How do you go about fixing Carson Wentz? Press Taylor says he doesn’t need fixing.
“I wouldn't say that he needs to be fixed in the sense that he's a broken quarterback,” Taylor said Friday. “I wouldn't say that at all.”
Taylor, the Eagles’ quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator, spoke Friday for the first time since Doug Pederson benched Wentz for Jalen Hurts on Sunday and announced Wednesday that Hurts will make his first NFL start Sunday against the Saints.
Taylor echoed what everybody else in the organization has said when he placed blame for the offense’s struggles on everybody — including the coaches — but he did acknowledge that Wentz has some work to do to if he’s going to return to form.
“Like anybody, you take a lot of ownership of (it),” he said. “You take a review of the season — essentially, what happened, how did I play, why did I play this certain way? And you really have to spend some time in self-evaluation. ... He and coach Pederson will sit, just like coach does with all of us, and kind of review it with somebody else, get somebody else's perspective on the situation. Where your strengths, where your weaknesses are. But I think a lot of it you have to kind of self-internalize a lot of things … and then you (put together) your action plan of how you're going to go about accomplishing those things.”
Taylor, who’s been on the Eagles’ coaching staff since 2013, Chip Kelly’s first season, certainly faces an uncertain future, as does Pederson and everybody on the current staff.
But he believes he’s the guy to help Wentz find his game.
“I feel like I understand his game very well,” Taylor said. “I feel like I understand kind of the situation as a whole that we’ve gone through as an offense right here and ways to help him, ways to help our offense, ways to improve upon myself in the way that I coach him … and what we can do to improve things and get going on the right track.”
All of that is great, but the big question remains … What happened to Wentz?
There was a point where it looked like Wentz might turn things around. The Eagles went into the bye week in first place in the NFC East with a two-game winning streak, and in his last three games, Wentz had six TD passes and just three INTs.
The Eagles haven’t won since and Wentz’s play regressed to the point he got benched.
“I think it’s a tough answer, why it went away from how we expected it to go, but obviously we all take ownership that we have not achieved — especially the last four weeks -— the way we intended to,” Taylor said. “And that’s on every single one of us and everybody’s got to look inside to see what happened from their aspect of it. We have four weeks left, we’re excited to continue to move forward with both these guys and really all of our players, continue to develop them, try to get the best out of them, put them in the best possible situation. That’s our goal as coaches.”
And how will Wentz get better?
“I would say, as the offense improves around him — and obviously he's a portion of that, but there's a lot of people that are a portion of that,” he said. “We all have our hand in this thing and the fact we've underachieved falls on every single one of us. You know, we can improve everything around him, as well as him improving his game, as well as us as a coaching staff improving the way we approach everything moving forward.”
Maybe he's not broken, but Wentz sure does seem to need some serious fixing.