Eagles Brass Shows Support for Carson Wentz
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The question was in the queue since the explosive PhillyVoice.com report labeling Carson Wentz as "selfish," "arrogant," and "uncompromising" in late January.
So much so that Howie Roseman barely got to the podium in Indianapolis on Wednesday before he got hit with the first Wentz question.
“I didn’t even get a chance to say good afternoon," the Eagles executive VP of football operations joked before settling in and addressing the elephant in the room.
“We know Carson. We know what kind of teammate he is. We know what kind of leader he is," Roseman insisted. "[The criticism is] ironic because as we’ve gone through free agency since we’ve had Carson, there have been so many guys who wanted to come to Philly to play with him. So, you know, none of that is any issue to us, we’re incredibly excited about having him as our quarterback and excited about the season.”
So excited Roseman didn't waste any time and informed the NFL world that the Eagles would not be putting the franchise tag on well-regarded backup Nick Foles, meaning the face of the franchise isn't going to be shadowed any longer by the well-liked former Super Bowl MVP, something that alleviates at least some of the constant pressure Wentz is under.
Coach Doug Pederson, a long-time former QB himself, followed Roseman and tapped into his history caddying for some true Type-A personalities like Dan Marino and Brett Favre.
"You’re not always going to be buddy-buddy with everybody," the coach explained. "Do you build relationships with everybody? Yeah. But you hold everybody to a high standard and we’re not in a feel-good business. We’re in a business to win games and ultimately a championship, that’s our goal."
And reaching that goal can often mean stepping on some toes on occasion especially if you are the on-field leader.
“If people get offended, I’m sorry, but it’s just the way it is and you can’t make excuses for it," Pederson said. "At the same time, you walk on that football field united and we play the game.”
As for the report itself, Pederson dismissed much of it.
“We know how we all feel about Carson. Carson is our quarterback,” he said. "I love everything about Carson Wentz and the way he attacks the job every single day, the way he competes, the way embraces the locker room. So I don’t put a lot of weight in that, a lot of stock in that. It’s his performance on the football field. He understands where he’s at, he understands he has got to stay on the field, he knows that."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen