How Carson Wentz has managed to fall so far, from likely MVP in 2017 to one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL this season, is a mystery for the Eagles annals. We might never get to the bottom of it.
But former Eagles defensive end and two-time Super Bowl champion Chris Long has an idea of who's to blame right now.
Long went on a lengthy diatribe about the utterly broken Wentz situation in Philly in the Monday morning episode of his Green Light podcast. Long tried to break down what exactly has gone wrong, and while he hit the same walls as Eagles fans have been hitting all year - we simply don't know! - he made some really good and insightful arguments, including one that's hard to fault.
Here's one of the more memorable parts of his rant - you can listen to the full episode here - which concludes with a really salient point:
"They just paid [Wentz] in 2019. After the game, people are asking - Doug says he doesn't bench him because it would be the wrong move for the football team, it would signal something, it would send a clear message that this thing is over.
"I think for one, [Doug]'s acknowledging that Hurts doesn't necessarily look any better. [...] But more importantly, Jeffery Lurie loves Carson. And I'm not saying whether he's right or wrong, but the owner likes the quarterback. And I think Doug likes the quarterback, too. I don't know what Doug thinks, if Doug plays a favorite with Carson, I don't know if Jim Schwartz likes Carson, I don't know if Howie likes Carson at this juncture - I don't talk to this people, okay? But the owner likes Carson.
"And right now, if I'm the owner, I'm looking down and saying, 'What happened to my MVP?' Right? Because he was on an MVP track in 2017. He hasn't looked the same. If it's just injury, it's just injury. But you also just paid him in 2019, a year and a half ago, you broke him off to be the quarterback of the future, and now you can't get anything out of him? You see what I'm saying?
"Carson is absolutely to blame for his mistakes. He needs to fix them. He needs to be smarter with the football. He needs to be less stubborn. He knows that, I think, until he makes these mistakes. Until something clicks. Be more decisive. [...] But something's going on, whether it's schematic, physical, or it's just the personnel, where it's a train wreck. You just paid him a year ago. So either acknowledge that you made a huge mistake, or that you're not getting everything that you're getting out of this quarterback."
I think Long's last line there is a really great way to view the Eagles' current predicament:
Either the Eagles made a mistake by signing Wentz to a big money extension when he's not a good quarterback, or he's better than he's playing right now and the coaching is holding him back.
The first mistake falls mainly on Howie Roseman, the guy who manages the contracts and the cap. The second mistake falls mainly on Doug Pederson, the guy who is supposed to make Wentz great.
There's obviously a little bit of overlap - Lurie is involved in contracts like Wentz's, and Roseman is involved in signing good players so Pederson can succeed.
But this is sort of where the Eagles are. It's a bad situation. And I think, if the season continues this way, Lurie has to take a hard look at which of those two statements is more correct, and make a decision about either Pederson or Roseman.
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