Eagles’ quarterback Carson Wentz spoke to reporters after practice on Tuesday, the last time we’ll hear from him until after the team’s first preseason game on Thursday. He talked a bit about his timing with all his receivers is improving, but he’s still not sure yet whether we’ll get to see that in the preseason.
On the preseason
Wentz said that it’s obviously Doug Pederson’s decision whether or not he plays on Thursday, but he’ll be ready either way — whether that’s to take some snaps, or to help lead the guys from the sideline.
The quarterback said that it’s a fine line in terms of getting some practice in the preseason, noting that his preseasons have looked different every year, so he doesn’t really have a formula for it — a little bit is helpful, but definitely not needed.
He also noted that he’ll be fine either way, and isn’t too worried about being able to take some hits to build back his confidence after his back injury. Wentz joked that he’d prefer to go all year without getting hit at all, but when it happens it happens, whether that’s now or in Week 1 of the regular season. He knows his body is ready for it.
Wentz also had some advice for some of the young guys about running out of the tunnel for the first time, and told them to just enjoy it. He mentioned that they had a little taste of that on Sunday at the open practice, but it’ll hit another level in the preseason, and an even bigger level Week 1 of the regular season.
The QB said it’s good for the guys to feel that kind of anticipation and build up to the regular season, but it’s still just football so to not let it get too big.
On JJ Arcega-Whiteside
“He looks good. Just keep developing that trust with each other, that chemistry. I’ve said it alot with DeSean [Jackson], with Alshon [Jeffery], always talking through kinda what you’re feeling and what you’re expecting. You can go out and run things against the defense all day long, but you have to be on the same page. He looks good, he’s learning fast and he’ll be a big part of our offense as well as all the weapons that we have.”
On the RB room
Wentz was asked what’s stood out about the rookie running back so far, and the first thing the quarterback mentioned was Sanders being explosive out of the backfield. He also mentioned that Sanders is good in space, and along with Jordan Howard and the guys who have been in Philly for a year or two will bring a really dynamic backfield this season.
On DeSean Jackson
The quarterback noted that his timing with Jackson and all the receivers has improved over the course of the offseason and into camp, thanks to spending time developing a relationship with each of them and spending time on the field and in the film room.
Wentz did say that Jackson being able to do more than just be a deep threat was one of the things he’s been most pleasantly surprised by since the wideout re-joined the team. Notably, the QB mentioned what Jackson can do with the ball after the catch, on underneath and crossing routes — pointing out that he’s a lot better route runner than people give him credit for — and his ability to create separation in a lot of different way.
On being the franchise quarterback
Wentz was asked what it’s like after an open practice, or any practice, when he spends time signing autographs and having fans so excited to see him. He said that it’s different than what he’s used to, but it’s really cool and humbling to see the support and love from Philly and he doesn’t take it for granted.