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.