Carson Wentz is tone-setter for unselfish Eagles

Carson Wentz is tone-setter for unselfish Eagles

At some point this week, Carson Wentz, the hunter, will be in his element, dressed in his camo gear, hiding in a tree stand or behind some brush. 

It's much harder for him to blend in on the football field. 

Because this season, Wentz hasn't just taken a step forward; he's leaped into the national spotlight and into the forefront of the NFL's MVP race. Wentz threw four more touchdown passes on Sunday and leads the league in touchdown passes with 23. 

And he couldn't care less. 

"At the end of the day, touchdowns [are] whatever," Wentz said on Sunday afternoon, quickly dismissing a question about his stats. "That’s all great, but being 8-1 is what it’s all about. I didn’t really know what to expect with stats and all that stuff, that doesn’t really matter."

On a team full of unselfish players, Wentz is the tone-setter. 

And he's on his way to becoming the NFL's most humble superstar. 

How are the Eagles able to keep all their receivers happy? How were they able to bring in a Pro Bowl running back without fearing backlash from the others? How are the coaches able to use rotations while not worrying about any disgruntled faces appearing in theirs? 

It all starts with Wentz. 

It's pretty hard to care about stats or playing time or accolades when the guy who is getting the most doesn't even care about them. The Eagles have been able to create a culture led by a "team first" mentality. Sure, Doug Pederson and his coaching staff deserve a lot of credit for that. But it sure does make it easier to do when the face of the franchise is the furthest thing possible from a prima donna. 

"I think that with Carson leading the offense and kind of being the face right now and getting a lot of the accolades, he's the most humble guy you come across," Pederson said. 

"He'll give it right back to the team. He understands that this is a team game. So everything that he's getting, he deserves by the way he prepares and studies. But I also think there are a lot of guys on this team that do the same thing that it might get overlooked, but by no means are with us in the building overlooking those guys."

For weeks, Alshon Jeffery wasn't putting up the numbers most expected, but he didn't seem to mind, even in a contract year. Torrey Smith is an afterthought most weeks in a year where he wanted to prove his worth in the NFL; he's still all-in. LeGarrette Blount was having a great season, but knows he'll probably lose his starting job to Jay Ajayi; he hasn't caused a problem. 

And when rookie Corey Clement scored three touchdowns — an incredible feat — on Sunday against the Broncos, this was his response: "It was three? I was just playing football." 

Sound familiar? 

There's a reason Wentz's teammates named him one of five team captains this season and it goes beyond his being the quarterback. The Eagles noticed those leadership characteristics in Wentz from the time they started falling in love with him at the 2016 Senior Bowl. 

Wentz is focused on one thing: winning. Sure, he'd be mad at himself if he didn't perform well in a win. But stats? Doesn't care. He also doesn't care about whether pundits are drooling over his performances or critiquing him as they try to pump the brakes on the hype. 

Doesn't care. 

After he was named NFC Offensive Player of the Month for October, Wentz was asked if the honor came with any kind of physical manifestation like a certificate or plaque. He had no idea, but told a reporter if he found out, he'd let him know. Even if one comes in the mail, don't expect Wentz to run home and nail it to the wall in his South Jersey home. 

He doesn't care about the accolades or the stats. He cares about winning. He'd wear that camo all the time if they'd let him. 

Eagles Mailbag: Biggest concern on 2018 roster

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Eagles Mailbag: Biggest concern on 2018 roster

We’ve officially reached the only sort of dead period on the NFL calendar. The Eagles are through their spring practices and won’t be back at the NovaCare Complex until July 25 for the start of training camp. 

That sounds far away, but it’ll be here before you know it. 

You guys were great and gave me a ton of questions, so I’ll answer half today and half Sunday. Let’s go: 

I’m tempted to say defensive tackle just for health concerns surrounding Tim Jernigan, but I have to answer linebacker. Jordan Hicks appears to be healthy after tearing his Achilles last year, but as good as he is when healthy, it’s just tough to count on him. Two years ago, he was able to play a full season and things were looking good, but then he suffered another serious injury. If Hicks and Bradham stay healthy, linebackers aren’t a concern. The Eagles will have either Kamu Grugier-Hill, Nate Gerry or Corey Nelson take the weakside spot on base downs and they’ll be OK. 

But without Mychal Kendricks, it’s fair to be concerned about their depth at the position, especially after veteran pickup Paul Worrilow was already lost for the year. Kendricks came up huge last year as a fill-in; not sure the Eagles have that kind of depth this year. 

Not sure yet. What I can tell you about De’Vante Bausby is that he was impressive this spring and the coaching staff seems to love him. I remain very, very skeptical that he’s good enough to keep Sidney Jones off the field. With that said, I do think he’s talented enough to make the 53-man roster. We’ll get a better sense at camp when the pads go on, but I have him penciled in to make the team. 

Yes on both. The Nate Sudfeld hype is real. In our first extended looks at the young quarterback, he’s been incredibly impressive. It’s starting to make sense why the Eagles snatched him from Washington and then blocked the Colts from signing him last season. They kept him on the 53 in the second half of last year, so they’re completely prepared to keep three QBs on this year’s roster if Foles is still on the team. 

This is going to be the summer of Nate Sudfeld. We’re going to see him play a ton in those preseason games and that will let us know if he’s ready to be QB2 behind Carson Wentz. But the fact that the Eagles didn’t bring in a more experienced veteran after Wentz went down last year pretty much tells you all you need to know about what the Eagles think of him. 

We tried that. Didn’t work out well. We’re up for suggestions. 

You have no idea how out of water this fish is. This is like taking a fish from the ocean and dropping it in Kansas. 

How about Portugal? I’ll go with them because of Ronaldo. 

Where should Carson Wentz land on NFL's top 10 list?

Where should Carson Wentz land on NFL's top 10 list?

We now officially know Carson Wentz will be somewhere in the top 10 of the NFL Network’s top 100 players of 2018. 

We just don’t know where he’ll land. 

As far as the other Eagles on the list, the Super Bowl champions weren’t extremely well-represented: 68. Zach Ertz, 69. Fletcher Cox, 95. Lane Johnson, 96. Malcolm Jenkins. 

Before tearing his ACL and LCL on Dec. 10 in Los Angeles, it seemed like Wentz was on his way to an MVP season. In 13 games, Wentz threw for over 3,200 yards and a franchise-record 33 touchdown passes. 

Wentz is the only player in the top 10 who has never been anywhere on the top 100 list before. Can he go from off the list to No. 1?

Here’s the list of players (in alphabetical order) who will be unveiled in the top 10 on Monday night. 

  • Le'Veon Bell 
  • Tom Brady 
  • Drew Brees 
  • Antonio Brown
  • Aaron Donald 
  • Todd Gurley
  • Julio Jones 
  • Von Miller 
  • Aaron Rodgers
  • Carson Wentz

In the comments below, leave your top 10 in order. We’ll see how close everyone can get. 

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