This feature is a weekly piece on BleedingGreenNation.com titled From The Eagles, featuring Eagles Insider DAVE SPADARO. The intention is to provide a perspective directly from the Philadelphia Eagles in this forum for the great fans who visit BGN.
Sensational journalism aside, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has a super-important next several months in front of him, and we can break it into three phases. Wentz, sidelined with a stress fracture in his back since early December, spoke with reporters the day after the Eagles lost to New Orleans to end the 2018 season and said, “I know I’ll be fine once I get healed.” The injury, then, isn’t a long-term thing. Still, it’s a “thing” and it needs to be fixed before Wentz can move on to the rest of his offseason, which includes …
Not since the offseason following his rookie season has Wentz had any real down time in the offseason. He could use some once his back is healed. Go hunting. Take the wife on a trip. Turn off the phone and the outside world and just enjoy life and exhale. Wentz needs a break. He played in 2017 until suffering his knee injury and then dedicated himself to the rehab process throughout the post-Super Bowl months, often doing his work in the wee hours of the morning at the NovaCare Complex. He didn’t miss a day.
And then the on-field work started and Wentz pushed himself to be out there with the offense as much as possible and, well, you know how it went during the regular season. Wentz was into it. He was the starting quarterback from Week 3 until the Eagles lost in overtime at Dallas to fall to 6-7.
Wentz has been through an exhausting three NFL seasons. He could use an “unplug” month or so and clear his mind and start fresh when the Eagles begin their offseason conditioning program in April. That’s not to say that Wentz is going to sit on the beach and eat and drink and get fat, because that’s not his deal, but he certainly doesn’t need to have the mental strain of the game every day like he had a year ago.
In the meantime, of course, the Eagles have to make their decision on Nick Foles and his contract for 2019, as well as decide how to treat the restricted free agency of Nate Sudfeld, who is likely to receive a high tender offer from the Eagles, who don’t want to lose him. But that’s stuff for the Eagles to worry about, not Wentz. Wentz needs to clear his brain in Phase 1.
The football work begins in April, the 15th, to be exact, with the offseason conditioning program. Wentz will be there (although the specific date of the Eagles’ program has not yet been announced) and it’s going to be an important time for Wentz to meet his new teammates (and there are going to be many), to re-connect with his returning teammates and to really push his conditioning and get as physically prepared as possible to go through an injury-free 2019 season.
Wentz is one of those players who, in addition to the physical part of the program, spends time on his own in the film room studying the offense and looking at the season’s opponents. He loves doing it. It’s important to him.
By this time, Wentz should be refreshed and re-focused and feeling great about 2019. There are expected to be no lingering injury questions and, frankly, no questions about when he’s going to be on the field and his role on the team.
Now we’re into May and June and the Organized Team Activities and this is a critical time for Wentz to be on the field and taking reps with his teammates and working with the coaching staff and exchanging ideas and concepts within the offensive structure. Wentz missed so much of this time last spring and it was hard to catch up in the season from a chemistry standpoint, especially with wide receiver Alshon Jeffery also recovering from his offseason shoulder surgery.
All of the chatter now, January, fades far, far away by May and June, replaced by a new series of challenges. There are always going to be reports and stories and conversation about this football team. That just goes with the territory. For Wentz, having a cleared mind and a healthy body in June and July, when Training Camp begins, is going to put him far ahead of where he was in 2018. He isn’t going to have to play catchup. He’s going to be able to work at a disciplined, team-prescribed pace and that is going to be extremely helpful.
It’s a pretty straightforward offseason ahead for Wentz and that’s a good thing: Get healthy, spend time training instead of rehabbing an injury, and then get back into the flow of the locker room the offense and the entire culture of the NovaCare Complex between now and next September. You’re going to see, I predict, a more relaxed and refreshed and healthier Carson Wentz next summer, and that can only mean great things for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2019.