Carson Wentz already accomplishing things even Donovan McNabb didn't

Carson Wentz already accomplishing things even Donovan McNabb didn't

After the Eagles beat the Cards at the Linc a couple weeks ago, I ran into Donovan McNabb outside the locker room and asked him if he thought he'd have any franchise records left by the time Carson Wentz was finished.

"Are you kidding?" Donovan said with a smile. "Nope. He's going to break all of them."

What he didn't say was that Wentz might break all of them this year.

McNabb is the greatest quarterback in Eagles history. A six-time Pro Bowler. A guy who probably won't be a Hall of Famer but should at least be in the conversation.

And Wentz is now doing things McNabb never did or didn't do until several years into his outstanding career.

Seventeen touchdowns through seven games? Donovan never did that.

Three touchdown passes in three straight games? Donovan never did that.

Two four-touchdown games in a three-week span? Donovan didn't do that until his sixth season.

A passer rating of 90 or higher in five straight games? Donovan didn't do that until his eighth season.

Nine straight games with at least one touchdown pass and one or fewer interceptions? Donovan never did that.

Wentz has thrown four TD passes of 50 yards or more in seven games this year. Donovan had four TD passes of 50 yards in his first 50 games.

Wentz is on pace for 38 touchdown passes. Donovan averaged 21 per year as an Eagle and threw more than 25 only once.

A 133 passer rating on third down? No. 5 was never even over 85 until his 10th year.

Yes, the game has changed since Donovan was a rookie 18 years ago. More of a passing league. And no, none of this is meant to disparage the achievements of McNabb, who never had the weapons Carson currently has.

But it does provide startling context into just how far Wentz has come in an extremely short period of time.

Wentz has blossomed over the past month into a flat-out superstar. His decision making is off the charts. His pocket awareness is astounding. His deep accuracy is getting better every day. His ability to use his legs to escape trouble and make plays on the move is astonishing. His knack for absorbing a huge hit and bouncing up and standing tall in the pocket and making throws down the field moments later is astounding.

This is Year 2.

We all expected Wentz to improve dramatically in Year 2, but this? 

Very few quarterbacks in NFL history have been this explosive this fast. 

In fact, Wentz's 104.0 passer rating through seven games is the fifth-highest in NFL history by a second-year player. And three of the four ahead of him (Dan Marino, Kurt Warner, Otto Graham) are in the Hall of Fame. The other is his backup (Nick Foles).

He's 23 games into his career. 

I ran into injured Eagles special teamer and safety Chris Maragos after the game Monday night, and he put Wentz's progress into perspective, pointing out that 22 months ago he was playing in the Missouri Valley Conference and 14 months ago he was a third-stringer behind Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel.

So in a little over a year he's gone from backing up Chase Daniel to convincing McNabb he won't have any team records left.

Wentz's meteoric ascent from a third-stringer who was supposed to be inactive going into opening day last year before Teddy Bridgewater got hurt to a record-setting 24-year-old who's quarterbacking the hottest team in football at an MVP level is virtually unprecedented in NFL history.

We're still a week away from the midpoint of the season, but Wentz is on pace for over 4,200 yards, 38 touchdowns, nine interceptions and more than 400 rushing yards.

Here's a list of QBs in NFL history who've thrown for 4,200 yards, rushed for 400 yards and thrown fewer than 10 interceptions: 

Yep. Nobody. Ever.

I know, I know, don't get carried away. It's only seven games, you never know what the future holds, it's all about what he does over the long haul, blah, blah, blah.

But it's impossible to not get carried away watching this kid play football. He's that good. He does things that defy belief. The way he's playing right now, I can't figure out how the Eagles will lose another game.

And the scary thing is he's going to get better. 

Donovan told me two weeks ago he believes Wentz will be the greatest Eagles quarterback of all-time by the time he was done.

Wentz may hold that title a lot sooner than any of us expected.

Brian Dawkins chooses longtime teammate for Hall of Fame intro

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Brian Dawkins chooses longtime teammate for Hall of Fame intro

Brian Dawkins has chosen longtime teammate and close friend Troy Vincent to introduce him this summer at Dawk's Hall of Fame induction.

Dawkins was selected in February for enshrinement in the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction class.

"The presenter that will actually be on the stage will be Troy Vincent," Dawkins said in a video posted on the Pro Football Hall of Fame's website.

"My teammate in Philadelphia. We came there the same year. Almost from Day 1 he kind of ... not kind of, he took me under his wing on becoming a professional. Not just a football player but a professional. The details. The details that he went through, the particulars of how he played the position of cornerback was the same way he lived his life (and ran) his businesses that he had off the field.

"He's a guy I can call anytime. Any time of night. And tell him 100 percent all what's going on with me, and I know he's not going to judge me, and it's not going to leave his lips (for) anybody else.

"And the most important thing for me, being a man of faith, is that I know he's going to pray with me. So all those things combined are the reasons why Troy was the perfect guy to introduce me to the Hall of Fame."

Vincent, a native of Trenton and graduate of Pennsbury High in Fairless Hills, Bucks County, spent his first four seasons with the Dolphins before signing an offer sheet with the Eagles before the 1996 season that the Dolphins didn't match.

The Eagles drafted Dawkins in the second round a month after signing Vincent, and the two spent eight years together in the secondary, reaching the playoffs five times and the NFC Championship Game three times.

During those eight seasons, Vincent reached Pro Bowls and Dawkins made the first three of his nine Pro Bowls.

Vincent retired after the 2006 season and Dawkins after the 2011 season.

Dawkins, Vincent and Eric Allen are the only Eagles defensive backs picked to five or more Pro Bowls.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame 2018 enshrinement ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 4 in Canton, Ohio.

Dawkins' former Eagles teammate, Terrell Owens, will also be inducted. He hasn't yet announced who will present him.

Dawkins will be the 21st former Eagle inducted into the Hall of Fame but only the ninth who spent the majority of his career with the Eagles.

Was Carson Wentz sending Nick Foles a message with Instagram video?

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Was Carson Wentz sending Nick Foles a message with Instagram video?

Offseason quarterback controversies are a rite of passage in the NFL. A time-honored tradition, really. 

We’ve certainly had our share in Philadelphia over the years. There were calls for Ron Jaworski to sit in favor of a young Randall Cunningham. Then cries for Jim McMahon to take Randall’s place. When Andy Reid drafted Kevin Kolb in 2007, that began a groundswell that he was the better choice than Donovan McNabb. Of course, most recently we had the Michael Vick/Nick Foles back and forth. To look back now, it seems silly these were even debates.

Most of the time, when you have these “controversies,” it generally means you have no quarterback on your roster. Not always. The 49ers in the late-80’s and early-90’s had Joe Montana and Steve Young, both Hall of Famers and all-time great quarterbacks. Both also won Super Bowls for San Francisco. But that is the exception. So is the 2018 Philadelphia Eagles’ situation.

I use the word “situation” and not “controversy.” Because there is no controversy. If Wentz is cleared by the Eagles’ medical staff, he starts Week 1. Period. What Foles did was incredible and will go down as one of the great — if not the greatest — stretch we have seen in Philadelphia sports history. He came up as big as you can. But Wentz he is not. That’s no disrespect to Foles. There are a handful of people on the planet who are in Wentz’s class.

Just a refresher course on what Wentz did in 13 games last season (his second in the NFL, by the way). He threw for 33 touchdowns, seven interceptions, 3,296 passing yards and had a 101.9 passer rating. The 33 TDs were the second-most in the NFL despite his missing the final three games. He also led his team to an 11-2 record before succumbing to that knee injury late into that Rams game that clinched the NFC East. He would have been the league MVP had he not gotten hurt.

There is a great luxury having Foles on this team. Wentz does not have to come back before he is able. If he’s not ready, you have the best backup in the league to start the season. But that’s the only scenario in which Foles plays Week 1. Simply put: Wentz is the better quarterback. And he has earned the right to start the opener if cleared. 

Some people read into Wentz's Instagram video of himself throwing earlier in the week as him somehow sending a message to Foles. I don’t buy it. I think Wentz’s message was to the fans and himself that I’ll be back, better than ever.

Wentz and Foles are both good teammates who put the team above themselves. Sure, Foles is a competitor and would likely prefer to start. But there won’t be any behind-the-scenes maneuvering to undercut Wentz. And Wentz is secure enough to be able to handle a Super Bowl MVP backing him up and all that goes along with that. Not to mention a coaching staff and organization that won’t allow outside noise to become a distraction.

Wentz over Foles. There’s no quarterback controversy.