Carson Wentz addressed reporters for the first time in a long time on Monday. The Eagles quarterback met the media following the team’s first day of their 2017 offseason workout program.
Wentz touched on a number of topics, but one point he continued to drive home was that Philadelphia’s 2016 season wasn’t good enough. He specifically referenced being 7-9 several times.
1 - “Last year, at the end of the day, we finished 7-9. That’s not good enough. That’s never going to be good enough for me or for anybody in this building. I fully expect us to make strides and hopefully be playing into January.”
2 - “I want to win. Like I said, being 7-9 is not going to make the cut. That’s what we’ve got to improve on.”
So if 7-9 doesn’t cut it, what does?
3 - “Making the playoffs. Making the playoffs, winning the division, and seeing what happens. That’s obviously the number goal, is winning the [NFC] East, that’s what we have our sights set on. But at the same time we’ve got a long way to go until then.”
Despite how last season turned out, Wentz believes the Eagles have the players in place to make a turnaround in 2017.
“Without a doubt. We truly believe we have the pieces in place. And we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us here, it’s early, it’s April still. But we truly believe that and we’re going to put the work in and get it done.”
More takeaways from Wentz’s press conference below.
Wentz thought working with a QB guru was helpful
HOW MUCH HAS WORKING WITH THE MECHANICS COACH HELPED? WAS THERE ANY RESISTANCE FROM THE ORGANIZATION ABOUT WORKING WITH OUTSIDE HELP?
“Well first off, no, there was never really any resistance. I think coaches want everybody to go do their own thing to whatever they think is going to help them get better.
I thought it was beneficial. I don’t think it was anything real specific but just overall to help me just fine tune some things. Just kind of keep working at some things and make myself more efficient. I thought it was a productive visit down there.”
Wentz did not make major changes to his throwing motions
DID YOU CHANGE YOUR THROWING MOTION AT ALL?
WHAT DID YOU FINE TUNE?
“Just some simple things. Things that, to the naked eye, you probably wouldn’t notice. A lot of it had to do with footwork and stuff. But again, it was nothing real massive. Just overall, trying to make everything more efficient and smoother.”
DURING SEASON YOU SAID YOU DIDN’T SEE ANY MECHANICAL ISSUES. DID YOU RE-WATCH AND SEE THINGS YOU NEEDED TO WORK ON?
“Not really. There was things here and there at times, but nothing really that was kind of big and evident that stuck out. I think it was just little things here and there. A lot of it might have been footwork and stuff and being confident with the timing within routes and concepts and everything. But nothing really jumped out at me.”
The Eagles *did* have Wentz study WR prospects
EAGLES ASKED YOU TO LOOK AT WIDE RECEIVER PROSPECTS. WHAT KIND OF RECEIVERS DID YOU SEE IN THIS DRAFT CLASS? GUYS WHO CAN FIT THIS SYSTEM WELL?
“I think there’s a lot of talented players — receivers, like you’re asking about. Lot of talented receivers that could help but I don’t really know where it’s going to go and I don’t have any input either. I’m just excited to see what we add, whether it’s offensively, defensively. Obviously the Draft being here in Philly, there’s a lot of excitement for that as well. So it’ll be a fun time.”
YOU HAD A CHANCE TO WORK OUT WITH SOME WR PROSPECTS. DO YOU EXPECT THE TEAM TO ASK WHAT IT WAS LIKE ABOUT THOSE GUYS?
“We’ll see. A lot of those guys were just tied in with my agency when I was down there [in California] working out, getting some things done. Those guys were available to go throw and they were right there where I was working out. So that was the main reason why those were the guys I was throwing with.”
ABOUT HOW MANY DID YOU WATCH ON FILM?
“Um, I don’t know. About a handful. I didn’t watch too much in depth. I was honestly busy trying to evaluate my own game and our own system more than watching those guys. “
WHEN YOU STUDIED THE WIDEOUTS, DO YOU GO INTO DETAIL?
“Not really. We couldn’t be in contact for the past couple months so I was just doing it myself and trying to see what guys were out there and all that. Nothing real specific.”
Wentz is forming a relationship with Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith
REACTION TO OFFSEASON SIGNINGS OF ALSHON JEFFERY AND TORREY SMITH?
“Yeah it’s always exciting when you add new players. Not just those guys, but up front [on the offensive line] as well. And just some other pieces on defense. Anytime you can add players like that, that you think can really help the team, it creates a lot of buzz, a lot of interest. There’s a lot of excitement in that locker room.”
DID YOU WORK WITH ALSHON TODAY?
“I did not throw today. We didn’t really do any real work on the field quite yet.”
HOW LONG HAVE YOU TALKED TO TORREY AND ALSHON?
“We’ve been in touch a little bit. I got a chance to be with Alshon, go out to dinner with him once. Torrey and I had never officially met until today but we’ve been in touch, talked on the phone a number of different times. So I’m excited to work with those guys.”
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT ALSHON AFTER SPENDING TIME WITH HIM?
“Alshon’s great. Getting to just eat dinner with him and get around him, he’s a quiet guy. But I’ve seen him on film and we’ve talked about some of the things he can do on the field. Haven’t gotten to know him too much quite yet, but I am excited to finally get out there and throw with him.”
DID YOU WATCH ALSHON FILM AFTER THEY SIGNED HIM?
“A little bit, yeah.”
Wentz is ready to be a leader
ARE PLAYERS LOOKING AT YOU DIFFERENTLY NOW THAT YOU’RE THE STARTING QUARTERBACK?
“That type of stuff will happen organically. It’s just kind of my personality. But it was only Day One here, we haven’t been on the field yet or done anything, so we’ll kind of see. But at the same time I think we have — we definitely need lots of guys to continue to step up their leadership and start pushing this thing in the right direction.”
DOUG TALKED TO US ABOUT HOW HE WANTED THIS TO BECOME YOUR TEAM. HAS HE MENTIONED THAT TO YOU?
“Hasn’t directly said that to me. But at the same time as the quarterback of this team, you know you’ve got to accept that role and run with it. Like I mentioned earlier, I’m going to let it all happen organically and just still be myself and it’ll all take care of itself.”
Wentz feels more comfortable in Year 2 of his career
A BIG POINT OF EMPHASIS WAS TO GET AWAY AND RECHARGE. HOW EFFECTIVE WAS THAT?
“It was big. You know, for me, obviously being a rookie, you guys are all familiar with that rookie year. That is just kind of crazy from the [NFL] Combine and everything and all the way through. And then being fortunate enough to start for all 16 games. So to finally just get away and get a chance to breath and relax and spend some time with friends and family, it was really big for me. But the last couple of weeks, I’ve been pretty excited to get back here. Get back with some of these guys, some of these new faces, and get to work.”
HOW IS IT DIFFERENT ENTERING THE OFFSEASON PROGRAM KNOWING YOU’RE GOING TO BE THE STARTER?
“Well, mentally, it’s a whole different ball game. It’s not coming in trying to learn a new playbook and be overwhelmed with that as well as the other things that come with being a rookie in the locker room. So coming in and having that confidence, already knowing the playbook, and now I’m ready to really dive into it even more, really understand and just grow with these relationships with these receivers, with these tight ends, with everybody. I’m really, really excited about it.”
PEOPLE SAYS PLAYERS MAKE A BIG JUMP FROM YEAR ONE TO YEAR TWO. WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT MEANS TO YOU?
“Well we’ll find out. I think we’ll find out. I’m excited, just like I said earlier, the mental side of things. Being comfortable with the environment, knowing what to expect, that type of thing. The playbook now, obviously, just being able to take that knowledge to the next level. I’m just really excited to make that jump and get to work here.”
DOUG TALKED ABOUT THE JUMP PLAYERS MAKE FROM ONE YEAR TO YEAR TWO. DO YOU SEE YOUR FAMILIARITY WITH THE PLAYBOOK AND EVERYTHING TRANSLATING INTO A BIG JUMP FOR YOU?
“I sure hope so. I know I always hold myself to high expectations. Last year, at the end of the day, we finished 7-9. That’s not good enough. That’s never going to be good enough for me or for anybody in this building. I fully expect us to make strides and hopefully be playing into January.”
HOW MUCH MORE CAN YOU SEE ON FILM NOW HEADING INTO YOUR SECOND YEAR AS OPPOSED TO YOUR FIRST?
“I guess you notice things a little differently. You see things differently now going through it for a whole year. Going back and obviously knowing the playbook that much better. Just being able to really focus in on defensive tendencies and those type of things. You really pick up on things quite a bit more, but at the same time I felt very prepared last year, especially really the second half of the year. Things were already starting to slow down.”
DO YOU FEEL THERE’S MORE PRESSURE ON YOU IN YEAR TWO?
“Not really. I don’t really like to put pressure on myself. I just let things happen. And like I said, I hold myself to high, high expectations and high standards. So the pressure from the outside is never what really gets to me. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be great. I’m going to continue to do that.”
LAST YEAR YOU WERE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DRAFT PROCESS. WHAT ABOUT THAT TIME STANDS OUT IN YOUR MEMORY?
“Hard to say. I just remember being tired all the time. [Laughs]. It was exhausting time. You’re flying around everywhere, you’re working out all the time, just being tired but also mentally. Because you have no idea what’s happening. It’s a big question mark and then finally I’ll never forget the Draft. I’ll never forget that night, hearing my name called, knowing I was an Eagle, getting to spend it with my friends and family. That time, it still gives me chills talking about it, just realizing how much my life changed that night and how fortunate I really am.”
Wentz feels healthy
YOU TOOK TIME OFF AFTER THE SEASON. HOW MUCH BETTER DOES YOUR BODY FEEL NOW?
“Body feels good. Body feels good right now. Obviously towards the end of the year, taking some shots and different things. But the body was holding up really well for the season as well. I’m very thankful and fortunate for that. But obviously taking the time off and getting back into it the last couple months here, body’s feeling really good.”
YOU SPOKE ABOUT YOUR BODY, BUT HOW IS THE RIGHT ARM? WAS THE ELBOW A PROBLEM AT THE END OF THE YEAR?
“The elbow never was [a problem.] Usual, general soreness that happens, but nothing ever of concern ever came up. The arm was feeling great. The arm felt great all season. So yeah.”
WITH THE STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING, IS THERE SOMETHING SPECIFIC YOU NEED TO WORK ON?
“My body’s feeling good. I don’t think physical strength is really a big thing I’m lacking. I think it’s kind of just functonal strength and just continuing to develop that. Obviously you’re always working on your speed and conditioning and quickness and stuff because everybody else is so you’ve got to continue to get better. I’m never satisfied. I just want to continue getting better as well.”
Wentz likes the Eagles’ new quarterback room
YOU DON’T HAVE CHASE DANIEL HERE ANYMORE. WHAT KIND OF IMPACT COULD THAT HAVE?
“We’ll find out. I have a lot of confidence in Nick [Foles], getting to know him already, guys have a lot of really good things to say about him. And then now Matt [McGloin] coming in as well. I think we have a really good quarterback room. Seems like we’ve got a lot of smart individuals in there.
Obviously missing Chase, he was a big part of it [last year]. Knowing Doug [Pederson’s] offense the way he did. He was a professional and a veteran. And he helped me a lot. But at the same time, it’s just kind of the nature of this business, so I’m excited to work with these other guys.”
Wentz isn’t sure about the specifics of a summer workout plan yet
WHEN YOU GET AWAY FROM THE COMPLEX HERE THIS SUMMER AND WORK OUT, WHAT PLAYERS WILL BE JOINING YOU?
“I don’t know yet. We have some plans a little bit, but I’ve got to talk to these receivers and stuff and see what we wanna do for this summer.”
Wentz loves Philly
YOU SPENT A LOT OF TIME IN THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA. WHAT ARE YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF THE TOWN?
“Yeah, it’s a great city. Every time I get a chance to go out and just kind of explore and experience something new, see some of the things, experience some of the other sporting events, support the teams here … I truly enjoy being here. I feel like it fits me, fits my personality. I just love this place.”