MVP Talk Doesn’t Faze Wentz
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — It's not something a coach wants to dwell on but Doug Pederson didn't exactly sprint away from the growing belief that Carson Wentz is a legitimate MVP candidate.
When asked about Las Vegas making his second-year star the current odds-on-favorite to bring home some personal hardware if the season ended today, Pederson was quick to remind everyone at his Saturday press conference that: “the season is not going to end today.”
Pederson added another compelling thought, however: "I know that [Wentz is] probably going to be in those [MVP] conversations probably for the rest of his career."
Off to a 5-1 start, Pederson has been careful to address potential letdowns with his players while stressing how quickly things can turn in the NFL but he's also not all that worried about his quarterback, who seems uncommonly grounded no matter what he accomplishes on game day.
“Right now, his focus is just week to week and that’s what’s so refreshing with him, particularly this young and so early in his career that really he can get better and he can improve each and every game," Pederson said when discussing Wentz.
Much of the belief in Wentz comes from his devotion to things like practice and watching film.
The classic gym rat, Wentz is a walking, talking QB cliche -- the first one in the building and the last one out of it.
“He loves practice and there are not many people who just love to practice and he’s one of them,” Pederson said.
Through the first five games Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith was the MVP frontrunner for many and then two straight losses followed while annual frontrunner Aaron Rodgers is now out of the running due to a broken collarbone so the fluid part of these kinds of conversations is obvious.
What doesn't change is Wentz's commitment to his craft.
“(Wentz) works extremely hard,” said Pederson. “As a player in this league, any league and any sport, you have to be a player that wants to be coached, and Carson is that way.”
And the MVP talk is something for you to talk about. Wentz is focused on turning a 5-1 start into a spectacular finish.
“He really doesn’t pay attention to that stuff,” Pederson said. “He has a bigger picture. He has a broader picture of the team concept. He knows if the team does well, obviously, he’s going to do well and then he can be in that conversation and the end of the season."
SATURDAY NOVACARE NOTES:
-The Eagles listed four players as questionable for Monday night: cornerback Ronald Darby, linebackers Jordan Hicks and Mychal Kendricks and running back Wendell Smallwood.
Hicks, however. confirmed in the locker room after practice that he would play and also said he was dealing with a calf injury caused by favoring his previous ankle issue. Smallwood, meanwhile, practiced fully all week so he should return after a two-game absence.
Darby, on the other hand, has been limited in his return to practice all week and was not available to the media. Earlier in the week, Pederson said Darby would play only if the "stars were to align."
-The Redskins have ruled out star cornerback Josh Norman.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen