Carson Wentz walks fine line between loving Jesus and not being preachy

USA Today Images

Carson Wentz walks fine line between loving Jesus and not being preachy

Carson Wentz wants everybody to know just how important Jesus is in his life. How important religion is in his life.
At the same time, he doesn't want to come across as preachy or proselytizing.
Good luck sorting all that out.
Wentz has actually walked that tight-rope the past year just as adroitly as he avoided trouble in the pocket.
He's made it clear what he believes and what it means to him, and he's done it in a way that seems natural and organic.
"You're always walking that fine line, without a doubt," he said. "I always tell people, for example, if you love your job, you love your wife, you love what you do, you're going to talk about it. Well, I love Jesus. That's what I love, so I'm going to talk about it.
"But I'm not going to force it down your throat, either. So it's definitely a fine line that I'm constantly trying to walk, and at the end of the day, just kind of how I live and what I'm about and hopefully can kind of speak through. If that makes sense.”
Wentz is no religious zealot. Anything but. Ask him about his faith, ask him about a particular biblical verse, ask him about his relationship with Jesus, and he's happy to chat. For hours.
And it's not unusual for a biblical passage or a reference to Jesus to come up in one of Wentz's press conferences. That's who he is. He's just being himself.
But he's no proselytizer.
And he said he's constantly trying to balance answering questions honestly with making sure he doesn't come across as preachy.
Heady stuff for a 24-year-old kid from North Dakota.
"I never want to be the guy who's beating people over the head with the Bible," Wentz said recently. "That's not what I'm about. That's not really what Christianity is about.
"Christianity is all about love and showing that love and that kindness and that grace."
Wentz has clearly thought this through. He understands that as the starting quarterback for a team in the sixth-largest city in the country — and a city that's gone 56 years without an NFL championship and eight years without even a playoff win and is starving for a franchise quarterback — he's an instant celebrity and someone whose words carry a ton of weight.
He takes that responsibility seriously. He said he's heard some criticisms of his openness discussing religion, but he said it won't change who he is or what he says.
“I have seen [negative] things here and there," he said. "It is what it is. Again, but they're still reading it, they're still following me. They're still hearing what I believe to be true so it's a fine line.
"Without a doubt, I want to use my platform to make a difference [in] peoples' lives."
Look at Wentz's Twitter account (@cj_wentz), and about half of his posts or retweets are religious in nature.
Others concern such hotly controversial topics as his dogs, his love of hunting and fishing, various charities (including his own) and well wishes to current and former teammates.
"Going and speaking at events or even social media can be very impactful in what you share, what you post," he said. "Some people that don't like that stuff, maybe they shouldn't follow me on social media. But that's just what I'm about.”
Wentz's own AO1 Foundation, launched earlier this year, seems overtly religious, with a mission statement to "demonstrate the love of God by providing opportunities and support for the less fortunate and those in need."
But the three disparate main objectives of the charity — to provide shelter, food and education for underprivileged youth; to provide hunting opportunities for disabled people; to provide service dogs to those who need them — are objectives that anybody can appreciate and admire, regardless of their faith.
It's not common for a 24-year-old who hasn't even started his second season in the NFL to have the wherewithal to start a foundation.
But as we're all learning, Wentz is not your typical 24-year-old.
"Coming into the league, my agents and stuff told me most guys will wait four or five years to do their foundation if they want, and I was like, ‘OK,’ so I took their advice, thought about it, but I’m like, 'I have no idea in four or five years where I’m going to be," Wentz said.
"God-willing, I’m still playing this game, hopefully still here and everything, but you just never know. You’re not promised tomorrow, so I just said, why wait? Why wait to make a difference and help out?
"It's something I’m very passionate about. I realize I have a platform for more than just winning football games. I want to make a difference all over the country, all over the world.
"Even if it’s just a little bit here and there and just help give people and kids hope, that’s what it’s all about.”

Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson troll Chip Kelly at autograph signing

Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson troll Chip Kelly at autograph signing

Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson teamed up for 13 touchdowns together during their career, and they teamed up once again to take a shot at their former coach.

On Saturday, Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson held an autograph signing at DTLR in Chester, Pa. and there was a very interesting sign posted outside the store.

No Chip Kelly allowed.

View this post on Instagram

4/20/19 📸: (@imvar 🔥💯)

A post shared by SOHOODIE™ (@sohoodie) on

This goes back to Vick and Jackson’s time together on the Eagles when Kelly was at the helm. The saga has been widely documented. In an interview earlier this year, Vick even told a story to Jackson about a time his relationship with his coach brought him to tears.

Jackson’s career has come full circle with his return to the Birds this offseason, but the scars, and the jabs, remain.

If you were wondering, Kelly was pretty busy on Saturday at UCLA’s spring game, as he prepares to improve upon a 3-9 season in his first year in charge of the Bruins’ football team.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles


Eagles NFL draft options at No. 25: Cody Ford

Eagles NFL draft options at No. 25: Cody Ford

The top interior offensive line prospect in this year’s draft, Cody Ford is an intriguing prospect who hasn’t played very much football, although he did block for two pretty good QBs at Oklahoma in Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield.

Ford is seen as a guard in the NFL, at least to start off, and that’s where he played early in his college career, but he is athletic enough that when injury forced him to move to right tackle this past fall, he earned third-team All-America honors.

Ford, who stands 6-foot-4, 330 pounds, started only 21 games in college, seven at guard. So he’s a raw prospect with a tremendous amount of upside. But with his natural power, athleticism and intelligence there’s no reason he can’t be a productive NFL starter immediately at guard.

Current roster at G: A ton of question marks. Brandon Brooks is one of the NFL’s best but is coming off Achilles surgery and nobody knows when he’ll be ready to play. Stefen Wisniewski, who started 27 games at guard for the Eagles the last three years, is gone. Isaac Seumalo has started 15 games in three years but remains something of a mystery. And there’s really nobody else, although Matt Pryor, a sixth-rounder last year, will get a look in camp.

How he would fit: If the Eagles drafted Ford, he’d be their starting left guard by the end of the day.

Eagles history at G in draft: The Eagles drafted guards in the first round in 1996 and 2004, and both became Pro Bowlers — Jermane Mayberry and Shawn Andrews. Andrews was a two-time first-team All-Pro but for a variety of reasons never really played after his 25th birthday. The only guard the Eagles have taken in the first round since Andrews was a 26-year-old ice hockey player who was more interested in being a fireman than playing football. Seumalo is the only center-guard they’ve taken in the first five rounds of the last seven drafts.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

Other options at 25