One thing that’s been apparent about Carson Wentz this year is that at times he’s tried to do too much.
Way too much.
He tries to put the team on his shoulders and carry it, even when it’s not needed.
Now, the Eagles are winless in three games and headed to the West Coast to face a talented 49ers team, and they’re doing it missing half their skill players.
Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson are out. Dallas Goedert and Jalen Reagor are out. Miles Sanders is coming off a glute injury, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is doubtful with a calf injury. Quez Watkins is on IR.
It sounds like Doug Pederson is concerned about Wentz doing too much under normal circumstances.
Now? Without so many of his playmakers? It's really a potential issue.
Pederson conceded Friday that he and quarterbacks coach Press Taylor have spoken to Wentz about his tendency to try to do too much.
He needs to step back sometimes and just let the game come to him. And not force things. That's when bad things happen.
And so far this year, they've happened a ton.
“It’s one of the things that Press and I, we've just talked to him a lot this week about that,” Pederson said. “Not specifically this week but really any week. It doesn't matter if we have all our weapons available or not. It's a matter of just letting those guys work.”
Right now, the only healthy wide receivers on the 53-man roster are Greg Ward and rookie John Hightower. The Eagles are expected to either activate Deontay Burnett from the practice squad to the 53 or bring him up on a game-day promotion, and they could activate Watkins from Injured Reserve if he's ready.
Newcomer Hakeem Butler, a hybrid receiver-tight end, could be activated, but he just started practicing with the Eagles on Wednesday.
Hightower, Burnett, Watkins and Butler have a combined career 18 catches.
Pederson’s message to his struggling quarterback is that the coaches will handle getting all these young skill players ready, he just needs to focus on his own job.
“It's our job as coaches to make sure that they're prepared and ready to go with their jobs, and then Carson, just handling and running the offense like he knows how,” Pederson said. “This is no different.”
The Eagles’ current situation mirrors the end of last year, when injuries left the Eagles with Ward, Burnett, Rob Davis and Arcega-Whiteside at receiver.
Pederson said because Wentz has so little experience with this current group of receivers, the communication among them has to pick up.
“If anything, there's more communication probably when (it’s) like it was at the end of the season last year, when some of those new guys and young guys were playing,” he said. “The communication picks up just a little bit more.”
The Eagles did finish the season 4-0 last year with a bunch of practice squad call-ups, so maybe history will repeat itself.
But for the Eagles to have a chance to beat the 49ers - or anybody - Wentz has to stop trying to be Superman.
And it sounds like that’s a message Pederson is trying to get across to his slumping 27-year-old quarterback.