Eagles

Carson Wentz responds to PhillyVoice hit piece: 'I can be selfish'

Carson Wentz responds to PhillyVoice hit piece: 'I can be selfish'

You have to give Carson Wentz a tremendous amount of credit for one thing.

He took what was essentially a one-sided, agenda-driven hit piece and instead of dismissing it, he decided to learn from it.

Wentz could have lashed out at the writer of the recent PhillyVoice piece. He could have lashed out at his anonymous teammates.

Nobody would have blamed him.

Instead, he made up his mind to confront himself honestly and take steps to become a better person and teammate.

"I know I'm not perfect," he said in a recent interview with half a dozen Eagles beat writers. "I know I have flaws. So I'm not going to sit here and say it was inaccurate and completely made up. I'm not going to do that."

Wentz said that while some anecdotes in the PhillyVoice story were factually inaccurate (see story), there's some truth in the characterizations of him as aloof, stubborn and selfish.

That's probably true of every NFL quarterback to an extent, but Wentz thought it was important to take whatever strands of truth were in the piece and grow from them.

I'll be straight up," Wentz said. "It hasn't been the easiest last year for me on the physical level, just battling the injuries, but then just personally going through it, sitting on the sideline and then playing and then sitting on the sideline again. So I realize like I maybe wasn't the greatest teammate at times because I was emotionally kind of all over the place. To the outside world, I probably didn't show it much. But internally, I mean, you're definitely fighting some sort of emotions. So there's things to learn just about how to handle myself in certain situations.

The reality is that all successful quarterbacks — all successful people — are probably hard-headed, want to do things their way and aren't universally liked.

The challenge for Wentz has been to determine whether his personality really is an issue in the locker room.

"It's never fun to read, but to an extent, you look at it and (think), 'Well, if someone did have this perception of me, why? What have I done wrong? What can I get better at?'" he said.

"I realize I have my shortcomings. Yes, I can be selfish. I think we all have selfishness inside of us."

It's important to note that the Carson Wentz who went 4-6 this past year while dealing with a balky knee and a broken bone in his back is the same guy who was worshipped in the locker room during his record-setting MVP-caliber 2017 season.

The number of teammates who came out in support of Wentz following the story's appearance speaks volumes.

And still, Wentz is mature enough to sort through all of this to figure out how it can make him a better person, a better teammate.

But during this conversation (see full transcript) we can't lose sight of just how successful Wentz has been:

• He's one of only six quarterbacks in NFL history with consecutive seasons of 20 or more TDs and single-digit interceptions.

• He's one of eight QBs in NFL history with back-to-back seasons with a passer rating over 100.

• His 70 touchdown passes are 5th-most in NFL history by a quarterback in his first 40 games. And none of the QBs with more has fewer interceptions.

So if he really does have some character flaws, they sure haven't limited him a whole lot.

Wentz said the reality is that he is who he is, and that's not going to change. 

I'm 26 years old," he said. "My personality, to some extent, ain't going to change. What's gotten me here, what's gotten me successful, I'm not going to say, 'Oh, now I'm going to have this free-spirited, Cali-guy vibe.' That's just not going to change. … Any time you're a Type-A guy, there's a fine line (between) being pushy and shovey and humble. And (learning to) walk that line. Definitely learning to navigate that and never trying to look down on anybody or make it seem like I'm better than anybody. But at the same time, as a Type-A, so-to-speak, confident person that's confident in off-the-field things and then on the field with what we like, that's not going to change. That's not going to go anywhere. I think that's something that is a positive if used correctly.

It would be impossible to find any NFL player that's liked by all 52 of his teammates. That's just the reality of 53 personalities in one room.

Wentz is a proven leader, overwhelmingly popular in the Eagles' locker room and one of the most promising young quarterbacks in the NFL.

And if he's got some things to work on? Join the club. So do all of us. 

The fact that he recognizes this and accepts it says a lot about what kind of leader he really is.

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One company offering Super Bowl ticket loans at 30% interest (P.S. -- dont do this)

One company offering Super Bowl ticket loans at 30% interest (P.S. -- dont do this)

It’s “easier than ever” to attend the Super Bowl, according to a Stub Hub press release.

It may also be easier than ever to go into debt doing it.

StubHub this week announced a program that allows fans to finance ticket purchases — including Super Bowl tickets — and pay for them over a period of 3, 6 or 12 months.

All at the bargain-basement price of up to 30 percent interest.

Stub Hub, in conjunction with financial firm Affirm, introduced a program this week that allows consumers to use Stub Hub to purchase tickets and during the check-out process elect to finance the purchase through Affirm. 

Although ticket buyers can use Affirm for most Stub Hub purchase, the company is rolling out this program as a way to encourage fans who can’t afford Super Bowl tickets to buy them at potentially exorbitant interest rates.

According to financial web site The Balance, the average credit card interest rate as of December was 21.26 percent.

“Just in time for the Super Bowl, consumers can purchase event tickets now and pay over time,” reads a joint press release from Affirm and Stub Hub. 

The StubHub-Affirm joint press release makes it sound like paying 30 percent interest is a financially sound idea: “With U.S. credit card debt at an all-time high and many consumers looking to kick off the new year with better financial habits, they’re demanding more transparent financial products that align with their interests.”

According to a CBS News story that examined the Stub Hub program, two lower-level end-zone tickets selling on Stub Hub for $15,760 on a 12-month, 30-percent loan would cost the buyer an additional $2,676 in interest.

The story also said that unlike credit cards, there’s no financial benefit for consumers to pay this sort of loan off early. 

Ted Rossman of creditcards.com appeared on CBS MoneyWatch and warned consumers against using this sort of financial plan to pay for tickets makes no financial sense.

"It is a huge risk to make any type of discretionary purchase with something that carries a rate of 10 percent to 30 percent,” Rossman said on the show, according to the CBS News story. "It's risky to buy it now and think you are going to pay it later."

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After egregious All-Pro snub, Brandon Brooks named top OL in NFL

After egregious All-Pro snub, Brandon Brooks named top OL in NFL

Earlier this month, Jason Kelce called Brandon Brooks “the best offensive lineman in the NFL.” 

Turns out, ProFootballFocus agrees.

On Thursday, PFF named Brooks the winner of its annual Bruce Matthews Award, given to the best offensive lineman in the NFL. The Eagles were also named the best overall offensive line in the league. 

It’s an honor Brooks deserves after he was egregiously snubbed by voters for the Associated Press All-Pro team earlier this month. It was an absolute joke that Brooks wasn’t even named to the second team. No disrespect to Zack Martin or Marshal Yanda but Brooks was better than both of them this year. 

There’s no doubt that Brooks is the best right guard in the NFL. PFF thinks he’s the best overall OL in the league too. 

Here’s what they said about him:

“Brooks has been a perennially underrated player throughout his NFL career, whether it was playing in Houston or Philadelphia. Aside from a rookie season in which he played just 173 snaps, he has earned overall PFF grades of at least 74.0 every season since. Four of those six seasons before this one saw him top 80.0 overall, but this year he took his game to another level, earning an overall grade of 92.9. For years we have been making the case that he deserves Pro Bowl, and then All-Pro, recognition, and now he deserves to be acknowledged as the best offensive linemen in the game.”

While opinions are split on ProFootballFocus, their evaluations for offensive linemen are incredibly valuable. PFF has been able to give stats to a position that was previously stat-less. No, they don’t necessarily know assignments or the exact designs of plays, but they grade each and every play and that detailed analysis can take some of the human element out of giving these awards. 

When the All-Pro voters made their selections, they picked two guys at right guard in Martin and Yanda who have a longer history of playing at an elite level. PFF doesn’t care about that. They did their game-by-game, play-by-play evaluations and came to the conclusion that no other offensive lineman was better than Brooks this season. 

According to PFF, Brooks gave up just one sack and and 19 pressures on 647 pass snaps. That’s pretty impressive. But it’s even more impressive that Brooks was that dominant eight months after suffering a torn Achilles. 

For the start of next season, Brooks will be coming off a shoulder surgery, but there’s no doubt he should be able to return to his dominant form in 2020. 

The Eagles know what they have in Brooks. They signed the three-time Pro Bowler to a four-year extension during the season that made him the highest-paid guard in the NFL and will keep him in Philadelphia through 2024.

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