Rob's Rants: Carson Wentz, Allen Iverson and Cowboys fans

Rob's Rants: Carson Wentz, Allen Iverson and Cowboys fans

Welcome to the first edition of Rob's Rants in which CSNPhilly's Rob Ellis does just that about the hottest topics in Philly sports.

Carson the consultant
Carson Wentz on Tuesday downplayed an NFL.com report that he asked Howie Roseman at the end of last season, “What are you going to do this offseason to improve this team?"

Wentz said they "kind of addressed some things" but "people made that more than it really was" and the front office "went out and got us some weapons, got us some new pieces, so I think they did a great job."

I’m not buying it. The proof is in the pudding. 

With little cap wiggle room, Roseman landed arguably the biggest free-agent wideout on the market and netted a burner on the outside for a very team-favorable deal. Not to mention bolstering the offensive line and signing a short-yardage back who can move the chains and cash inside the 5-yard line. 

Why wouldn’t Wentz speak up? He didn’t need to be a 10-year vet to know he was given a knife to do battle in a gun fight last year. And if you're Roseman, Wentz is your meal ticket. He should have been in full E.F. Hutton mode to whatever request the kid put forth.   
We’ll always have Instagram 
Allen Iverson’s no-show act for his BIG3 team in Dallas over the weekend can’t be viewed as any kind of surprise. This is who he is. You take the good with the bad. He was rightfully beloved for what he brought on the floor. His play was electric, and no one gave you more from tip to final buzzer. 

It was that pesky time before and after the game that proved tricky. It was that “real” factor that endeared him so to the city’s populace. He was flawed, he was unpredictable, and he was irresponsible. 

Like many of us. 

I always got a kick out of Allen's former eccentric coach, Larry Brown, when he would suggest that A.I. should be given a job in the Sixers' organization. Larry’s logic in part was that Allen would be great communicating with players. Other than telling them to play every game like it’s their last, what other wisdom is he imparting? He’s 42 years old now and still can’t manage to show up on time — or at all — to an event or a game. He and Ice Cube are the primary draws for this new endeavor, and he’s doing his best to sabotage it.    

But hey, at least he cared enough about his beloved Philadelphia fans to Instagram them a message 20 minutes before tipoff. After “consulting” with a doctor, he was advised not to play. What A.I. failed to mention was, those medical practitioners were doctors Dr. J and Dre.

Cockroach in camp
Tuesday marked the first day of tackling at Eagles training camp. In addition to the physicality, the aforementioned Wentz looked very sharp on his deep throws, and cornerback Patrick Robinson continued to get beaten (see more in Dave Zangaro's daily observations).

But we also had a Cowboy fan sighting. Yes, someone turned over a rock or flipped a light switch and one of them found their way to the NovaCare Complex. And he was everything you’d expect: an attention-starved jackass. When given the option of taking his Dallas jersey off or leaving, he opted to exit. If only we could employ this tactic to every one of these vermin in the Delaware Valley. Dare to dream.

Roob's 10 mid-March Eagles observations

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Roob's 10 mid-March Eagles observations

We're deep into free agency, the draft is rapidly approaching and the 2017 Super Bowl champion Eagles are being reshaped into a new team.

Which means it's a perfect time for a Roob's 10 Observations.

1. As the Eagles move on from LeGarrette Blount and reshape the running back position, it’s intriguing to ponder just how good Corey Clement can be. From what I saw last year? I think the kid can be a stud. His touches were limited until late in the season, but how many rookies have had 300 rushing yards, 200 receiving yards and averaged at least 4.4 yards per carry and 13 yards per catch? Would you believe three in the last 40 years? A guy named Jesse Clark with the Packers in 1983, a guy named Adrian Peterson with the Vikings in 2007 and a guy named Corey Clement. It’s tough to project, but he can run, he can block, he can catch, he’s got a real flair for making big plays and a terrific knack in the red zone. Can’t wait to see him in an expanded role.

2. As for Blount, you can’t understate his value to the Eagles last year, both as a running back and a leader. For a guy with his resume to come into that locker room and not once complain about his workload – even when he had no carries against the Chiefs – was remarkable. His selfless attitude really resonated with the young guys in the locker room. And I know a lot of fans were upset to see him go, but as incredible as his Super Bowl performance was, you can’t forget that in the seven games leading up to the Super Bowl he averaged 2.9 yards per carry. And he’s 31 years old. If the reported numbers are correct, Blount’s $4.5 million 2018 salary makes him the 12th-highest-paid running back in the league. Good for him. I wish him well. He was a huge part of that 2017 team. But it made no sense for the Eagles to bring him back.

3. It’s amazing how much money teams keep throwing at Sam Bradford. He’s got 34 wins in eight seasons, he’s never had a winning record, he’s never made a postseason, and on the rare occasions when he’s been healthy, he’s won only 43 percent of his starts. Oh, and he’s missed 42 games since 2013. “He’s our guy!”

4. Speaks volumes that both Blount and Torrey Smith singled out Duce Staley in their tweets or Instagram posts saying goodbye to Philly after joining new teams. Staley wasn’t even Smith’s position coach, and he still singled him out. Blount wrote: “To my main man Coach Duce Staley – You have impacted my life on and off the field and pushed me to be the best version of me I can be and for that I thank you!” Staley is such a natural leader and such a big part of what the Eagles accomplished in 2017. He’s going to be a head coach one day.

5. The Eagles lost Vinny Curry, but they have Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Michael Bennett and Chris Long. They lost Trey Burton and Brent Celek, but they have Zach Ertz. They lost Smith, but they have Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and Mack Hollins. They lost Blount, but they have Jay Ajayi and Clement. They lost Patrick Robinson, but they have Sidney Jones, Jalen Mills, Rasul Douglas, Ronald Darby and Daryl Worley. They’ve lost a lot, but they’re still stocked at every position where they lost someone. Pretty darn good roster planning.

6. I feel like in the wake of Nick Foles’ brilliant postseason, people are forgetting exactly how good Carson Wentz was before he got hurt. So here’s a list of every quarterback in NFL history with 33 or more touchdown passes and seven or fewer interceptions in a season before his 30th birthday: Carson Wentz.

7. I wonder how much Haloti Ngata has left. He’s 34, he’s coming off a torn biceps, and he’s five years removed from his last Pro Bowl. Beau Allen was quietly a solid backup defensive tackle and played a big role in that D-line rotation the second half of the season after Tim Jernigan hurt his ankle. I don’t mind the signing. Ngata comes cheap and there’s really nothing to lose. But it’s been a while since he’s been a dominant player, so it’ll be interesting to see how he fits in.

8. If you’ve never been to Canton, Ohio, plan your trip now. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is a great place to visit any time. But the weekend of Brian Dawkins’ induction is going to be unforgettable. Dawk’s speech is going to be epic.

9. The Philly Special may be the greatest play in Eagles history, but where does the fourth-quarter fourth-down conversion rank? The Eagles trailed with 5½ minutes left and faced a 4th-and-1 inside midfield when Foles converted a short completion to Ertz. If they don’t convert, they lose. That’s gotta be a top-10 all-time play. Maybe top-five.

10. Tight ends with more catches than Ertz in their first five NFL seasons: Kellen Winslow Sr., Jimmy Graham, Jason Witten and Antonio Gates.

Torrey Smith says Carson Wentz is going to get PAID

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Torrey Smith says Carson Wentz is going to get PAID

We all know just how good Carson Wentz is. Heck, the entire NFL knows just how good Wentz is after the Eagles' QB put together a remarkable season with 3,296 passing yards and 33 TD tosses … in just 13 games.

But we and the entire league also know what that means: Wentz is going to get a lot more zeros added to his paycheck soon.

Wideout Torrey Smith, recently traded by the Eagles to the Panthers, knows full well what Wentz's worth is and isn't shy to talk about it, as he did at his charity basketball event in Maryland Saturday evening.

"When Carson's time comes, they're going to need a Brinks truck the size of this arena," Smith, who caught 33 balls for 692 yards and two TDs from Wentz last season, told ESPN's Jamison Hensley while noting the Eagles are taking full advantage of Wentz's discounted rookie deal right now.

Wentz is in the middle of a four-year, $26.6 million deal signed after he was drafted No. 2 overall in 2016. The deal expires after the 2019 season, but obviously, Howie Roseman and crew know this all is looming. And they also know recent QB contract numbers have continued to skyrocket.

San Francisco recently made Jimmy Garrapollo, he of seven career starts but also of five straight wins to end last season after his trade from New England, the richest QB in league history with a five-year, $137.5 million deal. Detroit gave Matthew Stafford a five-year, $135 million deal prior to last season, a few months after Oakland gave Derek Carr a five-year, $125 million extension. Those three are the top-paid QBs in the league.

Long story short: With the way Wentz has performed with 7,049 passing yards and 49 TDs in 29 career starts, he's going to get paid.

And Roseman's acts of salary cap magic are going to have to continue because Wentz is going to get paid sooner than later, and the whole league knows it.