McMullen: ‘Uncompromising’ Wentz is No Different Than Other Star QBs
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Of all the adjectives used in an explosive PhillyVoice.com report on Carson Wentz, one rang true: uncompromising.
And that probably explains the rest of the piece in which some Eagles players believed the highly-regarded Philadelphia quarterback showed signs of being "selfish" and "egotistical."
In watching Wentz up close from the day he arrived in South Philadelphia, he's like a lot of great athletes in that he has an uncommon belief in himself which does not waiver and that uncompromising nature can be viewed through different prisms by different players.
It all adds up as those who have focused on the negative aspect of Joe Santoliquito's report ignored the positives even from those lobbing grenades at the now fourth-year quarterback with words like “incredibly hard-working,” “determined,” and “highly intelligent.”
The allegation that Wentz "bullied" first-year offensive coordinator Mike Groh is about semantics and really personality. Even a veteran coach like Frank Reich occasionally showed his frustration with Wentz, particular when addressing the signal caller's unwillingness to heed advice about protecting himself.
Like most star QBs in this league, Wentz drives the show at the NovaCare Complex and an Eagles source admitted that coach Doug Pederson is more comfortable with calling plays for Nick Foles than Wentz, pointing to the longer history between Pederson and Foles and the difference in personality. Wentz craves autonomy and the more he gets, the more he wants, while Foles is content with being directed what to do.
Good coaches and Pederson is in that category understand the former is needed for consistent, long-term success, however.
With Tom Brady, being uncompromising and craving autonomy is portrayed as competitiveness by most but even someone with that kind of success leading the resume has rubbed plenty of people the wrong way over the years.
In a locker room filled with 65 to 70 people, no one is going to like everyone and that's what is at play here. The fact that players like Fletcher Cox, Brandon Brooks, Zach Ertz, Lane Johnson, Nate Sudfeld and even former teammate Torrey Smith took to Twitter and defended their on-field leader on the record, however, is a good sign and a clear indication that Wentz's demeanor is not affecting the organization in a pervasive way.
Santoliquito is a veteran reporter and isn't making things up.
There are different perspectives in any locker room.
Some players simply are not religious and will immediately portray the Boy Scout act as just that. Others are frustrated by narratives that are not true like Wentz's supposed Ertz-centric mindset [Wentz targeted the Pro Bowl tight end 9.63 times per game and Foles was nearly the exact same at 9.28), and maybe even some believe the Eagles are a better football team with Foles.
Show me a locker room where everyone is on the same page and I'll show you a Unicorn.
The strength of Pederson as a coach to this point has been managing those personalities and keeping them moving in the same direction toward the same goal. Equating that to a monolith is wrong and always has been.
Essentially what broke today is that Wentz isn't perfect and not everyone likes him.
That's not news, it's common sense.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen