Doug Pederson gave a perplexed look on Sunday evening when asked if Carson Wentz would start next Monday night against the Seahawks.
Eventually he said, “Yes.”
That answer was accompanied by a look of, “Duhhh…”
“He’s our starter,” Pederson continued. “Yeah, no questions about it. He’s our starter.”
For what it’s worth, Pederson said he also never considered benching the franchise quarterback during the Eagles’ 22-17 loss to the Browns on Sunday despite another awful game for Wentz.
In this one, Wentz completed 21 of 35 passes for 235 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. One of his touchdowns came when he was gifted a short field from a turnover and the other game with 30 seconds left. His first interception was taken 50-yards to the house.
Despite all that, Pederson was always going to stick with Wentz. Despite the fact that the Eagles drafted a quarterback in the second round in April, Pederson clearly still thought Wentz gave the Eagles their best chance to win on Sunday.
“With the way the game was going and the elements and we were just really a score from putting ourselves back into this football game, I did not consider that,” he said.
On Sunday, Wentz actually got off to a pretty good start but things seemed to unravel after his pass to Miles Sanders was picked off and returned for a touchdown by Sione Takitaki early in the second quarter.
Wentz has now thrown 14 interceptions this season, tying a career-high he set as a rookie. The Eagles still have six games left to play in 2020.
A little later in his press conference on Sunday afternoon, Pederson was asked if he even had the full authority to bench Wentz during a game, as that would obviously be a major decision. While he didn’t answer that question directly, he did give some insight into why he won’t bench his quarterback during a game or to start a game.
“Look, I think if you get to that spot whether you don’t start him or you bench him, I think you’re sending a wrong message to your football team that the season’s over and that’s a bad message,” Pederson said.
“We have to work through this. When times get tough, sometimes that might be the easy thing to do. This business is about work, this business is about detailing, having ownership, things I talk about with the team. That’s what we gotta do. That’s coaches and players. That’s not one guys. It’s bigger. This sport is bigger than one guy. We all have a hand in it and we all have to fix it.”
Of course, the Eagles have many more problems than just Wentz but you can certainly make the case that he’s been one of the biggest problems in 2020.
Wentz has turned the football over in nine of 10 games this season. The Eagles were counting on him having a Pro Bowl-type of season and he has been one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL through 11 weeks.
Wentz on Sunday was asked about the talk of possibly benching him.
“First of all, media, you guys can ask whatever questions you want,” Wentz said. “I know that’s part of the deal. I know that’s always a scrutinized position, playing quarterback and that’s what I signed up for when I came out and played quarterback going back to high school. I can wear it.”
The Eagles are married to Wentz for a couple more seasons because of his contract, so they’d obviously like to see him play his way out of his slump. But it’s hard to imagine a switch suddenly flipping this deep into the season.
The questions on Sunday about benching Wentz were warranted by his play. Even if Pederson isn’t ready to entertain them seriously.
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