Frank Reich spoke Tuesday afternoon. He talked a lot about Carson Wentz. Here’s what he touched on:
On Wentz’s perceived recent struggles
I think the quarterback position in that you’re so dependent on the play of everyone else. So we go up and down together. The quarterback’s central of it. I think, by and large, Carson’s still doing a lot of really good things. Still a lot of positives, even in a bad stretch. Two people can look at the same thing and see different results. We have to own the negative results, but we can still feel good about a lot of the things he’s doing, even in the adversity and the bad stretch we’re in.
On Wentz’s vision, especially on interceptions
I think Carson’s vision and coverage recognition is way beyond his years. There’s very few plays where he’s fooled in coverage. You’ve seen that time and time again, quarterbacks get fooled by disguise. I think he’s got really good vision. He’s shown good vision.
Every quarterback’s going to make a bad decision now and then. Throw the ball down the middle on Cover 2, when maybe you should’ve come underneath. That happens all the time. It’s not acceptable, you don’t want to do it, but sometimes you’re trying to make a play and it happens. Overall, I think his vision and recognition of coverages has been very good.
On Wentz’s mechanics and development
As the offensive coordinator, and trying to help out in that regard a lot, for every player, mechanics and techniques and fundamentals are critically important. You’re always working at it. The higher level you get, the more you work on it. I think he’s still completing a very high percentage of his passes, when you look at it, in the big scope of things.
Am I ever satisfied with it? No. I was never satisfied with myself as a quarterback. I’ve never been satisfied with any quarterback I’ve ever coached. You’re always pushing them to get better. You’ve got to get better. As long as the guy has the mindset of trying to get better, that’s the key. And he has that mindset, and he’s proven it time and time again.
On the interceptions themselves, and what’s gone wrong
It’s been a mixed bag. A couple of them could be the decisions, like the one going down the middle last week. Every now and then it’s a bad throw. Same for every other quarterback. And I’m not trying to defend the guy, but just have a realistic perspective of what happens playing that position, with everything going on around you.
You have to learn from it. You’ve got to take it hard. It’s got to hurt, because it hurts the team when you’re the quarterback and you make a mistake. It’s amplified. It’s not just like you missed a block or dropped a ball. When you play quarterback, you understand the mistakes are amplified. You’ve got to have thick skin and fight through it.
On the mindset of when things need to change for Wentz
You need to have the mindset that it needs to stop now. It can’t go another game. There’s no ... and as far as a pass sailing, I guess it’s true that every player has his ... I like golf. You watch golfers, every golfer has a miss. I tend to miss right. You tend to miss right on the fairway.
Right now, if Carson’s miss is a little bit of a high ball, is it dramatic? I don’t think it’s anything out of the acceptable range. The guy’s still playing a lot of good football and completing a lot of passes. Do we need to work on it, and get it corrected? Yeah. And we are doing that, and he is doing that.
On whether Wentz is sometimes trying to do too much
Probably at times. Every quarterback tries to do too much, especially when you’re not generating the points you want to generate. Are there going to be times you try to do too much? Absolutely. Has it happened? Yeah. But I don’t think it’s happened as much as it could’ve, to be honest with you. I think he’s handled it pretty well.
On Wentz realizing the competition level of the NFL after the hot start
In some of the more recent losses, do you get the sense that, ‘Okay, he’s feeling this one’? Yeah. We’re all feeling it. He was that young, naive in a good sense, but still very mature guy who came in and it was like, ‘Nothing’s going to get this guy down.’ But it wears on you.
Losing wears on you in this league. That’s why you’ve got to have the mental toughness. It’s a grind, and it’s especially a grind when you’re not winning the games you want to win, and losing, and you’ve got to have the mental toughness to get out of that. And he has it.
On Ertz’s avoiding of a hit
I’ve learned over the years to trust the players’ instincts. I looked back at it because it didn’t really jump out at me, to be honest with you, because Carson was so near to the sideline, the block was a non-factor in the play. Sometimes you get a shot like that and you take it.
Other times -- I played with Barry Sanders who was famous for avoiding hits. That’s why he played all the time, he was never hurt. You saw when Burfict hit DGB, he got almost as hurt as DGB did. There was a side of me, when I looked back, that said I want Zach playing the next four games.