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Building The Birds – Carson Wentz’s Rookie Season

Eagles Offseason Wentz Dora Grande via


Philadelphia Eagles Offseason – Carson Wentz’s Rookie Season

Many expected the Philadelphia Eagles to compete for a playoff spot heading into the 2016-17 season.  They had a quarterback who they believed could be good enough to give their new, Jim Schwartz-led defense a chance to carry the team.  Until they didn’t.

Sam Bradford was traded just eight days before the first regular season game, and while laying in a cornfield, Carson Wentz was notified that he would be the Eagles starting quarterback.  The season immediately went from wait-and-see to an absolute must-watch.

For the first time in recent memory, there was true excitement for the Eagles.  They had finally acquired a quarterback with the potential to be a legitimate franchise changer, and they would get to see begin sooner than expected.

Everyone knows about the impressive 3-0 start the team jumped out to.  Wentz was in a great position to succeed behind a quality offensive line led by Jason Peters and Lane Johnson.  Then the bye week came, and the stud right tackle was suspended for 10 games.

Following the week 4 bye, the team began spiraling downwards.  The second overall pick did not look quite as comfortable as he had, and began showing signs of confusion that are often associated with young signal callers.  There were still flashes, however, which continued to keep people intrigued.  Wentz continued to show solid pocket awareness and an arm that intrigued teams across the league prior to the draft.

Oh yeah, and he stayed on the field.  Wentz became the first Eagles quarterback to start all 16 regular season games since Donovan McNabb did it in 2008. Carson Wentz broke the NFL rookie record for completions (379), a mark that was previously set by Sam Bradford in 2010 (354).

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In a September article, I said that I anticipated 14 games from Wentz and a stat line around 3000/19/23.  Wentz surprised me and played in every game, and I did not imagine he would have 607 attempts in his rookie year.  His TD and INT numbers were somewhat surprising at 16 and 14, but I attribute the lack of scoring to a lackluster group of skill players.  Overall, Wentz impressed and showed the same promise I believed he would.  He’s going to be a player in this league for a long time.

So, what’s next?

Wentz has admitted he is willing to discuss and work on mechanics, which is believed to be the reason he sailed so many passes this year.  The Eagles have shown the desire for continuity with Wentz by denying the New York Jets the opportunity to interview quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo.  It’s going to be important for Wentz to develop under the same staff moving forward, which is why it’s important to keep coaches Pederson and DeFilippo.  He’ll also get more time to work with backup quarterback Chase Daniel, Jordan Matthews, and Zach Ertz.

The team ultimately didn’t reach the playoffs, which was their goal, but they displayed they have a core group of players on both sides of the ball that they can build around, most notably their new star quarterback.  It’s time for the team to focus on building around Wentz, and for the first time, the Eagles offseason won’t be focused on placing band aids at the most important position in sports.


All official statistics were provided by Pro Football Reference