With all due respect to Bob Ford, the idea of sitting Wentz is a bad move for an organization looking to build a tough, winning culture.
On the surface, sure, sitting Wentz makes a bit of sense. The Ravens have a good, aggressive defense with one incredibly dirty and real swell guy, Terrell Suggs. Suggs is the player you’re worried about as a quarterback, an owner, a head coach, an offensive coordinator and as a fan. Remember when he went low on Bradford two preseasons ago and we all thought the season was over before it even started? Suggs is “that” guy. That defense is also coming off of a loss up in New England against their fierce rivals and a QB that they won’t name. That defense is going to have blood in their eyes on Sunday, in a game that is now a must win for them. Couple that fact with the Eagles banged up offensive line and on the surface, saving Wentz from the wolves may have some merit. The Eagles offensive line on Sunday could be Jason Peters, Stefen Wisniewski, Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo and you. Eek.
But what Ford failed to do was get to the second level thinking.
My problem with sitting Wentz is what that tells the rest of your football team.
Whether you like to admit it or not, football is a macho game played by tough dudes. Sitting Wentz makes him look, how do I say this, less of a man to a locker room that is going to go out there on Sunday and lay their bodies on the line to win a football game against the Baltimore Ravens. And, *pauses*, just one second, it’s not like the Ravens are all of a sudden the ’85 Bears or the Ravens of the 2000’s, they’re a good defense, with one guy who is known for taking cheap shots at quarterbacks, they’re not some all-time defense that is mean and nasty. Sitting Wentz lessens his voice as a leader of this football team going forward and makes every single player in that locker room feel cheated.
Do you really want a locker room thinking to themselves, “Why is that guy more important than me?”
The answer is unequivocally no.
You want every member of that team sticking together and believing in one another, sitting Wentz makes him look like the pretty boy that is more important than them.
So, Wentz should play Sunday and I don’t think that was ever not the plan. He may get hurt, and we may be angry that he didn’t sit, but that’s the nature of playing football. He’s just as likely to get hurt playing this weekend as he is every other weekend.
Also, who’s to say this won’t be an awesome learning experience for him? Great quarterbacks know how to win games when they’re put in positions like this. Not every situation is going to be peaches and cream for a franchise quarterback, they’re going to be put in tough spots and the best ones show up in these spots. In a way, I’m excited to see how Wentz handles this weekend. It can go a long way towards building his confidence heading into next season.
The idea of benching Wentz was always a terrible idea and I don’t think the Eagles ever considered it. I understand the importance of keeping Wentz safe, but I also understand the importance of keeping the team together during a rough end to the season.
This is where teams are built and comradery is formed, when their backs are against the wall, not when their “leader” is being sat to protect him while you lay your body on the line.