Doug Pederson is finally excited to watch Carson Wentz play football. All it took was benching him.
Pederson on Friday raved about the work Wentz has been doing running the scout team, which is a new experience for the 27-year former Pro Bowler.
Running the scout team or the look team is one of the bigger responsibilities for any backup quarterback, and Pederson said Friday morning Wentz has embraced his new duties of working with the young receivers and giving the defense the best possible look at the next week’s opponent.
Most tellingly, he used the word “carefree” to describe Wentz running with the 2’s, a dimension that was definitely missing from the fifth-year veteran's game this year.
“He’s done really well,” Pederson said. “It’s exciting actually to watch him because you see him doing the things — whether it’s 7-on-7 or team drills or whatever it might be — just how he’s out there running I want to say a little carefree when you’re on the service team or the scout team.”
Pederson benched Wentz for rookie Jalen Hurts in the third quarter of the Packers game, and the Eagles ended their four-game losing streak Sunday against the Saints in Hurts’ first NFL start.
It’s an unusual role for Wentz, who hasn’t been a backup since 2013 — his sophomore year at North Dakota State when he was backing up Brock Jensen.
He took third-string reps for a couple of weeks at the start of training camp as a rookie in 2016, but soon after he returned from his rib injury, Sam Bradford was gone and he was the starter.
And he's been the starter ever since. Until now.
“He’s doing a really good job,” Pederson said. “He’s really taken that and really (done well) working with some of the younger guys. We obviously present the picture to the defense and he’s able to coach up even the younger guys based on what they’re seeing on the card from a route standpoint or a protecting standpoint or whatever it might be. But he’s done a really nice job there.”
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