Pederson Praises Wentz’s Leadership Skills
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - While Carson Wentz and a number of Eagles players were finishing up a relaxed passing camp in Fargo, his head coach was in Northern California in picturesque South Lake Tahoe taking in the sights and sounds of the annual American Century Classic celebrity golf tourney.
Extra work between quarterbacks and their receivers in advance of training camp is fashionable in the modern-day NFL and Doug Pederson was thrilled that so many of Wentz's teammates took time out from their summer recesses to visit their quarterback's home.
“I love it,” the coach told FanRag Sports' Bill Williamson. “These guys will do anything for Carson. They went to Fargo. That’s great.”
Last year when Sam Bradford was still the on-field leader on the team before being traded to Minnesota, he invited the receivers out to San Diego and the better tourist attractions like California or Florida are the locales used by most veteran QBs who put together these types of things.
Wentz, however, wanted his teammates to get to know him a little better and the native North Dakotan is proud of his home state and his alma mater, FCS powerhouse North Dakota State.
“They know how talented and dedicated he is,” Pederson said.”That’s why they went out to see him."
Now things turn to improving on a 7-9 rookie season in which Wentz has already stated the goal is to go from worst-to-first in the NFC East.
Little things like having the confidence to hold his workouts in Fargo highlight the leadership aspect of Wentz's personality that made Philadelphia comfortable enough to move up in the 2016 draft and select Wentz with the No. 2 overall selection.
“It’s something we keyed on,” Pederson claimed. “We saw some things in his from before we got him that I’m not sure other teams saw. We saw the type of kid he was and what a leader he can be.”
Intangibles, though, take a back seat to skill set and Wentz is coming off a season where he set the NFL rookie record for pass attempts and threw for 3,782 yards despite having perhaps the worst receiving group in the NFL.
On paper that's been remedied with the additions of veteran receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, and Pederson is excited to see what Wentz will be able to do with the added skill-position talent around him.
“He had some growing pains and he has a lot to work on, which is normal,” Pederson said. “He is going to be so much better after starting every game as a rookie. He has such a head start. He is only going to get better.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen