Every week during the season, NFL head coaches have a conference call with reporters who cover the opposing team. This week, for example, Jay Gruden spoke with a number of Philadelphia Eagles media people. And boy was he effusive in his praise for Carson Wentz. Via ESPN:
"He's progressed at a rate as fast as anybody I've seen, really. I think he's already proven this short in his career that he's one of the top quarterbacks in the league, quite frankly, and he's going to be for a long time. I don't know how he got to Philadelphia, and I'm very upset about that."
Now, it’s not unusual for coaches to be complimentary of opposing players. It’s not like they’re gonna say “Oh, that guy sucks.”
But there’s a difference between generic praise (“he’s a great player”) and gushing about a player like this. Besides, Gruden is usually a pretty candid guy.
Gruden’s comments are just another reminder of how Wentz, the current favorite to win NFL MVP, has been really impressive this season. If he continues to play well, yes, the other NFC East coaches are going to be really annoyed with Howie Roseman’s maneuvering to trade up for Wentz.
A big game from Wentz on Monday night would certainly make Gruden even more upset.
I mean, how could you not want this guy on your team?
Carson Wentz urging the team "to not settle for anything less than greatness." pic.twitter.com/mbDj4rmrhn— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) October 19, 2017
Gruden was also very complimentary of the Eagles’ defensive line. Philly’s pass rush absolutely wrecked Washington’s protection in Week 1. They sacked Cousins four times and hit him an additional eight times.
Jay Gruden says Eagles DL was more physical than Redskins OL in opener -- something that surprised him and hasn't happened since then.— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) October 19, 2017
Here’s one thing Eagles fans will NOT appreciate Gruden bringing up.
Jay Gruden, on conference call, was at brother Jon’s last game at the Vet, which he hated. “Joe Jurevicius took a jerk route and went 80.”— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) October 19, 2017
In addition to the head coach conference call, the Philly media usually gets to talk to a high profile player from the opposing team. This week it was ...
Phone rings in Eagles media room. Gets answered on speakerphone: "Hey, this is Kirk Cousins! I'm ready for my interview!"— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) October 19, 2017
... one of the dorkiest players in the league. God.
And he could’ve been an Eagle.