From time to time, the writers at Philly Football Talk discuss pertinent Eagles topics via email. Here is the transcript of their latest conversation:
Jon Marks: Alright guys, mandatory mini-camps start up this week and we’ll see if everyone reports, but the big story of camp so far, from my perspective, is the struggles of Carson Wentz. Let me be clear, I’m not sounding the panic alarm yet, but I’d feel much better if he looked good so far in camp. Scale of 1-10 (10 you’re calling 911), how much does his OTA struggles worry you?
James Seltzer: I’m somewhere around a 1.5 – aka I’m not worried at all. Would I like him to be completing (all of) his passes in OTA’s? Obviously. I mean, they’re playing in shorts for Christ’s sake. By that same token, they’re only playing in shorts. How much can you really take away from that one way or the other? Plus, I’m sure Wentz is still tweaking with his mechanics and all that, so I think patience is the proper prescription here. Are you guys more worried than I am?
JM: When some people talk about Wentz, they almost assume that he’s going to be elite and I can’t go there yet. I’m not worried long term, but I think people need to adjust their expectations, especially for this season. You can be a scrub and if you play 16 games, you’re going to throw for close to 4000 yards. He’s not going to always be the most accurate quarterback and that’s ok.
Jack Fritz: Maybe this is me talking myself into Carson being the guy that leads us down Broad Street but I always viewed Carson as more of a gamer than a workout warrior. I think the final four games of last year were very encouraging from that standpoint. He was clearly struggling mechanically but kept the Eagles in these games and even pulled some out. So far in these OTA’s I’ve seen the ball coming out quicker and with more velocity, which I wanted to see. His motion looks a lot quicker and I think as he gets more and more comfortable we’ll see a better Wentz. Also, it’s not like he’s been terrible. I think it’s just a major overreaction at this point.
JM: Wow, for once Fritz makes sense? I don’t view Wentz as a statistical “Top 5” type quarterback. I don’t expect him to put up numbers like Brees, Manning, or Brady. His intangibles are what make him special and ultimately what will make him a winner in the NFL
JS: I hate when we all agree. But alas, I have to echo your statements fellas. The most impressive thing I saw from Wentz all of last season was his poise and maturity. The kid found out he was going to be the starter eight days before the season – eight days! – and looked like he belonged in the NFL from the jump. That speaks to those intangibles you guys mentioned. Plus, he’s a film rat and clearly very intelligent. I believe that NFL QB’s succeed far more because of what happens above their shoulders than below. Would you agree?
JF: Unless he struggles in the preseason, I’m not putting too much stock in it. Obviously you want to hear glowing remarks but I feel like he’s a pitcher working out some new pitches in Spring Training right now. If he does struggle in the preseason… hoo boy. Sports talk radio is going to be on fire.
Can already see the WIP Middays Poll: Foles or Wentz?
JM: Agreed. He definitely has the right mentality to be a winning quarterback, but does the head coach have the necessary intelligence? I’ve heard a lot of chatter the last few weeks about Doug P. Seems like people are resigned to fact that he won’t be here very long and might not even make it out of the season.
Listen, I’m not confusing Pederson with Belichick or Lombardi, but he did enough things right in his 1st season that I’m not putting him on the hot seat just yet. If the Eagles stink in 2017 and he’s a big reason why, he’ll be gone. If Wentz takes a step back and it’s clear Pederson isn’t the coach to lead the quarterback or the team, there’s no question that Howie will fire him. But I’m not headed into this season thinking Doug is a dead man walking. Jeff Lurie has never been a guy who manages with a knee jerk reaction.
JS: I don’t think Doug’s a dead man walking because they have a chance to make the playoffs. But if they don’t, I think he’s gone. And I don’t know if that’s “fair” or not, but I think that’s the reality. Is it possible he takes a big step forward in his second season as a head coach? Sure. But I wouldn’t bet on it. He doesn’t impress me. I don’t see him as a leader of men. Now look, I could be wrong, it’s happened before – I think. But imo, it’s playoffs or bust for DP.
JM: Playoffs or bust????? The devil is always in the details, but demanding a playoff birth or he loses his job is insanity. Did you look at their schedule? Did you look at their team? Did you look at their division? I expect a better team and to be much more competitive, but if Pederson actually gets them in the playoffs, Lurie should give him an extension.
JF: I just think if we see clear regression he’s out. If he pulls the same stuff he did in Dallas last year he’s out. The window is only so big and if Doug shows he can’t coach up this team you have to make a move before you waste anymore of Carson with an inferior coach. I don’t think it’s playoffs or bust, but it’s clear progression or bust for me.
JM: I agree with you there Jack. Twice in one conversation you’re making the most sense of any of us. Excellent progression by you
JS: If Jack is making the most sense we need to shut this email exchange down and seek shelter. Something is legitimately wrong in this world.