How Eagles plan to juggle reps between Wentz, Foles

How Eagles plan to juggle reps between Wentz, Foles

During his final press conference of the spring, head coach Doug Pederson gave us all a little glimpse into the future. 

And it’s a pretty good plan. 

As Carson Wentz continues to recover from that torn ACL and LCL, Nick Foles has taken all the Eagles’ first-team reps this spring. But that’s going to change this summer. 

“Go back to my first year, we were trying to get all three guys equal reps going through the first couple weeks of training camp,” Pederson said. “It’s going to be maybe the same type of thing, where Nick and Carson are working with the ones, working with the starters. We’re not losing a lot of that valuable time.”

This makes a ton of sense. 

Because the Eagles need to prepare themselves for both possibilities. Either Foles or Wentz is going to be the starter Week 1 against the Falcons, so both need to be ready. 

This goes beyond just that individual quarterback being prepared. It’s a matter of making sure each quarterback is comfortable with all their fellow starters and rotational players. That includes new targets Mike Wallace, Dallas Goedert and Markus Wheaton. So far, Wentz hasn’t gotten a ton of time with any of them. That’s going to need to change. 

You’ll remember what Pederson was talking about. Back in the summer of 2016, the Eagles had Sam Bradford as the starter, Chase Daniel as his backup and Wentz as the third-stringer. All three quarterbacks got some time with the first team, which obviously paid off when Bradford was traded. The Eagles made sure either Daniel or Wentz would be ready to step in and it ended up being Wentz. 

Of course, that summer Wentz cracked his ribs and missed the preseason, but his time with the first team allowed him to step in Week 1 once Bradford was traded and that decision was made. 

Pederson also mentioned the mission to build that rapport will fall on the individual players too. There are going to need to be some extra throwing sessions between the quarterbacks and the top targets. That’s even more important when the QBs are splitting reps during practices. 

“It can be a challenge but I’m definitely not going to worry too much about it as we go,” Pederson said. 

Either way, the Eagles are going to have a good quarterback ready to start the season. One was the Super Bowl MVP and one was playing at a league MVP level. As long as their egos stay in check — we have no reason to believe they won’t — splitting first-team reps in training camp is the perfect solution. 

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Eagle Eye Podcast: Good start for Carson Wentz and a look at the NFC East picture

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Eagle Eye Podcast: Good start for Carson Wentz and a look at the NFC East picture

On this edition of Eagle Eye, Derrick Gunn and Barrett Brooks discuss the Eagles' victory over the Colts. The guys agree that Carson Wentz looked good in his season debut. Wendell Smallwood was a pleasant surprise.

This defense will give Carson Wentz some room for error to shake off any rust.

Derrick and Barrett take a look at the NFC East picture after week three. Also, is Patrick Mahomes the only consistent thing in the NFL right now?

1:00 - Eagles win! How did Carson Wentz look?
8:00 - The defense will give Carson Wentz time to shake off rust.
12:30 - A look at the NFC East on Sunday.
19:00 - Big upsets on Sunday.
23:30 - Patrick Mahomes is the only consistent thing in the NFL?

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How Doug Pederson got a huge call to go Eagles’ way


How Doug Pederson got a huge call to go Eagles’ way

Sometimes the squeaky wheel really does get the oil. 

It worked in Doug Pederson’s favor Sunday in the Eagles’ 20-16 win over the Colts, when the Eagles got a much-needed defensive holding call to extend their game-winning touchdown drive. 

Pederson revealed Monday morning on WIP that earlier in the game, he called over the referee to let him know that the Colts’ defensive line had been holding their offensive tackles. Pederson told him to just “be aware of it.” 

Then on 4th-and-5 at a crucial moment in the fourth quarter, that little chat ended up helping the Eagles in a big way. 

That’s a pretty clear hold. Jabaal Sheard holds Lane Johnson so Margus Hunt can get around the edge on a stunt. It works and Hunt forces Wentz to throw the ball early. 

Maybe if Hunt isn’t in his face, Wentz delivers a perfect pass to Jordan Matthews to get the first down. He probably does, but we’ll never know. If you think the Eagles get a first down, we’d have to assume Wentz’s non-pressured throw would be on the money and Matthews would catch it. Very possible, likely even, but not guaranteed. 

This penalty gave the Eagles the first down and they scored the go-ahead touchdown seven plays later. 

During Monday’s press conference, I asked Pederson if he’s strategic in bringing up these things to refs: 

No, it’s common practice. I get a chance to meet with officials before the game. I get a chance to meet with the head referee before pregame. Listen, it’s a tough job. And if there’s something out there that we see, they want to know about it so they can get it right. It’s not strategic, it’s not planned in any way. It’s something that we saw throughout the game and wanted to bring to their attention and it was a true hold on Lane and they got it right. It’s not a competitive advantage other than we just want to make sure that everything is officiated correctly. I’m sure Frank (Reich) had things on their sideline too that he could talk to them about. It’s fair game, so to speak. It’s just common practice throughout the league.

It might not have been strategic, but it’s a good thing Pederson pointed out those penalties that hadn’t been called earlier in the game. 

Holding calls on defensive linemen are pretty rare; it’s not something refs are probably super focused on during games. They’re looking for holding from offensive linemen and from defensive backs. So Pederson’s bringing it up to the officials likely put it on their radar. 

And it helped the Eagles when they really needed it.

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