Rookie Camp Notebook: Wentz Takes First Snap as an Eagle
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Carson Wentz era began inside the practice bubble on a rainy day at the NovaCare Complex as the Eagles began their three-day rookie minicamp, which runs through Sunday.
After talking with the media for the third time since being drafted No. 2 overall last month Wentz finally got a chance to step on the field as an NFL player taking his first snap from the team's other priority draft pick, third-round selection Isaac Seumalo.
It was an interesting dichotomy to see former Notre Dame star Everett Golson, in camp on a tryout basis, handling drills with Wentz as it's the kid from tiny North Dakota State that is now the big deal.
For what it's worth Wentz showed a quick release and a live arm in the individual drills portion of the practice open to the media.
Before the session began Wentz looked like a natural again handling the Philadelphia-media contingency, which numbered around 50.
"All I care about is winning," Wentz stated when asked about playing in his rookie season. "If the team is wining I'm going to do whatever I can to help the team, whether that is third-string, backup the starter — it doesn't matter. I'm going to do what I can to help the team and we'll see how that plays out."
As for his relationship with the disgruntled Sam Bradford, Wentz admitted the veteran hasn't reached out but doesn't expect the relationship to be an issue moving forward.
"It is what it is, honestly. Like I've been saying all along, it's out of my control," Wentz said. "People want to make it a big situation, but like I said earlier, we'll have a really good working relationship and I think it will benefit the team because we are going to compete, and really everybody in that quarterback room and in the entire organization is going to compete and push each other, so I think it will only benefit the team."
*Rookie defensive back Jalen Mills indicated the Eagles plan to try him at cornerback first even though most draft services projected the LSU product as a safety. He played both safety and the nickel back in Baton Rouge and will be among a number of bodies new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz will try out in the slot.
*Running back Wendell Smallwood explained the difference between his college playbook at West Virginia and Doug Pederson's west-coast version of War and Peace: "Man, I could take my college playbook home and learn it in one night," Smallwood joked. "This one is going to take me a month."
*Sixth-round pass-rusher Alex McCallister is as rangy as it gets at 6-foot-6 with long arms but he also only weights 239 right now. If you looked at him quickly, you might think he was a big slot tight end in the mold of Jimmy Graham but the University of Florida product is what you want out of a late-round pick, he's got one special trait (the pass rush) and you hope to get him into your system and develop the others. In the case of McCallister that probably means a year in the weight room to add functional-football strength.
*Speaking of skinny, at 6-foot-5 and 205 pounds former Angelo State QB Kyle Washington is getting a look at WR as a tryout player. The Sixers may also want to talk to the Humble, Texas native, who looks like an NBA two-guard as he towered over his fellow wideouts on hand.
*At 6-foot-6 and 320 pounds, fifth-round pick Halapoulivaati Vaitai certainly lives up to his nickname of "Big V" and the TCU product will have every opportunity to win the Eagles' swing tackle position behind starters Jason Peters and Lane Johnson.
*A few eyebrows were raised when Seumalo started snapping the ball to Wentz and Golson but don't read that much into it other than the Oregon State product has experience playing the position. When the full team is assembled, the Eagles want Seumalo to settle in at left guard early and see if you can push for the starting job.
*Chip Kelly is no longer the DJ but some music remains at Eagles' practices with Ghosttown DJs "My Boo" and Michael Jackson's "Rock with You," the first two choices.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973ESPN.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen