Pederson, Eagles Hoping Wentz is Ready as Future Starts Now
Back in March, the Cleveland Browns had a chance to make Carson Wentz their franchise quarterback - now they will face him
Wentz will make his first NFL start against the Browns this Sunday Eagles head coach Doug Pederson announced - but was he forced into that decision?
Pederson has said since the day they drafted Wentz that he would be more comfortable letting him sit for a year to get acclimated to the league, learn the offense, and take it slow.
So what changed?
"Well, the trade happened," Pederson admitted. "We were fortunate to get some draft picks back that we gave up for the trade for Carson. It was right for this football team. It's something that we believe in. I believe in. This is why we drafted him."
Monday afternoon Pederson admitted that he could not have foreseen a scenario where Wentz could have overtaken Sam Bradford as a starting quarterback during this season.
"It just depends on how Sam was playing," Pederson explained after saying that Wentz probably had no shot to start had Bradford been with the team still. "How the team was going, and where we were at that time. But I didn't foresee any, at the time, any change at the position."
The Eagles acquired Wentz as well as a 2017 fourth round selection in exchange for this years first, third and fourth-round pick as well as their 2017 first- and 2018 second-round picks.
On Saturday, the Eagles sent Bradford to Minnesota and received the Vikings’ 2017 first round pick and a 2018 conditional fourth-round pick - which entered Wentz into the starting lineup.
"Number one, we felt like that Carson was ready to go," Pederson said. "And then the fact that Minnesota wanted Sam Bradford. It makes a difference and what we were receiving in return. We got to look at the big picture and the scope of what we want to do. I think it's a great opportunity for both organizations."
After completing just 12 of 24 passes for 89 yards and an interception in the preseason opener against Tampa Bay, before leaving the game with a hairline fracture in his ribs he is now healthy - so makes makes Pederson believe he is ready for the NFL?
"The fact that I had a chance to go watch him and work him out way back in the spring --meet the kid, a mature individual," explained Pederson. "What he did in all of OTAs, what he's done around this building, the plays he's made in practice, [and] in the one pre-season game has given me confidence that he can lead this football team.
If the Eagles hope this season will be a successful one, they better hope Wentz is ready to handle the speed of the game - but one thing is for sure, Pederson doesn't think expectations should change.
"Not at all," Pederson stated. "I challenged the team this morning. We come to work every single day. We roll our sleeves up and go to work. The expectation level doesn't change. We expect and I expect them to compete, and compete at a high level and win football games. That's our job. That's what we get paid to do. I don't expect anything less."