Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz’s Offense

Aug 11, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) breaks the tackle of Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Kourtnei Brown (90) during the second half at Lincoln Financial Field. The Philadelphia Eagles won 17-9. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 11, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) breaks the tackle of Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Kourtnei Brown (90) during the second half at Lincoln Financial Field. The Philadelphia Eagles won 17-9. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

For the third year in a row, the Philadelphia Eagles will have a new starting Quarterback in Week 1. Rookie Carson Wentz will look to be the man for years to come.

Carson Wentz will start his journey Sunday. Donovan McNabb was the last Philadelphia Eagles‘ starting quarterback to play all 16 games in the regular season. That season was the 2008-2009 season. Coincidentally, that was also the last time the Eagles won a playoff game. First defeating the Minnesota Vikings 26-14, then the New York Giants 23-11. They would lose the NFC Championship game to the Arizona Cardinals 32-25.

Since the 2008-2009 season, the Eagles have had six different starting Quarterbacks. The most recent one was Sam Bradford, who was traded to the Minnesota Vikings for a 1st and 4th round pick.

The plan going into the season was to have Bradford be the starter while veteran Chase Daniel, would be the backup. Most thought rookie Carson Wentz would be inactive on game day. This all changed, just one week before the start of the regular season.

Wentz now has one week to gain chemistry, with the offense that he will soon command, something Bradford was able to do over the course of an entire season plus this past offseason.

Wentz only played in one preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, playing just over two quarters with the Eagles second and third team offense. Most of those players did not make the team and if they did, are likely in a special teams role. Wentz was 12-24 with 89 yards passing and 1 INT.

Two broken ribs would sideline the rookie for the remainder of the preseason, but the Eagles and Head Coach Doug Pederson are confident the rookie has displayed enough. The 23-year old rookie feels he’s ready.

"“The whole time, all along, it was just getting ready for whenever this time would come. I knew I was ready. I knew I was taking the mental reps being out the last couple weeks. Even going into the first preseason game I felt very confident, felt like I’ve developed at a fast pace. Now it’s here and I’m really confident in myself and confident in this team.”"

Gunslinging Iron man

Carson Wentz is a bit of an unknown for NFL defenses. With only a few quarters worth of NFL tape on him thus far. This actually gives the Eagles a slight advantage, knowing what they have.

For the first time since Michael Vick was the starting Quarterback, the Eagles have a dual-threat QB under center. In his last two college seasons at North Dakota State, Wentz ran the ball on average 9 times a game. He averaged 40.7 rushing yards a game, to go along with 12 touchdowns. In two of those games, Wentz amassed more than 100 yards.

Wentz has been compared to just about every mobile quarterback, however the one I feel he most resembles is Brett Favre, the same quarterback Wentz professed he admired the most.

More from Philadelphia Eagles

When you hear the name Brett Favre  these two words are among the many, that often come to mind. Gunslinger and Iron man.  He threw for 71,838 to go along with 508 Touchdown passes, but also 336 interceptions. Favre started 298 consecutive games during his 20 year career, never letting injuries effect his play on the field. Lastly, he was the guy on Sunday’s teammates could trust. He led by example and gave his all on every single down.

If Carson Wentz can have a similar career to Favre, Eagles fans will one day be swarming Broad Street for a parade.

Like Favre, Wentz has also played through injury. During the 2015 college season, Wentz broke his wrist in the first half. He went on to finish the game as he went 16-28 passing,195 passing yards, and 2 touchdown passes.

Wentz is viewed as a smart decision-making quarterback, who rarely makes the same mistake twice. He will be much more careful with the ball than Favre, who only had one season where he threw less than 13 interceptions.

Transitioning to the Pro Level

The biggest question for Carson Wentz is “Can he transition to the next level?”

Wentz is the highest drafted quarterback from Division I-FCS. He played for North Dakota State (NDSU) in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). Most rookie quarterbacks struggle making the jump but when you add in the reduced competition level that NDSU faced the jump becomes even bigger.

However, unlike most college programs, North Dakota State ran a pro style offense. In an interview with the New York Times, North Dakota State coach Chris Klieman talked about the offense Wentz ran.

"“The style of offense we play in — we’re a huddle, West Coast offense,” Klieman said. “We’re going to go under center, let the quarterback change protections, audible to run. . . . All those things are a little lost in college football because a lot of guys go no-huddle and look to the sideline to see what the coordinator’s going to run.”"

The Eagles offense is transitioning from a spread, hurry up offense under Chip Kelly to Doug Pederson‘s version of the West Coast offense.

Learning the new terminology of the schemes and formations that Wentz is already familiar with; and you have a QB that’s already ahead of most Division I rookie QB’s.

Only a few rookie QB’s that have seemed to have immediate success in the NFL are Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, Kirk Cousins, and Jameis Winston. What do they have to do with Wentz? They all ran Pro Style offenses in College.

Season Goals Remain the Same

Going from a 7-year veteran to a rookie behind Center, the Philadelphia Eagles views on the 2016 season still remain the same. When Pederson named Wentz the starter on Monday he said, “I challenged the team this morning. The expectations we have don’t change.”

The youthful Eagles know the end goals are the same, however the approach they have now might be little altered.

Player’s are confident General Manager, Howie Roseman, has built a playoff contending team. However team’s aren’t crowned champions in the preseason. There’s a 16 game schedule where they have the opportunity to prove just that.

Big Game Mentality

When you think of Super Bowl winning quarterbacks, you think of guys who live for the moment. The ability to lead a game winning drive, the confidence behind every throw. Make a mistake? Have a short memory.

With Bradford, you knew what you had, a game manager. He often failed to make the big plays when needed.

Carson Wentz
Sep 1, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz works out prior to a game against the New York Jets at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

On the contrary, Carson Wentz showed in college he had those qualities. He definitely has the confidence. Put the ball in his hand when the game is on the line and he’s confident enough to make the big throw or use his feet to extend the play.

North Dakota State has won five straight FCS Championships, Carson Wentz lead the Bison to their last two.

In the first, he lead a game winning drive. He drove the offense down the field and scored the game winning touchdown, a 5-yard rush, with just 37 seconds left to play. The next year, he rushed for two touchdowns and threw for a third as NDSU became the first team to win five straight titles.

Chapter One

Sunday afternoon, the Philadelphia Eagles will take the field, in front of a sold out crowd at Lincoln Financial Field as they face the Cleveland Browns. Carson Wentz will take his first official NFL snap from Center Jason Kelce.

Wentz will lead the Eagles, running their West Coast offense. Whether it be a zone read or going through his progressions and finding the right receiver, he will make the decisions with confidence.

Next: Video Breadown: Carson Wentz, Paper Toss

Iron man mindset is already showing, overcoming two fractured ribs. He’s prepared to face the wrath of NFL defenses all year-long. Rookie mistakes will be made, but that short memory will help him learn from those mistakes. There’s a 53-man roster behind him, all with one goal in mind.

On Sunday, the Wentz saga begins.