Eagles

Why Carson Wentz hasn't had pizza in half a year

Why Carson Wentz hasn't had pizza in half a year

Could abstaining from pizza be the key to a healthy season for Carson Wentz?

Maybe one of them!

Wentz, who revealed back in the spring that he embraced some pretty significant lifestyle changes this offseason to improve his chances of staying healthy, said Tuesday he hasn’t had pizza in “six or seven months” as he prepares for the 2019 season.

Wentz said in May he made major changes regarding sleep, diet, nutrition, stretching and weight training after suffering a season-ending injury for a second straight year.

The fourth-year quarterback clearly looks leaner this summer. Whether that translates to him playing 16 games — and presumably more — remains to be seen.

Wentz was asked Tuesday if there’s any food he gave up that he especially misses.

“Why would you do this to me?” he said with a laugh.

Then he shared the unthinkable.

I mean, pizza’s one of the biggest,” he said. “Trying to avoid pizza. You know … that’s the thing you do when you hang out with the guys, you order pizza. So trying to find pizza substitutes has not quite been as successful as I would have hoped.

Wentz missed the last three games of 2017 and the Super Bowl run and then the first two games last year after tearing his ACL against the Rams in L.A. He missed the last three games of last year and the playoffs with a fracture in his back.

He’s been vague about specifically what he’s changed since the winter, but now we know one detail.

No pizza.

“Not real pizza,” he said. “It’s been about six, seven months now. Trying to find different substitutes and everything.”

Three weeks into training camp and with 3½ weeks until the regular-season opener, Wentz said he feels great. How much of that does he trace back to the changes he made?

Maybe a little bit,” he said. “Obviously, the training that I’ve done, the nutrition that I’ve done, really focused on different things, I feel stronger and I feel more explosive. But at the same time, it’s been a while since I felt this way due to the knee and everything, but I do feel good where I’m at.

Wentz has already suffered more season-ending injuries before his 26th birthday than Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan and Drew Brees have suffered combined in 93 seasons.

Obviously “Can Carson stay healthy?” is a narrative that won’t go away until he does.

Listen, I get it,” he said. “You play a couple seasons and have a couple injuries, I get what’s happening. Unfortunately, I’ve ended the last two years on the bench. There’s only so much I can do to talk about it, now I just have to be about it. I’m going to set myself up the best that I can to stay healthy, to play the whole season and get out there every week, but again, it’s football and things happen, so everyone has their own opinions and at the end of the day I’m not really worried about it. … I’ve really had to come to grips with really not caring what other peoples’ opinions are on the matter.

It seems likely Doug Pederson won’t play Wentz at all this preseason, although he keeps saying he hasn’t decided.

The Eagles face the Jaguars in the second preseason game on Thursday in Jacksonville. They’ll hold joint practices next Monday and Tuesday with the Ravens, then face the Ravens at the Linc a week from Thursday. The preseason ends with the Jets at the Meadowlands on Aug. 29.

I feel good either way,” Wentz said. “I’ll be ready come Week 1 whether I get reps multiple times in the preseason or none at all. Whatever Coach decides. I’m extremely confident in this offense and myself and I like where we’re at.

Only four quarterbacks have started every game for the Eagles since the NFL moved to a 16-game schedule in 1978: Ron Jaworski five times, Donovan McNabb four times, Randall Cunningham three times and Wentz as a rookie in 2016.

If Wentz makes it through the regular season unscathed, you’ll know why: Lots of stretching, plenty of sleep and not a single call to Domino’s.

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What has Miles Sanders done to turn his season around?

What has Miles Sanders done to turn his season around?

Remember how overmatched Miles Sanders looked after gaining just 25 yards on 11 carries in the opener against the Redskins? Remember how lost he looked a week later when he was just 10-for-28 in Atlanta?

Three weeks into his rookie season, Sanders was averaging 3.1 yards per carry and ranked 28th out of 33 qualifying running backs.

Six from the bottom.

Since then?

Sanders has blossomed.

In the Eagles’ last nine games, Sanders is averaging 5.1 yards per carry, 7th-best in the league of 53 backs during that span.

Six from the top.

In a season with very few positives, Sanders’ development has been fun to watch.

What’s been the difference?

Sanders is just seeing things better, he’s running more decisively and he's moving the chains forward.

Nothing demonstrates that better than his percentage of carries that have gone for one or fewer yards.

In his first game, more than half his carries went for one or fewer yards (6 of 10). Through five games he was still at 35 percent, with 19 of 53 runs that went less than two yards.

In the last seven games, that number has dropped precipitously. Of his 62 carries since the Vikings game, only nine — nine of 62 — have been one or fewer yards. 

“I feel like I’ve been getting better and better each week,” the second-round pick from Penn State said. “Everybody’s been telling me that, but most importantly, I’ve been noticing it myself, just trying to get better and do it each week. I feel more confident just as far as reading where I’m supposed to be, getting my eyes in the right place and just playing ball out there.”

Sanders has 520 rushing yards and needs 118 to break LeSean McCoy’s franchise rookie rushing record of 637, set in 2009.

He has 879 scrimmage yards and needs 130 to break DeSean Jackson’s franchise rookie scrimmage yards record of 1,008, set in 2008.

Going into this weekend, he was second to Raiders 1st-round pick Josh Jacobs among rookies with 879 scrimmage yards and fourth in rushing (behind Jacobs, David Montgomery and Devin Singletary).

Is Doug Pederson using Sanders enough?

That’s a different question. 

Sanders is averaging 4.5 yards per carry overall but still has only the 30th-most carries in the league and the 25th-most touches among running backs. 

“I think you're seeing the patience in the running game,” Doug Pederson said. “His vision is better, it's improved from Week 1 to Week 13. The more he gets time, the more he gets snaps, the better he'll get.”

Sanders has taken care of the production. Now it’s up to Pederson to take care of getting him more snaps.

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Eagles vs. Giants live: Highlights and analysis from NFL Week 14 game

Eagles vs. Giants live: Highlights and analysis from NFL Week 14 game

9:57 a.m.: Good morning, everyone! 

We have waited a long time for tonight, but the Eagles will host Eli Manning and the Giants tonight at the Linc. Here are five matchups to watch.

If you’re heading to the game, bring your rain gear. 

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