Eagles

Thoughts on Carson Wentz's being characterized as 'selfish' and 'egotistical'

Thoughts on Carson Wentz's being characterized as 'selfish' and 'egotistical'

The Eagles have made it clear that Carson Wentz is their franchise quarterback and they’re sticking with him going forward. 

Maybe there are some locker room issues to work out. 

A PhillyVoice story published Monday morning gives a different perspective on Wentz’s personality and standing within the locker room, characterizing him as egotistical and selfish. The story is cobbled together through what the writer calls “more than a half dozen players, plus other sources close to the team.” All the sources in the story are anonymous. 

My thoughts are coming, but here’s an excerpt, which pretty much gives you the gist of the story. 

“His aw-shucks, overgrown-Opie-from-Mayberry routine plays well with the local and national media. Indeed, sources describe Wentz as “incredibly hard working,” “determined,” and “highly intelligent.” But the true Wentz is more nuanced and complicated, with sources describing him as “selfish,” “uncompromising,” “egotistical,” one who plays “favorites” and doesn’t like to be “questioned,” one who needs to “practice what he preaches" and fails “to take accountability.” 

Numerous sources confirmed Wentz was once verbally attacked by a highly respected teammate for not being “a team guy.”

“Carson Wentz’s biggest enemy is Carson Wentz,” one source said. “He’s had his ass kissed his whole life, and sometimes acts like he’s won 10 Super Bowls, when he hasn’t played in, let alone won, a playoff game yet. Everyone around him wants good things for him. He did more thinking on the field than he did playing (in 2018). You don’t have to be a brain surgeon or a football expert to see how differently this team plays and reacts with one guy as opposed to the other."

Wentz, according to sources, created friction within the offense. 

That’s one helluva way to start the offseason, huh? 

OK, the easiest way to do this is to just give you some thoughts here: 

• Joe Santoliquito is the writer of this story. He’s a PhillyVoice contributor but has been in the Philly media market for a long time. I don’t necessarily agree with all of the writing in the story — like the idea that Wentz targeted Zach Ertz much more than Nick Foles (not statistically true) or comparing Wentz’s stats to Andrew Luck’s for some reason — but it doesn’t take away from the meat of the story, the thoughts from those in the locker room. Moving on. 

• This isn’t the first time we’ve known some of this about Wentz. That's why I think some of the PhillyVoice story is over-dramatized.

He’s definitely a Type A personality and we’ve seen instances of it popping up before. It’s important to note, that’s not always a bad thing. During the 2017 season, then-OC Frank Reich even hinted at Wentz’s stubbornness. In October 2017, Reich said Wentz told them he had a lot of arguments with his OC in college, but the Eagles viewed that as a good thing because he knew what he wanted. 

Reich was then asked if he got into arguments with Wentz. Here’s what he said: 

“I wouldn't call them arguments. We're all stubborn. Coaches, players, you’re very confident in what you know and what you believe and what you want. And so we have good discussions and we take a lot of input from Carson, like we do all of our players. Certainly, from the quarterback position, there's a unique contribution I think that you can make and that he can make, but he's still — what we appreciate about him is that he's mature enough to understand there's a process.”

So when the story says new OC Mike Groh was “bullied” by Wentz, I wonder what constitutes bullying. 

• Several leaders from both sides of the ball have already publicly backed Wentz shortly after the story was published. 

• These personality traits that were “exposed” in this story are the same personality traits found in a lot of great athletes. There’s something to having an ego and being stubborn. It’s not always a bad thing. In fact, I’d argue that it’s part of the makeup of a lot of great quarterbacks in the NFL. Heck, just think about Tom Brady in New England. People have said similar things about him over the years. 

• The story says Foles is “universally loved” in the locker room and Wentz is not. While Wentz and Foles are very close, it’s almost not fair to compare them as people. It’s almost unfair to compare anyone to Foles, who is just a different kind of person, a guy who wants to be a pastor after he stops playing football. It is true that they have very different personalities. 

• The part about Wentz’s being verbally attacked by a teammate for not being a “team guy” is the most troubling part of the report, but frustrations do boil over and sometimes things get said. That happens in football locker rooms. The bigger question about this becomes, how was it resolved? And, is there any animosity lingering? If there’s not, I’m not sure it’s as big a deal as it sounds. 

• One part I did find interesting was Wentz’s need to take accountability. That was one of the anonymous jabs at the franchise quarterback and it’s something I’ll admit I’ve seen at least during some instances during the QB’s three NFL seasons. There have been times where I thought Wentz should come out and own a mistake and put some blame on himself, but he seemed hesitant to do it. I noticed it more his rookie season, though, and I thought he showed more accountability when things didn’t go well in 2018. I think there’s something to the idea of a guy being great at every level and finally having to learn how to deal with adversity. 

• According to the story, multiple sources said Wentz complicated the offense. Well, that could be true. Everything was simplified once Foles took over late in the season, but a lot of that blame has to fall on Doug Pederson, right? I know Wentz is the franchise quarterback, but it’s still Pederson’s team, still Pederson’s offense. If things are too complicated, it’s more on him to simplify than it is on Wentz. 

• This won’t make things any easier on Wentz. He went from having an MVP season to getting hurt, watching Foles win a Super Bowl, coming back, struggling to be the same guy, getting hurt and watching Foles lead the team to the playoffs again. There will be a ton of pressure on Wentz heading into the 2019 season. But it’s some of these same personality traits — if harnessed correctly — that might help him return to MVP form and help the Eagles forget all this stuff. And winning always helps too. 

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Eagles sign long snapper Rick Lovato to 4-year contract extension

Eagles sign long snapper Rick Lovato to 4-year contract extension

A few years ago, Rick Lovato was working in his family’s restaurant, Joyce’s Subs and Pizza, in Lincroft, New Jersey, just waiting for a chance.

He wasn’t the best at making pizza, but Lovato could make a mean breakfast sandwich. 

Maybe he still can, but Lovato won’t have to worry about picking up an apron again anytime soon. He’s in the middle of what might end up being a long and profitable NFL career. 

The Eagles on Tuesday signed the 27-year-old long snapper to a four-year extension that will keep him in Philadelphia through the 2023 season. 

Lovato has been playing this season on a one-year deal he signed in February and was scheduled to become a restricted free agent after this season. It’s worth noting that kicker Jake Elliott and punter Cameron Johnston are also in the final years of their contracts, so perhaps another move or two will be coming. 

While this deal won’t break the bank the way Brandon Brooks’ extension did last week, the Eagles seem interested right now in re-signing some players they want to keep around. 

The Eagles initially signed Lovato in December of 2016 after Jon Dorenbos broke his wrist. Lovato performed well enough that the Eagles traded Dorenbos the following August and made Lovato their full-time long snapper. 

Lovato has played in 45 regular-season games and five playoff games with the Eagles, including Super Bowl LII. He has a giant Lombardi Trophy tattooed on his side. 

Being a long snapper is kind of like being an offensive lineman in some ways. The less you hear about the long snapper, the more likely he’s performing well and not making mistakes. So, for Lovato’s sake, hopefully this is the last time you hear his name for a few years.  

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Miles Sanders chasing records and more in 10 Roob Stats

Miles Sanders chasing records and more in 10 Roob Stats

We've got some overall defense, some Zach Ertz and some Miles Sanders in this week's edition of 10 Roob Stats.

Yes, we can always come up with positive stats even when the Eagles lose!

—> The Eagles have held three straight opponents to 17 or fewer points and fewer than 300 yards. This is only the second time that’s happened in the last 11 years. They also did it against the Steelers, Bears and Browns — the first three games of the Doug Pederson Era. Only the Patriots and 49ers have also had such streaks this year.

—> Carson Wentz’s current streak of 13 straight games with a touchdown pass is 3rd-longest in Eagles history, behind Wentz’s 22-game streak over the 2016 through 2018 seasons and Randall Cunningham’s 18-game streak in 1987 and 1988.

—> Wentz played his 50th career game Sunday. Among all QBs in NFL history in their first 50 games, he ranks 9th in most TD passes, 9th in passing yards, 12th in accuracy, second in completions and 3rd in interception percentage and has the 4th-highest passer rating.

—> Zach Ertz’s nine catches Sunday give him 55 this year. He’s the first player in Eagles history with six straight 50-catch seasons. Keith Byars [1988-92], Jeremy Maclin [2009-14], and Brian Westbrook [2004-08] had five.

—> Zach Ertz now has 17 career nine-catch games. Only Tony Gonzalez [25] and Jason Witten [20] have more in NFL history among tight ends. The last two games mark the fourth time in his career he’s had nine catches in consecutive games. The only other players in Eagles history to do that once are Pete Pihos in 1955 Terrell Owens in 2005.

—> One more Ertz: He’s increased his career total to 492 receptions, 20th-most in NFL history by a tight end. He only needs 14 to pass six more tight ends and move into 14th place. At his current rate, he’ll be in the all-time top-10 by Week 3 of next season.

—> The Eagles allowed 14 TD drives of 60 yards or more the first six games of the season. They’ve allowed 4 the last four games.

—> They’ve also held six straight home opponents under 100 rushing yards, the 6th-longest streak in franchise history and 3rd-longest since 1955.

—> The Eagles are on pace to allow fewer than 1,400 rushing yards ad fewer than 3.8 per carry in the same season for only the second time since 1991 and the sixth time since 1955.

—> He didn’t have a huge game Sunday, but Miles Sanders did add 47 scrimmage yards to his 2019 total and now ranks second among all rookie NFL running backs with 688 scrimmage yards, behind only Josh Jacobs of the Raiders, who has 1,067 (and 97 more touches).

—> Sanders’ 688 yards are most ever by an Eagles rookie running back after 10 games (35 more than Lee Bouggess in 1970) and second-most by any rookie, behind only DeSean Jackson (732). Sanders needs to average 52 yards from scrimmage the rest of the season for 1,000. The only Eagles rookie to reach 1,000 scrimmage yards was Jackson (1,008 in 2008). The most by a running back was LeSean McCoy’s 945 in 2009.

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