While some of the anonymous claims made against Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz this offseason may have been unfounded, one aspect he agreed with was that his mental state — as he rehabbed, missed practice time with his teammates, and saw Nick Foles reach such great heights — affected him once he was back in the action.
That doesn’t seem to be the case this year, with Wentz being cleared to practice ahead of OTAs, and getting a full offseason with the team.
Appearing on NFL Network’s NFL Total Access, Lane Johnson echoed what Wentz and the coaches had discussed early on in the spring, and noted that the quarterback has a completely different mental state this year.
”I love it, every day when I go in the building, all I see is him in there before everybody else, rehabbing, doing whatever it takes. I just think he’s really on a different mental state than he’s ever been as far as training, ignoring distractions and really trying to be the best player he is. So, I just see that worker and a guy who is about to do some big things this year.”
This is all really good to hear given the new mega-contract Wentz inked this offseason. He’s clearly the face of the franchise, and someone the team wants to keep around for the foreseeable future. It’s easy to forget how young he is and how many obstacles he’s had to overcome so early in his career, but seeing him get back on track to the guy we’ve all seen succeed is something to be excited about.
“I think it’s a new identity. I think last year was a good learning curve for us, as we struggled and the playoffs seemed out of reach, we somehow found a way with all of our injuries and everything that took place. And I feel like we’re stronger for that, and really a stronger team. I think we made a lot of good decisions in the offseason, I feel like this team is right where it needs to be.”
Johnson went on to discuss some of the Eagles’ rookies and called first-round draft pick Andre Dillard “a dynamic individual,” noting that the first thing that stands out about Dillard is his footwork and athleticism.
Overall though, he sees this year’s roster as a mature team and a squad that’s very balanced in the passing game. Johnson also noted that they are getting some offensive lineman back from injuries, and as they return and start opening up the run game, the Eagles offense will be in a really good position this fall.