Wentz Sets Eagles’ Goal at NFC East
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The ultimate goal for any NFL team is self-explanatory.
If you're going to win the Super Bowl, however, the easiest path always starts in the division.
Carson Wentz, the Eagles' second-year starting quarterback, has embraced that notion and identified the NFC East as his team's goal in advance of training camp, which is set to begin later this month in South Philadelphia.
"We have high expectations around here," Wentz said when taking with WIP Radio in Philadelphia on Thursday morning. "We hope and we expect to be playing into January and then to see what happens. I think that's the biggest thing."
Wentz is currently in Fargo with a number of his teammates for a relaxed passing camp in advance of the July 24 reporting date for the rookies, quarterbacks and selected veterans.
Winning the NFC East is a lofty ambition for a team that would have to go worst to first and make up a gap of six games from last season when the Eagles finished 7-9 and Dallas earned the division crown with a 13-3 mark.
"We just have to go put the work in and go make things happen," Wentz explained. "We have high expectations ...I never want to be done after the regular season again. That doesn't sit well with me and it never will."
Wentz accomplished quite a bit as a rookie with perhaps the worst receiving group in the NFL and an inconsistent running game. Philadelphia addressed those issues in the offseason by signing WRs Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith as well as running back LeGarrette Blount.
"We went out and have a couple new additions and everything," Wentz said. "It's been fun. Honestly, it's been fun just to get to work with them."
Wentz was originally projected to redshirt his rookie season until disaster struck in Minnesota and Teddy Bridgewater went down 11 days before the start of regular season. A desperate Vikings team sent a first-round pick to the Eagles three days later for Sam Bradford and the clock on Wentz was sped up so this has been his first offseason as the franchise's on-field leader.
"Last year, obviously this time of year, I was working with a lot of the third-team guys," he said. "It's just been fun to have a whole offseason under my belt. ...You can throw routes on air and do all those things you want, but the spring, getting those team reps, those valuable reps with a lot of the guys, the new rookie guys, the free agents that we signed and everything in-between. I'm really liking where we're at and it's still a process."
And that process comes with higher expectations this time around.
"Our goal is to win the NFC East and we believe we have the guys to do it," Wentz said. "We definitely have high expectations to be playing into January and then hopefully get hot and see what happens."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen