wentz revelation. He’s done, as those who know him expected, every bit of the work, and then some, to put himself in position to advance his involvement in camp with an eye toward September 6 against Atlanta.
“I still have to keep pushing and doing everything I can to be ready to play as early as possible,” he said. “I’m pleased with where I’m at, and I know there is a lot more to do.”
He’ll get there, all the way back, and when he does, the offense, with varied pieces around No. 11, has a chance to be special. Six-plus months after surgery, Wentz is in the right place in is recovery. The story of the spring for the Philadelphia Eagles has been exceedingly positive.