clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Weapon X Mailbag: How long is Carson Wentz’s leash?

Plus Jim Schwartz’s job security and more!

Los Angeles Rams v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Birds are in an 0-2 hole for the first time since 2015, which was quite possibly the most agonizing Eagles season of my lifetime. Not a great feeling! Let’s skip the formalities and get straight the reader questions.

@slim_jimmer3: How long is Carson’s leash?

Much longer than the average irrational Eagles fan would like. Listen, I’m human. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about scenarios where Jalen Hurts replaces Carson Wentz this season and turns the ship around. I’m an emotional guy! It’s understandable to have those feelings!

Wentz hasn't made significant strides in his game since 2017. Despite how frustrating his play has been to start the season, Wentz still represents an investment of $108 million guaranteed from the Birds. This isn’t a 2008 Donovan McNabb vs. Kevin Kolb situation where you can “bench” Wentz as a disciplinary action. McNabb was both older and infinitely more accomplished than Wentz. Kolb was drafted as a clear successor, whereas Jalen Hurts’ presence on the roster is given a dubious “Taysom Hill package” dressing.

I really don’t know how Sunday is going to go and San Francisco is certainly banged up, but it’s entirely reasonable to think this team could be 1-5 or, as painful as it is for me to say, 0-6. At that point jobs are going to be on the line and even me on my most relaxed of days would be itching to see what the future holds without Wentz.

If we’re going to get super specific with this hypothetical and this season is in total disaster mode, you’re looking at a post-bye switch. The Eagles follow up their brutal six-game start with a Thursday night contest at home against the Giants followed by a Sunday Night Football matchup with the Cowboys.

If they’re 2-6 or worse, the public is going to be shouting for a change at quarterback, but that’s a point of no return. If you’re willing to give up on five years of development, I get it, but it’s going to be a much more deadly pill for the Eagles franchise itself to swallow than the casual fan.

If we lose to the Bengals, I’m going to spend the rest of my Sunday night watching ‘Bama and Oklahoma highlights of Hurts, but it’s a little much to truly want a change that swiftly.

@RandyDesMoines: Are you faster than JJAW?

When I was running five miles per day at 16-17? Maybe! Right now after I just drank a Miller High Life? Definitely not, but it’s still troubling. When your quarterback is forcing a throw into double coverage to a guy slower than your buddy who ran track at Father Judge, your favorite football team has some problems.

Hey, wouldn’t this dude be cool on the Eagles?

@cturboaddict: Who upset you the most on the last two Eagles games?

For Week 1 alone, it was the way the coaching staff handled the offensive line and the way Jason Peters held the organization by the balls and wasted weeks of training camp practice knowing as well as anything that he was never playing right guard. I’m great with him getting his money, but Nate Herbig could’ve sure used those reps in camps before getting demolished against Washington.

The offensive line was actually a bright spot in Week 2 even while going against the best defensive player in the planet in Aaron Donald, who still has yet to have a sack in his career against the Eagles. I don’t want to beat the guy into the dirt because I own more Carson Wentz-centric articles of clothing than the dude’s own mother does, but the answer is QB1.

We’ve seen Carson Wentz play like a tier-1 quarterback in the NFL. When those flashes are inconsistent five years into his career as he approaches his 28th birthday, it’s understandable to be frustrated.

As I alluded to earlier, we really shouldn’t be ready to break out the pitchforks and torches for the guy, but it’s okay to be upset with him! We’re not his caretakers. He’s been the team’s starting quarterback since the end of the Obama administration. It’s okay to want more out of him because we’ve seen it in the past, no matter how long ago it may seem.

Doug Pederson’s play-calling has been washy. Jim Schwartz’s defense has been a mess too, but at the end of the day, the livelihood of a football team depends on the guy under center and with the way Wentz has played, it’s unsurprising the Eagles are winless in this young season.

@alexcanislupus: If we roll into the bye at 1-7 or 0-8, do you think Jim Schwartz is here for week 10?

There are three scapegoats if/when this season goes dangerously south: Howie Roseman, Doug Pederson and Jim Schwartz. I’m ready for Howie to go, but unfortunately believe he has the most job security of all given the curious, almost fatherly relationship he has with owner Jeffrey Lurie.

Getting rid of Doug Pederson would be one of the gravest mistakes in Philadelphia sports history, but I think if Howie really wants him gone, Lurie would allow it if this turns into a real season from hell. Insane, but it’s the feeling I have and what I’ve surmised from different beat writers dropping hints about the franchise’s power structure.

The first domino to fall would definitely be Schwartz. Howie is looking for a reason to jettison him given Schwartz’s unparalleled control over defensive personnel. If they’re rolling into the Bye Week winless, you kind of have to fire someone, right?

Do you promote someone young-ish internally like defensive backs coach Marquand Manuel and see if he can bring some juice to the unit? Odds are they’d be cleaning staff mostly on that side of the ball, so why not give that a shot at that point?

My apologies to my family friends in South Philly who would prefer “Defensive Coordinator Tim Hauck.”

@cdevine95: Would a win Sunday give this team enough of a confidence boost going into a tough part of the schedule?

Beating the team with the worst record in the NFL last season should be a formality for a good football team even with how promising Joe Burrow looked on Thursday Night Football last week. If you haven’t realized by now, I have severe doubts that this Eagles squad is a good team with legitimate playoff aspirations.

To be frank, no, it shouldn’t be a confidence boost, it should be expected. Going down 0-3 paired with losses to the two crappiest teams in the league in 2019 is just unacceptable.

Maybe it leads to the Eagles stringing together back-to-back wins against the decimated 49ers, but those Steelers and Ravens games feel like the spiritual successors to that 2018 game down in New Orleans. I went to a Friendsgiving that day at my boy Fred’s house that day. When the Birds went down 17-0 early, I said I was too hungover and felt sick and left. I was not too hungover, but I certainly felt sick watching the Eagles and I have an eerie feeling we’re in for similar pain next month.

@kkristenrob: Will my boyfriend find the will to live if the eagles don’t win next week?

If you’re dating an Eagles fan with brain worms (I’m in group chat with her boyfriend and he certainly does, as do I), the answer is unfortunately not.