Day 1 of the Eagles OTAs are in the bag, and one of the top stories was that Carson Wentz was officially a full participant for on-field drills and had no medical limitations. The quarterback spoke to the media on Tuesday after practice, and talked about some of the new additions on offense, and more about his health status.
Here’s what Wentz had to say:
On how he feels physically
The quarterback opened by saying he was excited to get back on the field and agreed it felt good to finally be without the knee brace: “it felt great to get that thing off.
He wouldn’t go into specifics about his rehab, but noted that he put in a lot of work to be able to get back on the field for the start of OTAs, and he was happy to be with the guys, finally facing the defense, and everything that goes along with that.
In terms of what went into the decision to not wear the knee brace, he said he spoke with the medical team and they felt it was the best decision given how well his knee was feeling and he feels better without it. The plan is also for him to go without the knee brace in-game this season as well.
Wentz tried to keep things business as usual, but he admitted that there was a bit more excitement getting back with the team and facing some competition again.
Doug Pederson mentioned that there were no medical restrictions on Wentz and that the head coach didn’t have any plans to hold him back either. The quarterback said he has to hold himself back on occasion, but he feels confident where he’s at and he’s learned a lot throughout the last two seasons about not being his own worst enemy.
In that regard, he later clarified that there’s the competitive part inside him where he wants to push as hard as he can, but he’s learned that’s not always the best method when coming back from an injury. Wentz said he feels really good where he’s at today.
He also admitted that there were probably a few mental hurdles he had to get past, but he feels like he’s gotten through them in a good light and they aren’t something that’s going to hold him back.
Later on, Wentz also said that despite whatever limitations he’s had earlier in the offseason he continued to train and strengthen both his upper and lower body. He’s worked on transforming his body utilizing different training techniques and dietary changes.
He wouldn’t go into specifics about his diet, joking that maybe he’ll write a book about it one day — admitting that was a Tom Brady reference.
On new offense additions
Wentz talked about how it’s always exciting to get to work during OTAs and really start building relationships and developing chemistry with his teammates, especially with some new faces throughout the offense.
Specifically, about DeSean Jackson, Wentz said:
“He’s awesome. He’s so far been a great teammate. He comes in, works hard, obviously I’ve learned he’s pretty fast.”
The QB went on to say that Jackson is a smooth runner and hasn’t lost a step with age, and Wentz is looking forward to building that relationship with him both on and off the field. He thinks that the two will be able to build something special this season.
Wentz talked a bit about the rookies and noted that JJ Arcega-Whiteside is a guy he’s particularly excited to see develop, especially once they get the pads on. The QB noted that the receiver is a big guy with a big frame and should be able to help the team in the red zone, and that he’s “a hard worker, great kid”.
In the quarterback room specifically, Wentz said that Cody Kessler and draft pick Clayton Thorson are great additions, and this is the time where they can really establish that chemistry they’ll need to help each other throughout the offseason and season.
He talked a bit about Nate Sudfeld and how they’ve grown really close over the years and are very like-minded. Wentz said that Nate has worked really hard to earn that No. 2 spot and will continue to compete to show how much he’s developed.
Carson also said that he’s talked to Nick Foles a bit this offseason and he misses his personality — and all the coffee he made.
Wentz also said “it’s a bummer” that Chris Long decided to retire, and that he loves that guy. He said he was an unbelievable teammate and leader both on and off the field.
The quarterback was also asked about the status of his contract extension, and while he wouldn’t go into any details, did say that even the prospect is exciting and that he loves the city of Philadelphia and playing here.