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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Redskins considering changing name amid rising pressure

Redskins considering changing name amid rising pressure

He said he would never do it.

"We'll never change the name of the team," Dan Snyder told USA Today in 2013. "It's that simple. Never. You can use caps."

Now, amid an increased national focus on racism and social justice and mounting pressure from million-dollar sponsors, his tune has suddenly changed.

The Redskins' owner said in a statement Friday that the franchise will review the team's name, seen by many as racist and offensive to Native Americans and others.

Protests against the Redskins' name and logo have been ongoing for decades, but when companies like FedEx and Nike join those protests, things can change very quickly.

Considering the growing pressure now on the franchise, it would be surprising at this point if the franchise elects not to change its name.

"In light of recent events around our country and feedback from our community, the Washington Redskins are announcing the team will undergo a thorough review of the team's name," the statement read. "This review formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has consistently supported Snyder's decision to keep the team name, released a statement saying only, "In the last few weeks we have had ongoing discussions with Dan and we are supportive of this important step."

FedEx, which paid $205 million for the naming rights for the Redskins' stadium in 1998, asked the Redskins earlier Friday to change the team name. And Nike, the NFL's official uniform supplier, on Thursday removed all Redskins gear from its website while continuing to allow customers to order merchandise from all 31 other teams.

In the statement released by the team, Snyder said: "This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from our alumni, the organization, sponsors, the National Football League and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field."

First-year Redskins head coach Ron Rivera, a former Eagles assistant coach and one of three Latin American head coaches in NFL history, indicated in the statement that he favors a name change.

"This issue is of personal importance to me and I look forward to working closely with Dan Snyder to make sure we continue the mission of honoring and supporting Native Americans and our Military."

The team's current name dates back 87 years.

The NFL Boston Braves franchise was founded in 1932 and one year later moved to Fenway Park, which it shared with the baseball franchise of the same name. To avoid confusion, owner George Preston Marshall changed the name to Redskins. The franchise moved to Washington in 1937 and kept the name.

Marshall, who owned the franchise until his death in 1969, refused to allow black players on the roster until 1962, which made the team the last in the NFL to integrate. 

Not until U.S. attorney general Robert F. Kennedy threatened to rescind the team's lease at city-owned RFK Stadium did Marshall finally allow the team's roster to be integrated.

Last month, team officials removed Marshall's name from the Redskins Ring of Honor at FedEx Field, and a statue of Marshall was removed from RFK Stadium by city officials after it was vandalized.

Protests against sports teams and logos perpetuating stereotypes of Native Americans and their culture have grown more widespread in recent years but have been held for decades.

In 1991 — nearly 30 years ago — there were organized protests against the Atlanta Braves and Redskins over their team names and logos, according to an Associated Press story. The story quoted Clyde Bellecourt, director of a group called the American Indian Movement, which organized protests outside Braves and Redskins games.

"It's a racist term," Bellecourt told the AP in October of 1991. "We're not thin-skinned, this just makes a mockery of uses a people and of our culture."

And now, it looks like the franchise is finally going to do something about it.

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The 10 smartest moves Chip Kelly made with the Eagles

The 10 smartest moves Chip Kelly made with the Eagles

It really bugged me when Chip Kelly was selected as the Ultimate Eagles Villain in our recent Philly Villains series

Not that Kelly wasn’t a villain. He was. The guy was a terrible communicator, he alienated his players, he was the world’s worst general manager and his team quit on him.

But the Ultimate Villain?

Norman Braman deserved that prestigious honor

Kelly is certainly not a person to celebrate. He got rid of LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson. He traded Nick Foles for Sam Bradford. He signed Byron Maxwell and DeMarco Murray. He released Evan Mathis.

But you can make a case that without Kelly, there is no Super Bowl. Without Kelly, there is no parade down Broad Street. 

So while the rest of Philly vilifies Kelly, we’re going to count down the 10 smartest moves he made while he was with the Eagles. And I guarantee nobody has ever made a list of the 10 smartest things Norman Braman ever did as Eagles owner.

1. April 25-26, 2013: Drafted Lane Johnson in the first round and Zach Ertz in the second round

Howie Roseman was still general manager, and he certainly had a hand in these picks, but even though Kelly didn’t have the GM tag yet he did have significant power in the draft room, and both picks bore his seal of approval. Both have gone on to make numerous Pro Bowls and both are now all-time Eagles.

2. Feb. 8, 2013: Named Jeff Stoutland offensive line coach 

It was a stroke of genius for Kelly to hire Stoutland, who came to the Eagles with zero NFL experience but quickly emerged as one of the most highly regarded offensive line coaches in the NFL. Doug Pederson kept Stoutland around, and he’s done a masterful job, especially during the 2017 Super Bowl season. Stout has sent five linemen to a total of 15 Pro Bowls in his seven years here under Kelly and Pederson.

3. March 11, 2014: Signed free-agent safety Malcolm Jenkins

Roseman was still officially GM in the spring of 2014, but Chip was instrumental in luring Jenkins away from the Saints. Jenkins made his first three career Pro Bowls during his six years with the Eagles and never missed a snap because of injury. Jenkins had 11 interceptions and four pick-6’s as an Eagle and was an inspirational locker room leader and tireless proponent for social justice and change in the community as well. Jenkins re-signed with the Saints this offseason.

4. Feb. 8, 2013: Named Duce Staley running backs coach

Don’t forget, Staley was never a running backs coach under Andy Reid. That was a Chip Kelly invention. Chip moved Staley from assistant special teams coach under Bobby April to a position where his talents were much better used, and Pederson kept him. Staley has proven to be one of the best running back coaches in the NFL, and the Eagles are seventh in the league in rushing in his seven years under Kelly and Pederson. Staley just made our list of the top 10 assistant coaches in Eagles history, along with Stoutland. 

5. March 9, 2015: Signed Brandon Graham to a four-year, $26 million contract

Graham was expected to sign with the Giants and was close to joining the Eagles’ NFC East rival, but Kelly lured Graham back. Kelly was criticized for signing Graham instead of Trent Cole, who signed a two-year, $16 million deal with the Colts. But Cole only recorded 5.0 sacks the rest of his career. Graham has 34 since then. And he recorded one of the biggest plays in franchise history in the Super Bowl.

6. Feb. 8, 2013: Hired Dave Fipp as special teams coach

Fipp has given the Eagles the same sort of smart, productive and consistent special teams play that John Harbaugh’s units delivered from 1998 through 2006. The Eagles were ranked No. 1 in the NFL in special teams by Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News in 2014 and 2016 and they were nearly as good in 2017. Pederson was smart to keep Fipp around when he replaced Kelly.

7. May 1, 2015: Drafted Jordan Hicks in the third round

Hicks was very good when healthy in his four years with the Eagles, with seven interceptions, five sacks and six fumble recoveries. He started the first seven games of the Super Bowl season before getting hurt. By signing with the Cardinals last offseason, he earned the Eagles a comp pick that became promising offensive lineman Jack Driscoll.

8. Aug. 3, 2015: Traded Brandon Boykin to the Steelers

Another move that was roundly panned when Kelly made it, the Eagles shipped the popular Boykin — who had six INTs in 2013 — to the Steelers for a conditional fifth-round pick that remained a fifth-rounder because Boykin played only 274 snaps the rest of his career. The fifth-round pick the Eagles got from the Steelers became Halapoulivaati Vaitai, the Eagles’ starting left tackle in the Super Bowl.

9. Feb. 8, 2013: Hired Press Taylor as offensive quality control coach

Press Taylor was an unknown college grad assistant at Tulsa when Kelly hired him as an offensive quality control coach. Pederson kept him around when he got here in 2016 and in 2018 promoted him to quarterbacks coach. This offseason Pederson added the title of passing game coordinator to Taylor’s job description. Taylor has gone from an obscure college grad assistant to one of the most highly regarded young offensive minds in the league in seven years.

10. Jan. 19, 2015: Named Cory Undlin secondary coach

Undlin replaced John Lovett and although some Eagles fans don’t want to hear it, Undlin was a terrific teacher and motivator and another key coach on the 2017 Super Bowl team who originally came here under Kelly. With a constantly changing array of cornerbacks, Undlin kept the secondary together, and in his four years under Pederson and Jim Schwartz, the Eagles held opposing QBs to the eighth-lowest completion percentage and 12th-lowest passer rating in the NFL. Undlin is now starting his first season as Lions defensive coordinator.

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