Wentz Preaches Patience Against Quinn’s Falcons
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Before Dan Quinn got the big chair in Atlanta, he buttressed his resume as Pete Carroll's defensive coordinator in Seattle.
For those who've already forgotten about the Legion of Boom's dominance with the Seahawks, the foundation of Carroll's "play fast" mantra is Cover-3, a rather simple coverage scheme designed to keep everything in front of you and force the opposing offenses to be slow and methodical, a mechanism that creates more opportunities for mistakes especially when you had playmakers like Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman embracing the philosophy, "playing fast" and forcing the miscues.
Quinn brought the mentality south and the Falcons play a similar style and one Carson Wentz understands despite the fact he's missed the last two games between the Eagles and Quinn's defense due to injuries.
“You watch them on film, you watch the games from last year, they’re going to let you take things underneath," Wentz explained at the Novacare Complex Wednesday before practice. "They’re going to kind of make you earn it down the field. Sometimes you just have to be patient and let the shot plays come to you and take what’s given. Have to get the run game going as well to kind of tighten their coverage up a bit."
That's often easier said than done especially for players like Wentz, however. Aggressiveness is almost a part of the Philadelphia QB1's DNA.
"I have to keep reminding myself to be patient,” he admitted. “Coach [Doug Pederson]is going to call a great game, I already trust in that. Just take what’s there, move the chains, then when they get aggressive then we can be aggressive. It’s a little bit of a chess match and who can break first. But just have to keep telling myself and telling the whole offense we have to be patient and the shots will come.”
Quinn, meanwhile, is hoping the patience evaporates and pressing turns into mistakes as he tries to bait and switch with his defensive looks. The task is daunting, though, because the Eagles have so many playmakers and the ability to spread the football around.
"It’s a good offense and they know how to really feature their guys,” Quinn said during a conference call with the Philadelphia media. “For a long time I’ve been impressed just the way they feature backs, tight ends, receivers, they make you defend everybody. They make you defend the whole thing and that’s what makes them difficult."
EAGLES ELEVATE JAMES
The Eagles made a number of roster moves on Wednesday first reaching an injury settlement and releasing veteran tight end Richard Rodgers from injured reserve. Rodgers was in line to make the team before suffering a lower leg injury in joint practices with Baltimore during training camp.
With one of the best-receiving trios in the NFL on deck, Philadelphia also promoted cornerback Craig James from the practice squad and re-signed tight end Alex Ellis to the PS after he cleared waivers.
James, a second-year player who played in three games with Minnesota as a rookie last season, joins a CB group that struggled against Washington and needed to get a little deeper for the Falcons. Meanwhile, another organization was reportedly ready to offer James a 53-man roster spot which likely forced the Eagles' hand.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen