May 04, 2020
The last couple of weeks must've been a whirlwind for Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. In addition to dealing with self-isolation and the inability to practice his craft, Wentz watched his team select a QB in the second round during last weekend's NFL Draft. And a couple of days later, Wentz and his wife welcomed their first child into the world.
After a week of getting a crash course in being a new father, Wentz joined a conference call with the Philly media to discuss the Eagles offseason — you likely already know what those questions were about — and a number of other topics.
Wentz isn't typically a great interview, as he has become a master of Quarterback Speak, the art of talking while actually saying very little at all — in case you're wondering, this is a close relative of Coach Speak, which you can see on display across all sports.
But with it being nearly four months since Wentz has spoken to the media — the last time was before the Eagles' playoff loss to the Seahawks — there was clearly a lot to discuss, starting with the addition of the quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Here are some highlights from Wentz' session with the media, including a look at what he had to say about the Birds' newest quarterback, how he sees the two of them co-existing and what he thinks of the other offseason additions:
Q. What was your reaction to the Eagles picking Jalen Hurts?
"With Jalen, I'm excited to add him to the team. I know how important the quarterback position is and how important the dynamic is for me and the other guys in that room. I've been blessed over the years to have some incredible— not just quarterbacks but incredible humans and friends in that quarterback room that we really endure a lot together and go through together. So I'm excited. I've heard nothing but good things about Jalen and the kid he is and the player he is. I've gotten a chance to talk to him, just briefly, so [I'm] excited to add him to the fold and create a really good, healthy, competitive, challenging environment for all of us. Excited to add him to the fold."
Q. When the Eagles first brought the idea of drafting Jalen Hurts to you, what was your initial reaction? And did it concern you at all based on your perception of how they view you longterm?
"It didn't really concern me. I think my reaction was kind of understood. I know I had a feeling there was a chance they were going to draft somebody, just given the way our roster is laid out and trying to get younger and stuff. There's no concern from me. I think the team showed their investment in me last year and I have nothing but confidence and faith in them and they have nothing but confidence and faith in me, so I think it's all about just strengthening that position and this group that we have.
"If I were to start questioning Howie and the management now, I'd really be questioning myself. Because, like I said, when I signed the deal I did, it was really my way of showing that I trust and believe in what we're doing in Philly and they trust and believe in me. So, yeah, I have nothing but confidence and am excited to get to work."
Q. What are your thoughts on potentially sharing the field and sharing snaps with Jalen Hurts?
"First things first, I'll say, 'We'll see.' We'll see how that all plays out. We haven't gotten too deep into the playbook and how things are going to look, but for me, whatever's going to help us win games. I came to Philly ever since being drafted and all I've wanted to do was win, you know, and stand up there and hold that Lombardi Trophy. Whatever that takes and whatever that looks like, I'm on board.
"Like you said, I'm a competitor, I want to be out there, I want to have the ball in my hand — we all do — but at the same time, whatever's going to help us win. I'm confident that the coaches and everyone are going to put us in the best situation. And, yeah, at the same time I would never dive into too many details of the trade secrets that maybe Coach is working on as we speak."
Q. They drafted Jalen Hurts in the second round instead of someone who could maybe directly help you on the field. Do you think they've added enough to help you this offseason?
"I think my feeling is kind of like I've said: I trust their decision. I trust Howie [Roseman] and the rest of the staff to make the best decision for the team. Obviously, we went out in the first round and got a playmaker [Jalen Reagor], and I'm extremely pumped and thrilled to get to work with him and the rest of the guys that we've added in the draft. So I have nothing but confidence in their ability to put together the best 53-man roster that we can.
"And then to answer your second question, I'm extremely excited, not just with adding Jalen in the first round and adding his speed, but also going out and getting Marquise [Goodwin]. I've been watching him on tape for years through crossover tape through the league. [He's] extremely impressive, who he is as a player and the speed and dynamic he brings as well. Those two obviously jump off the page, but then obviously going down the list of the other rookies that we drafted, I just know that we've added some speed and explosiveness that I'm excited to be creative with and just look to get those guys involved."
Q. Lane Johnson said you're such a competitor that he thinks drafting a QB in the second round will bring the best out of you. Does it add a little motivation, a little extra chip on your shoulder?
"You know, that's a good question, and I think first off, everyone is wired differently. I think for some people, this type of stuff can extra motivate them. For me, it doesn't matter who is in the room with me, I'm the most motivated person in that room, I strongly believe that just because that's how I'm wired. I understand the sentiment and I love Lane to death, I'm not going to say he's wrong, but for me, I'm as motivated as ever everything I step on that field. Especially ending the way we did last year, getting to that point and coming up short, I'm as motivated as ever to get back to that point and then further. So, for me, this doesn't change my perspective on who I am as a player, what I have to prove or any of that stuff, because I go out there every day with some high expectations and I'm always my hardest critic."
Q. You're now the veteran in the quarterback room. How do you plan on handling that role in that room as the staff tries to develop the guys behind you? And have you talked to Nate Sudfeld about the Hurts pick and do you think he's up for that competition in camp?
"I think we kind of touched on it earlier, but for me it doesn't really matter if the people in the room, the other quarterbacks, are 18 years old or 40. For me, we're in this thing together. We're working together. Everyone brings something to the table. Some bring a ton of experience in different playbooks. Some can bring ideas that they had in college and different ways they were able to manufacture big plays in college. So I think we're all bringing something unique, no matter our ages. So I'm excited to work with them.
"I have talked to Nate. Nate and I stay in touch all the time for more than just football. He's one of my best friends and he's a great guy. He's confident in himself and excited that whenever we get back on the grass he can prove himself again. You know, he's always kind of had that mentality with being the [Number] 2 or 3 wherever he's been that he's got something to prove every time he's on the field. And he's excited to prove it. I'm excited just to see the competition come to life, really between all four of us, so it'll be fun."
Q. I had a chance to talk with Brandon Graham earlier this offseason who said it could be your year leadership-wise because of what's happening with you off the field, becoming a father. Can you put your perspective on that and whether you'll be approaching this year any differently?
"That's a good point and really good perspective. And I know BG's got a couple kids of his own so he's definitely experienced it. So I'd assume what he's saying is accurate and so for me, I don't fully know how this is going to change me in a locker room setting and everything, but I can sure as heck tell you it's changed my perspective and my outlook on life, and who I am as man and as a husband and now as a father. And the type of person I want to be and the type of person I want my daughter to see her dad be. It definitely changes just my perspective regarding life, so I'm sure just naturally that'll come out within being a leader in the locker room in different ways, but we'll kind of just have to wait and see how that goes. But like I said, it's truly a blessing and will change my perspective on a lot of things. I'm excited to raise this sweet little girl into this world and take the responsibility of it both personally and in my workplace as well."
Q. We've talked about the call between you and Howie before the team drafted Jalen, but I'm curious about what the lines of communication were like at the beginning of the offseason and did you guys sort of talk about what you thought the offense could use moving forward?
"I'm not going to really touch much of that question because obviously there's rules and guidelines that we obviously have to adhere to as well. It's limited, it's very limited, but I can assure you Howie and I are in a good place and on good terms. I trust him and the decisions that he's making and the plan that he put into place with the offseason, with adding [Darius] Slay and [Javon] Hargrave and the pieces we've added on that side. And then, finally through the draft, adding some offensive talent as well. Then getting Marquise [Goodwin] as well. I feel extremely confident in what he's done and the pieces we've added. I'll kind of leave it at that."
Q. You've played with a lot of different receivers. They've added some big guys, fast guys, all different types. At this point in your career, what are the traits you look for in the sorts of wide receivers you think you can really build a good chemistry with and work well with?
"It's probably a tough question to answer because I think you need different receivers. If you have all the same guys and you say this is the kind of guy I need, then your offense is going to be limited. So I'm excited just because we have diversity within our receivers and the skillsets that each of them bring, from size difference to speed difference and what they each do well. So I'm excited to kind of get around those guys and see. Obviously, we've had a ton of success with our tight ends over the years, now with Dallas [Goedert] and Zach [Ertz] and even Perk [Josh Perkins] coming back. I have a lot of confident and faith in using those big-bodied guys over the middle that are super reliable. Unfortunately you didn't get to see a ton of work with DeSean last year, but I think I can find chemistry with any of those guys. We just have to find ways to be creative with how we use everyone's skillsets, and that's something that Coach [Pederson] does really well in putting guys in the best position to succeed. I think we're going to put our minds together and find ways to use everyone well and use them effectively so that we're all clicking on all cylinders."
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