Pederson: ‘I Can Stand Here and Say Carson Is Our Quarterback’
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - While the message inside the gates of the NovaCare Complex has never changed, the whispers coming from the outside have been noticed.
That's why the Philadelphia Eagles feel the need to be as clear as possible when it comes to the fan-driven "controversy" of Carson Wentz vs. Nick Foles.
“I can stand here and say Carson is our quarterback,” coach Doug Pederson said Friday. “He’s our quarterback of the future and that’s why we drafted him.”
He's not the QB on Sunday, however, when Foles will take the field against the AFC South-leading Houston Texans a week after helping keep the season alive with an unlikely win in Los Angeles against the high-powered Rams.
So while Wentz convalecses from a stress fracture in his back, sports radio and a certain segment of the Eagles fan base has taken the Foles baton and run with it.
Wentz, perhaps on his way to being named NFL MVP last season, missed the final three games the the ensuing Super Bowl run with a torn ACL and LCL, with Foles stepping in as Mariano Rivera and closing things with spectacular performances against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game and against Tom Brady and New England on the biggest stage of them all.
The franchise's first Super Bowl win has turned Foles into a near-mythical character with some even though he was pedestrian in the first two games this season while Wentz finished up his rehab.
Wentz took over in Week 3 and the offense has been spotty for the most part during a disappointing campaign, one that Foles could potentially save by running the table.
“It’s why we have Nick here as a backup,” Pederson said. "As a veteran player to -- I don’t want to say bail us out -- but to execute the offense."
Many players contributed to the upset win over the Rams, including spectacular performances by Fletcher Cox and Avonte Maddox on defense but Foles is seen as the savior, a winner with an intangible that Wentz lacks.
And that narrative has Pederson playing damage control and managing the most important personality he has.
I think we just continue to reconfirm that with Carson and let him know that. Continue to say, “Hey, listen you're going to be here for a long time, have a long career.”
We just have to commit to that and communicate that to him and let that kind of sink in.
“I think we just continue to re-confirm that with Carson that [he's the starter],” Pederson said. “Let him know that and continue to say ‘Hey listen, you’re going to be here for a long time and have a long career.’ We just have to commit to that and communicate that to him and let that kind of sink in.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen