With the Philadelphia Eagles firing Doug Pederson, the organization seems to be hoping that a new head coach can “fix” Carson Wentz.
But the reality is that Carson Wentz needs to play a big part in fixing Carson Wentz. It’s naive to believe a new head coach will make all the difference if the 28-year-old quarterback doesn’t prove more amenable to coaching.
I know I’ve already beaten the “Wentz isn’t coachable and that’s a big concern” drum to death. I’ve highlighted my my conversation with Joe Santoliquito on BGN Radio countless times by now.
If you’re still in denial, though, perhaps some new reporting from the Inquirer’s Jeff McLane will finally change your mind. McLane shared some very insightful details regarding Wentz’s struggles and how the Eagles have coddled him too much. It’s seriously a must-read column but I’ll share some highlights and reactions here:
Wentz’s Type-A personality could be credited just as much for his past success. Many top quarterbacks share the same trait. But the 28-year-old had increasingly rebuffed advice, defied criticism, and clashed with former coach Doug Pederson last season, Eagles sources said. “Every great quarterback wants to be coached and they want to be coached hard and by the best, and it doesn’t seem like [Wentz] wants that,” one source said. “It’s kind of like whoever’s coaching him is working for him. But it can’t be that way.”
Yep. We’ve all heard about how Wentz didn’t like being coached hard by John DeFilippo despite his success under him.
In the quarterback room, when his errors were pointed out, Wentz would sometimes make irrelevant excuses and Taylor wouldn’t correct him. For instance, there would be a play when he didn’t throw to an open receiver. The read was drawn up as designed, the coverage played out as expected, and he would be asked why he didn’t pull the trigger. And Wentz would say the look wasn’t there, or he would overemphasize the pass rush, and when it was suggested the play be run again in practice as to get it right, he would object.
We’ve been saying for some time now that Wentz’s relationship with his quarterbacks coach is too buddy-buddy.
There was a disconnect even before Wentz was benched, though. Pederson would call a play only for his quarterback to occasionally kill it for no other reason than his personal distaste, sources said. It became “a pissing match” between the two, another source said. [...] Pederson’s play-calling was also dubious. He would go long stretches without rolling Wentz out of the pocket to take advantage of his ability to throw on the move. Wentz, in turn, made “bizarre kills that made no sense and effectively was going rogue,” one source said.
I mean, this is just straight up insubordination. And it lines up with what I’ve previously said about Wentz having a lot of power (read: too much) in this offense. 2020’s struggles can hardly be pinned on Pederson alone.
Wentz isn’t solely responsible for the Eagles’ ineptitude, either. He’s certainly been failed by the organization in certain respects. But Wentz himself has undoubtedly played a major part in his own and, subsequently, the Eagles’ downfall.
I wrote at the time of Wentz’s benching that I hoped the experience would humble. But it doesn’t really seem like it did. Prior to Pederson’s firing, there were reports about how he wanted to be traded. And one can only believe that information came from Wentz’s camp considering it’s not like the team gains leverage from their quarterback wanting out. It just doesn’t seem like Wentz is willing to admit that he’s been a big part of the problem.
A fresh start for Wentz and the Eagles might really be what’s best for both sides at this point. Of course, all that money Jeffrey Lurie owes him doesn’t make it easy for the team to move on.
But the current dynamic just doesn’t seem tenable. The Eagles can’t continue to cater to Wentz the way they have thus far.