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The Eagles’ “QB Factory” needs to issue a recall

Not exactly churning out high performance players right now, guys.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

In the hours after the Philadelphia Eagles surprisingly picked Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts in the second round of the NFL Draft last April, general Howie Roseman explained his rationale for selecting the young signal-caller to a fanbase that had trouble wrapping its head around the pick.

“For better or worse, we are quarterback developers. We want to be a quarterback factory. When we make these kinds of decisions, we always go to our principles and who we are and what we believe in, and right or wrong, this is who we are.”

Following another horrid performance by the Birds’ quarterback, Carson Wentz, it’s clear the Eagles’ QB Factory is churning out nothing more than rusted-out widgets.

Wentz was abysmal once again in the team’s 22-17 loss to the Cleveland Browns that dropped them to 3-6-1 on the season. He was 21-for-35 for 235 yards with two touchdowns and two more interceptions, for a QB rating of 75.3. He’s now thrown a career high 14 picks this season, most in the NFL, a total that matches his 2016 rookie season, and there are still six games to go.

Seemingly every time you come across a Carson Wentz statistic, it looks worse.

He should have had a third interception charged to him when he threw into triple coverage on a blitz in the end zone in the third quarter only to have the ball somehow touch the ground in a defender’s arms. The Eagles would score a field goal as a result, which briefly drew them to within 12-10. Earlier, Wentz was sacked in his own end zone for a safety on a play that displayed a staggering lack of pocket awareness or any kind of internal clock.

In terms of the Eagles’ problems in 2020, the order is thus: Roseman, Doug Pederson (and the coaching staff), then Wentz, although all three are linked so closely together it’s hard to pull them apart. The question has been asked, “How did this happen? How did a seemingly great QB become the worst player in the entire NFL? There’s seemingly no reason!

“WHERE DID THE QB FACTORY GO WRONG?”

Well, there are plenty of possible reasons. Wentz suffered a catastrophic knee injury and a back injury and lost the locker room to his back-up QB who miraculously won a Super Bowl that probably should have been his. One year after signing a mega-contract, his GM drafted a potential replacement in the second round. He’s had a cast of mediocre wide receivers rotate in and out of the lineup the last three years, an aging offensive line that is falling apart at the seams, a coaching staff that is constantly in flux and unable to come up with any kind of identity, as well as a concussion sustained by Wentz in the playoffs last year that one would think he’d recovered from but, who knows?

There are reasons why the QB Factory emanates an awful smell from the smokestacks right now, but the main one is that Wentz simply doesn’t know what he’s doing out there.

When he reads the defense pre-snap, he’s not seeing what he thinks he sees. He’s staring down receivers and not going through his progressions. He’s forcing the ball downfield and taking too many sacks. When he drops back to pass, it appears as though he has no idea where the ball should be going.

If this team truly is a QB Factory, they owe it to the rest of the players to see if the guy they drafted in the second round as proof of their QB-developing genius can actually provide a spark. While I still hate the Hurts pick with the passion of a thousand suns, there is no justification for starting Wentz next week against the Seattle Seahawks at home. None.

Benching Wentz doesn’t have to be the last word on his career as a Philadelphia Eagle. Many great QBs have been benched. Sometimes it helps to reset the mind and sends a message that, no matter who you are, you have to perform in order to stay on the field. Reports of sloppy practice habits surfaced this week (which Wentz denied), and if true, a benching could perhaps tighten those things up. If Wentz is mentally strong, he’ll use the benching as motivation to get better and correct the mistakes he and Pederson acknowledge they’re making but seem unable to fix.

It’s also possible there are physical issues going on with Wentz no one will talk about. At this point, it really doesn’t matter. Even though Pederson has steadfastly refused to use Hurts in any meaningful way so far this season, it’s time to give the rookie a chance to do something and put Carson on ice for a week or two.

Of course, it’s hard to see Hurts doing much better. QB Factory or not, the supporting cast often looks like a factory using North Korean parts from the 1950s. After bursting onto the NFL scene two months ago, Travis Fulgham has been virtually invisible the last two weeks. Jalen Reagor has yet to show the ability to beat defenders downfield and stretch the defense. Dallas Goedert scored a garbage time touchdown yesterday but, otherwise, has been quiet since returning from injury. Miles Sanders has been non-existent in the passing game, and the offensive line, Jason Peters specifically, has been battered, bruised and, for the most part, bad. Alshon Jeffery should not play another snap this season.

In fact, what QBs have the Eagles developed under Doug Pederson and Howie Roseman? Foles? He played great in Doug’s scheme in 2017 and ‘18, but has struggled mightily since leaving for Jacksonville and Chicago. They obviously didn’t feel good enough about Nate Sudfeld to make him the back-up QB, and Clayton Thorson was a joke who didn’t even warrant practice squad consideration. The one QB it appeared the team had developed, Wentz, is now among the worst quarterbacks in the NFL.

It’s time for the QB Factory to make a recall. Wentz needs to sit. It’s time. Fans have grown apathetic and won’t watch much more of this. Week by week, Wentz somehow gets worse. It’s all spiraling downhill and, for Wentz’ own good, Pederson and the front office need to park their guy on the bench.

No, it won’t solve all the offense’s problems, but it’s the next logical step to figuring out what the heck has gone wrong with Carson Wentz.

Poll

Should the Eagles bench Carson Wentz?

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  • 88%
    Yes
    (1380 votes)
  • 11%
    No
    (178 votes)
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