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Eagles Notes: Carson Wentz tuning out national praise

It just so happens the best stretch of Carson Wentz's young career has coincided with two nationally televised games. 

So as Wentz took down Carolina on Thursday Night Football and Washington on Monday Night Football, the entire country got to see him look like the best quarterback in football. 

It's in part why he has been vaulted into the forefront of the NFL MVP discussion and why his jersey is selling better than anyone else's in the league. Pundits and talk-show hosts around the country have created much ballyhoo around the Eagles' quarterback. 

For a guy who tries to limit his exposure to publicity, good or bad, this could be problematic. 

So, is it getting any harder to tune out the praise? 

"Not really," Wentz said this week. "Just the nature of the flow of the season and how quickly you have to turn and go on to the next. Plus, I've always just been wired that way. Just block out as much as I can to stay focused. Can't get too high, can't get too low and just keep on grinding." 

Wentz doesn't watch TV and he tries to avoid reading about himself, but it's obviously somewhat unavoidable and will become increasingly so. At least for now, Wentz has been able to shield himself as much as possible. 

He said he's focused on the 49ers and it's easy to believe him. 

"You turn on the tape and you wouldn't think that's an 0-7 football team," Wentz said (see 5 matchups to watch).

Playing with Hart
Before the Eagles signed him this week to offer them some depth at tackle, Taylor Hart had spent the last couple months in California waiting and hoping another opportunity would present itself. 

That happened when Jason Peters went down for the season Monday night. 

After Hart was released by the Eagles at final cuts, he found himself in a precarious situation. Had the Eagles kept one more lineman, he would have been the guy. But after making the conversion from defensive tackle to offensive tackle, no teams other than the Eagles were willing to give him a chance, especially because he didn't have any practice squad eligibility left. 

Still, Hart thinks he made the right decision switching to the offensive line last spring.

"Yeah, I think so," Hart said. "I'm fully invested in it. It was tough being at home for a while, but I'm going to stick with it and try to prove myself with it."

About twice a week for the past couple months, Hart had been working with seven-time Pro Bowler Jackie Slater, who played for the Rams for 20 years before retiring after 1995. 

Hart and Slater worked on technique drills and Hart tried to work on both the offensive tackle and guard positions. The only thing he was missing was NFL competition. That's no small thing. 

"That's the biggest adjustment that I have to do here," Hart said. "You just have to work on your technique when you're away and just keep staying in shape." 

First-game jitters
Coming into Monday, Eagles linebacker Nate Gerry wasn't even sure he was going to be active. After all, he had just been called up from the practice squad after Chris Maragos went down for the year. 

But as the day went on, and because of Mychal Kendricks' hamstring injury, Gerry's role kept increasing and increasing. He ended up playing 15 special teams snaps in the win over Washington. 

And he was on the field for the very first play. At least he thought he was. 

Sitting by himself well after the end of the game, Gerry's whole day had been a blur. So much so that he thought he was on the field for the first snap of the game. He was on the field for the first kick return. The Eagles deferred Monday night. 

"Oh you're right, you're right," he said laughing. "I thought it was."

Gerry said he had been working to stay ready while he was on the practice squad and going against the Eagles' O-line and Wentz every day helped. 

He might have more opportunities coming — "just one ankle sprain away," he said — but for now, he was pretty happy to just experience his first NFL game.  

"It was a pretty cool experience for myself and all my family and all the people back home," he said. "Not a lot of South Dakota kids get to suit up for an NFL game so I had a lot of pride in doing that."

Quote of the Week I
"It ain't like basketball where I can go out and score 40 every night." — Alshon Jeffery on his lack of big numbers 

Quote of the Week II
"That worked out well. He needs to bring more plays from North Dakota State." — Corey Clement on the TD play from Monday

Quote of the Week III
"I thought, shoot, DeMeco could probably go back to Alabama and be the AD. That's how much weight his name carried." — Fletcher Cox on former teammate DeMeco Ryans

Random media guide note
Vinny Curry's favorite Halloween costume is The Ultimate Warrior.