Five nuggets from Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh's chat with the media Monday ...
Wentz will continue to get reps
Even though we don’t know when he’s playing, we do know that he’s practicing.
Groh said Carson Wentz will continue to get reps even now that Nick Foles has been named the opening-day starting quarterback
"We have to make sure we're getting him some reps, reps for Carson, so when the time comes that he's cleared, that he's gotten the work that he needs so that he can be ready to go," Groh said.
It’s unusual for a non-starter to get reps once the regular season begins, but this is an unusual situation. How many reps Wentz gets will vary depending on the day and the week, Groh said.
We’ll just take it on a day-to-day basis and make that determination based on the way practice is set up and the situations for the day.," Groh said. "He's certainly going to be involved with practice.”
Groh shrugs off Foles' shaky preseason
Groh said the Eagles aren’t concerned with Foles’ lack of production during the preseason.
“I have really very positive feelings about Nick and the way that he's played," he said. "I can only relate it to my experience and being with him on the same team as Nick is on. A lot of confidence in Nick and the way that he studies and prepares himself to play and to play at a high level. And then certainly the way that he played last January, and even before that in December, to go in those circumstances in Los Angeles and to lead us to victory there in the second half of that game, go up to New York under difficult circumstances and rally the team there and throw four touchdown passes. We're very fortunate to have Nick Foles on this team.”
Groh's message for Nick Foles
Groh was asked what his message will be for Foles before the Falcons game:
“Just be Nick," Groh said. "He did a great job of distributing the football throughout the course of the playoffs and getting rid of the football and not holding the ball and putting the ball in our playmakers' hands and letting those guys do what they do best. He doesn't have to do anything extraordinary. He just has to continue to play like he did before and be the same guy.”
The offense without Alshon
Alshon Jeffery was one of the Eagles’ biggest weapons last year, especially down the stretch.
Foles threw 12 touchdowns last year in the regular season and playoffs combined and Jeffery caught four — twice as many as anyone else. He was Foles’ favorite red-zone target and he had 18 catches for 286 yards in 5 1/2 games with Foles.
So Foles will be missing one of his favorite weapons Thursday night, which Groh addressed.
"We feel like we've got a lot of weapons on our offense: Zach (Ertz), Nelson (Agholor), Darren Sproles, (we) added Dallas Goedert in the draft and anxious to see him play on Thursday night, and Mike Wallace," Groh said. "Our running backs, Corey Clement, guys like that have done a lot in the past in the passing game for us. We still feel like we have a lot of weapons that they have got to account for.”
Expectations for Gibson and Carter
With Jeffery’s return date unknown, somebody is going to have to emerge as a productive wideout opposite Nelson Agholor.
Shelton Gibson has one career catch for nine yards and DeAndre Carter has no catches. Both had impressive preseasons, and Groh said he’s curious to see if they’re able to carry that success over to the regular season.
“That's the interesting thing that we all got to find out," Groh said, "I mean, preseason's preseason and the regular season is obviously a little bit different in the intensity and the competition level steps up. That will be the challenge for both those guys … can they sustain their performance?
“Obviously, they know they need to be more consistent in their approach and performance each and every day to be able to get that done.”