Eagles

Carson Wentz embraces lifestyle changes in bid to stay healthy

Carson Wentz embraces lifestyle changes in bid to stay healthy

He didn’t want to just find a way to get healthy. He wanted to find a way to stay healthy.

On Day 1 of Eagles OTAs, Carson Wentz was a full participant, practiced without a brace, threw the ball effortlessly, ran fluidly and looked for all the world like the healthy quarterback the Eagles desperately need him to be.

It’s been a long time coming for Wentz, who missed the Eagles’ playoff runs with injuries in 2017 and 2018.

And wants to do everything in his power to lower the chances of it happening again.

“I’m trying to transform my body a little bit this offseason and I think I’ve seen a lot of development there for me personally,” he said. “And I think that’ll help going forward as far as staying healthy and longevity and everything.”

Wentz said nobody really suggested a new focus on nutrition, diet and health, but he kept hearing other athletes talk about it.

So during his latest layoff and during this offseason, he started looking into changes he could make toward living a healthier lifestyle.

“Just looking at nutrition and different training techniques and really kind of diving into every aspect, any advantage I could find,” Wentz said after practice Tuesday. “I really went into this offseason and just (focused on) A) getting healthy but B) what it can look like to stay healthy."

Wentz has the ninth-most TD passes, the third-best interception ratio and the ninth-highest completion percentage in NFL history by a quarterback in his first three seasons.

But that means nothing if he’s not on the field in December, January and — hopefully — February.

“You see other guys doing it so I always was curious,” Wentz said. “It’s something that after (last) season, I’m like, ‘OK, how can I ultimately not just get healthy and get past this but just be a healthier individual going forward for my career?’ So I just dove into it."

Wentz joked that maybe one day he’ll write a book about nutrition, a reference to Tom Brady’s “The TB12 Method,” which covers things such as diet and nutrition.

But the reality is that Brady hasn’t missed a game because of an injury since 2008 and has been healthy in 18 of his 19 NFL seasons.

Wentz is 25 and has already suffered more season-ending injuries than the 41-year-old Brady.

“Obviously, a guy like Tom — and you see other athletes and they have their method — they find what works for them, and nutrition and diet and sleep and all those things are a big part of it,” he said. “So for me that’s something I’ve really been looking at this offseason and I think you’ll see benefits and hopefully add years to (my) career.”

Wentz was typically vague when pressed for details about his new regimen, but he did allow that a focus on stretching and flexibility is a big part of it.

“I’m not going to go into all the specifics, but (it includes) stretching and flexibility,” he said. “I feel good. I feel strong. I feel quick. And I think some of those things are paying off.”

Wentz has started only 25 games over the last two years, and 18 quarterbacks have started more.

In the near future, the Eagles are going to give Wentz a long-term contract presumably worth more than $30 million per year.

He has to stay healthy.

And he knows it. 

And he feels more prepared than ever to prove that he can.



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NFL Rumors: Former Eagles DL Tim Jernigan finds a new home for 2020 season

NFL Rumors: Former Eagles DL Tim Jernigan finds a new home for 2020 season

Former Eagles defensive lineman and Super Bowl LII champion Tim Jernigan is returning to the AFC.

The 27-year-old defensive tackle is expected to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars, according to a report from NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.

Garafolo clarified that the deal isn't done just yet, but Jernigan visited with the team on Wednesday, and barring something unforeseen, Jernigan will spend his seventh year in the league with the Jags:

Jernigan joined the Eagles in a 2017 trade with Baltimore - which also netted the Eagles Rasul Douglas  - and played 28 games over three seasons in Philly. His 2018 was derailed by back surgery, and he appeared in just three games that season. He compiled 4.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss during his time with the Birds.

Once viewed by the organization as a possible long-term piece on the defensive line, Jernigan signed a four-year, $48 million contract extension with the Eagles in November of 2017. But the Eagles declined the option on his deal after the 2018 season, before bringing him back on a one-year deal worth up to $2 million.

The two sides parted ways after the 2019 season.

Interestingly, Jernigan was previously set to sign a one-year, $3.75 million deal with the Texans during free agency this offseason, until the deal fell apart in June, seemingly in part because of his injury history. It's currently unclear how Jernigan's prospective deal with the Jaguars compares to his reported agreement with the Texans.

Jernigan started in all three playoff games during the Eagles' 2017 Super Bowl run, and is credited with a pair of quarterback hits on Tom Brady in Super Bowl LII (the Eagles won, 41-33).

Jernigan was the Ravens' second-round pick in 2014.

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Former Eagles OL coach Howard Mudd dies at age 78

getty_mudd.jpg
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Former Eagles OL coach Howard Mudd dies at age 78

The 1964 NFL draft was held Dec. 2, 1963.

A week later Howard Mudd got a phone call.

"The 49ers mailed a letter to our athletic director (at Hillsdale College) letting them know they had drafted me and inviting me to training camp," Mudd told me in the summer of 2012. "Our AD opened his mail and called me, and that's how I found out I was drafted."

Mudd, the 49ers' 9th-round pick, went on to a brilliant playing career and a spectacular coaching career, including two years on Andy Reid’s staff with the Eagles. 

Mudd, considered one of the greatest offensive line coaches in NFL history, died on Wednesday, two weeks after a motorcycle accident in Seattle, his family announced through Mike Chappell of Fox 59 in Indianapolis. 

He was 78.

Mudd was a guard on the NFL’s team of the decade for the 1960s. He was only 28 when he retired after a serious knee injury.

He began his coaching career at Cal in 1972 and spent 1974 through 2012 as an offensive line coach with eight teams before retiring.

Mudd came out of retirement in February of 2019 to briefly serve as a senior offensive assistant with the Colts under former Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich, who had worked with Mudd as an assistant with the Colts in 2008 and 2009. Mudd retired from that position in September.

Mudd's last full-time job was the Eagles' offensive line coach in 2011 and 2012. He came out of his first retirement to replace Juan Castillo after Castillo replaced current Bills head coach Sean McDermott as Eagles defensive coordinator.

"(Reid) said, 'I want you to consider coming out of retirement. Would you consider that?'" Mudd told Philly reporters after joining the Eagles in February of 2011. "I was kind of stumbling around for things to say and I said, 'I'm very flattered.' We talked and chatted. Andy is pretty persuasive. My daughter said, 'Dad you retired. You get to do anything you want.' I said, 'I want to go coach. That's what I do.'"

Jason Kelce was a rookie 6th-round pick in 2011, Mudd's first year with the Eagles. In a "Five Minutes with Roob" segment in 2017, Kelce recalled Mudd telling him to think like a starter:

"I definitely didn't have a mentality that I was going to be the starter, to tell you the truth," he said. "My mentality was just to go out there and compete and make the team and I think just do the best I can, and fortunately I had an offensive line coach who believed in me, Howard Mudd, and he taught me a bunch of techniques as an under-sized player that I could utilize at this level. I still remember having a conversation with him where he said, 'Do you want to play this year?' And at that point that wasn't really in my mind."

Here's a story Dave Zangaro wrote about Mudd in the fall of 2011, after Mudd had hip replacement surgery.

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