Despite drafting him with the No. 2 overall pick, the Philadelphia Eagles are expected to keep Carson Wentz inactive on game day this year. It was revealed last week that head coach Doug Pederson said as much. Pederson has said time and time again that Sam Bradford is the starter, Chase Daniel is the backup, and Wentz is No. 3 on the depth chart. It would seem, then, that the ideal plan is to never have Wentz play a rookie. Or maybe not.
"Well, we don't know it will be his entire rookie year; we can't speculate that far out," said Pederson when asked if it's difficult to have Wentz redshirt this year. "But going into the season, there is a good chance it starts that way."
Pederson's right. We don't know exactly how the quarterback situation will play out yet. It's fluid. But with an answer like this, Pederson is at least leaving the door open for Wentz to play. It's an honest admission. He furthered this notion by later saying Wentz needs to be ready to take the field by the start of the season.
"With all three quarterbacks you really want him to be in a position to where if there's an injury or if somebody goes down, you plug him in and you don't have any worries," Pederson said. "You're fully confident and comfortable in his ability to take over, because as back-up quarterbacks, they need to be ready to go at an instant. What I mean by that is they need to be starter ready. So for Chase and Carson – and Chase has been through it – but for Carson, you want him to be starter ready come game time."
"We as coaches have got to get [Wentz] starter ready so that one day, whenever that is, he's the guy to take over."
Bradford's days are numbered and Daniel is a non-threat. Wentz's time to shine will be here eventually; it's just a matter of when.
Watch Pederson's entire Monday press conference in the video below via the Bleeding Green Nation Facebook page.
Read below for a transcript.
Q. What's one of the biggest things you're looking to get out of these first couple of days with just the rookies, quarterbacks and selected veterans?
DOUG PEDERSON: First of all, it's a great three days to get acclimated, number one, to the schedule. It's great for the coaches to kind of get back into the swing of football and thinking football before we get the rest of the team in here. And then I think thirdly, just getting the quarterbacks in here and getting their arms loose and kind of getting into a full lather before they really get cranked up Friday, Saturday and the rest of camp.
Q. What were your thoughts when you initially found out that WR Nelson Agholor faced allegations of sexual assault?
DOUG PEDERSON: Obviously, all the information wasn't in yet, so at the time I wasn't going to answer or speculate. I'm still not going to comment too much on it. I just know this, that everybody, we all make mistakes, we learn from them, we move on and we just look forward to him getting to camp and getting ready to go.
Q. What is your message to him concerning his mistake?
DOUG PEDERSON: He and I will speak privately when he gets here, and I'll leave it at that.
Q. So you haven't spoken to him since?
DOUG PEDERSON: I have not talked to him. I didn't feel it was necessary to speak to him at that time.
Q. What are your thoughts on G Isaac Seumalo’s progress after missing a couple camps?
DOUG PEDERSON: Great. I thought he came out here. He was in a great frame of mind. He was in shape, ready to go. He's so smart and intelligent. One thing I give Coach Stoutland [Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland] a lot of credit for is spending time with him this offseason: Skyping with him during the regulated hours that he could talk with him and he did a great job and caught him up. [Seumalo] looked good today.
Q. Have you decided yet how you're going to divide your quarterback reps throughout training camp?
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, I'm not officially there yet. I do know this: your first two preseason games, typically your starters don't play a ton; you're trying to save them for that third game and get them ready for the regular season. So we'll focus on the two’s and three’s probably a little bit more early in camp; probably give them the bulk of the reps. Then we’ll ramp the guys up who we think are going to be the starters opening day; we'll get them more reps towards the end of camp.
Q. After so many years in the league as a player and an assistant coach, what was it like for you to run your first training camp practice as a head coach?
DOUG PEDERSON: It was great. I was excited. I couldn't sleep last night. The storm woke me up extremely early this morning. But just my thoughts on that are that I've been through this so many times: 14 years as a player and this is my eighth as a coach, so 22 years doing this, and it never gets dull. It's always exciting; the first day is always exciting. Now I'm ready for the vets to get in here and get going. Just almost like a little kid. Just love being around the guys, being out on the grass and playing some ball.
Q. In 1999, it seemed that former Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid had a plan of getting rookie QB Donovan McNabb on the field earlier in the season, even sporadically. Do you have a sense of thinking in those terms with Wentz or is it really more down the line throughout the course of the season that that would open up based on record, performance, injury, division record, everything?
DOUG PEDERSON: For me it's more down the line. I'm very comfortable with Sam and very comfortable with Chase. It’s a little different scenario than we had in 1999. Donovan came in as the No. 2, so [it’s] different scenario this year. So right now we're going to get Carson as many reps as we can. Get him caught up. Get him to where he needs to be. I'm very comfortable and excited where Sam left OTAs and where he came in this year right now. Chase is a solid two. So we're just going to have to wait to see what happens down the road.
Q. Did anything stand out about Wentz when you had a chance to reconnect with him today?
DOUG PEDERSON: Just the fact that he came in ready to go. You just love everything about this kid. His energy, his work ethic, you know, it's just little things now, detailed things in his footwork, his drop, the progressions and where his eyes are. Those are the things in the National Football League from a quarterback standpoint that really become very important on a game day. And those are the things that we've got to continue to work with him on throughout camp.
Q. How far along are CB JaCorey Shepherd and CB Nolan Carroll in their rehab? Are they 100 percent?
DOUG PEDERSON: Good, they're clear. They're ready to go. That's why they're in this rookie camp now because they didn't do anything in OTAs. We had a chance now to bring them in early, get them some work these three days and then get them ready for camp.
Q. The Democratic National Convention is taking place right across the street from the facility. How much has that affected you guys this week as far as preparation and knowing what you would have to do that might be out of the ordinary?
DOUG PEDERSON: Nothing, it was flawless. [Eagles President] Don Smolenski did a great job organizing it. [Eagles vice president of team security] Dom DiSandro did a great job with the Philly P.D. and the F.B.I. and everybody that's involved. The transition has been flawless. They're working with us, we're working with them, and it's just part of it. You just roll with it.
Q. How much of an uphill battle does Seumalo face now that he’s coming back after missing all the OTAs?
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, a little bit. He just [wasn’t] around the guys. He [was] not hearing the calls from center. [Missing the] chance of getting those live reps obviously might set you back a little bit. But he's such a hard worker. He's smart. The time spent with Coach Stoutland in the offseason has proved itself even today coming back. It's almost like he, you know, has gone through a whole offseason of the information. I don't have any issues with Isaac.
Q. You could see it today?
DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, he's sharp, he picked up where he left off back in rookie camp.
Q. What were the emotions like for you heading into this morning? When you woke up this morning, your first ever Eagles training camp as a head coach?
DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, I had a hard time sleeping last night. We left here doing the meetings last night. Just anxious to get here, excited to be here. Wanted to be here extremely early, but it's one of those deals too where you've just got to pace yourself. It's a long camp. You take it day by day. I was excited to pull into work this morning and know that this was going to be the first one and get a chance to work with these guys, and for the next three days to really get back into football mode, mentally and physically. I was really excited for this morning.
Q. What about Bradford coming back from the break? He got married. Have you had a chance to talk to him?
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, one thing I try to do during the break is not talk to many players. I let them have their time. They don't want to hear from me, nor do I want to hear from them. Obviously welcomed him back, congratulated him. I'm excited for him. He left the spring playing extremely, extremely good football. He picked up today where he left off and just really looking forward to these next couple of weeks and leading up to these games just watching him unfold and play.
Q. What do you think it will mean for Bradford to have a fully healthy offseason to be able to come into camp, ready to go?
DOUG PEDERSON: I think it's huge. It's everything. I can remember even in Kansas City with Eric Fisher who was injury, injury, and then had a full offseason, healthy, going into the season. It's just a tremendous boost, mentally, physically, the whole thing. I know that's where Sam's at. I know that's the mindset coming into this camp is the fact he had an entire off-season, could get stronger, get in the weight room, do all the things that the guys were doing and it just gives you a boost of confidence going into the season.
Q. It’s the first day of training camp for Wentz. Way back when, you had your first day as a quarterback in training camp. What is some advice you gave him and what is something you want to see from him?
DOUG PEDERSON: One thing that's different now than when I was a rookie, is you get the whole [organized team activities] and offseason period. You get 10 weeks where even back in the old days when I played we just had little mini-camps here and there. So him having gone through it now for 10 weeks and coming back and just having him relax, be himself, don't press, we're still working on some things fundamentally with him, with his feet and with his eyes. But he came back in the right frame of mind and just told him to go. We're going to get him plenty of work, plenty of reps not only during practice but after practice, and get him where he needs to be.
Q. Do you feel you're going to have to nurture Bradford along daily in terms of constantly reminding him, "Don't worry about what they're saying on the outside looking in? Just focus on you being our No. 1 quarterback right now." Are you preparing yourself to have to do that on a daily basis with him?
DOUG PEDERSON: This is a thing that myself, [Eagles quarterbacks coach] John DeFilippo and [Eagles offensive coordinator] Frank Reich – we laid out a plan back in the offseason and our plan was we were going to have to massage this a little bit and we were going to have to make sure that all three guys understood their roles. Carson fully understands where he's at, and he knows he's got to get better. I mean, he knows he's not there yet. It's going to be a slow process, but we don't have much time.