Doug Pederson alluded Friday to a recent series of conversations urging Carson Wentz to show more accountability in front of his teammates.
Brandon Graham said Thursday that Wentz had stood up in front of the team this week and owned up to his poor play, and Pederson indicated that showing accountability is something he has addressed with Wentz.
“It was good to see, and the conversations that he and I have had over the last month have hopefully spurred him in the right direction,” Pederson said.
It hasn't been glaring from the outside, but there has been a general sense that Wentz has not been quite as accountable as he could be. He might say, “We all have to be better,” when asked about an interception or a poor offensive game.
But Graham said Wentz owned up to his failings in front of the team, and it appears that’s being seen as a major step for him.
“Well, you know, the first step is admitting what you were bad at, and that's what I love that Carson did,” Graham said. “When he talked to the team, he knew that he had to own some of the stuff that he's been doing, but at the same time, he let us know that he's working his butt off to make sure (the offense starts) doing a lot of stuff better. And that's all people want to hear is you take ownership of yours, and we can move on because that's how you build relationships, taking ownership of what you do.”
Wentz ranks 29th of 31 qualifying quarterbacks in passer rating, 30th in completion percentage, 30th in yards per attempt and first in interceptions.
Of the 19 quarterbacks who have started 11 games, he has the 17th-most passing yards and is tied for 15th with 16 touchdown passes.
Pederson said he’s seen Wentz show more accountability as the season has gone along.
“I think (it’s) something that Carson has really embraced here toward the second half of the season,” he said. “We talk a lot about ownership and … he understands that he needs to play better, and for him to stand up and take ownership there with the team and really quite frankly show vulnerability is a sign of growth in any player. We’ve had several players do that this week.”
The Eagles are 3-7-1 with five games left, starting with the 8-3 Packers at Lambeau Sunday, the 9-2 Saints at the Linc next weekend and then the 6-5 Cards in Glendale.
They finish with division games in Dallas and at home against the Giants.
“This is an important stretch for us and obviously we’re still in the NFC East hunt, so to speak,” Pederson said. “And it just shows that our young players - and I still consider Carson young, only five years in and still relatively young in this league - that they’re showing signs of maturity and growth and leadership ability, especially in your quarterback.”
It’s crazy that we’ve even gotten to the point where Wentz, who was an MVP candidate three years ago and had the 6th-highest passer rating in the NFL over the past three years, is now getting praised by his coach for being vulnerable.
But that’s the way this 2020 season has gone and maybe Wentz’s new-found accountability will start accounting for some wins.