PHILADELPHIA ( - In a bit of a surprise, Doug Pederson eschewed competitive advantage on Monday and quickly named Carson Wentz his Week 1 starter against Cleveland.

“Carson Wentz will start the game on Sunday,” Pederson said at a press conference after practice on Monday. “We drafted him to take over the reins and it’s something now that we’re prepared to do and looking forward to Cleveland and one day at a time with him.

"...At the same time, we’ve got to be smart in how we handle it, but (we) fully expect him to perform like he’s capable of performing and what we’ve seen throughout OTAs and Training Camp.”

The No. 2 overall pick was thrust into the starting role after the Eagles traded Sam Bradford to Minnesota over the weekend. Veteran Chase Daniel remains the backup.

Wentz has missed the majority of the preseason with two fractured ribs and Pederson admitted Monday that Monday was the first time Wentz has taken reps with the first team. Despite those seemingly insurmountable hurdles, the coach claimed he is confident in speeding up the process for his prized rookie.

“The plays he’s made in practice, in the one preseason game, has given me confidence that he can lead this football team,” the coach claimed. “And I’m excited, I’m thrilled that this is an opportunity for him, it’s an opportunity for our organization, our team, and we’re going full steam ahead. I feel fully confident that we’ll be able to get the job done.”

Pederson did admit Wentz would have likely benefited from interning under Bradford for a bit, however.

“Would it have been ideal for him to play later than sooner?” the often too-honest coach asked rhetorically before answering, “Sure."

But,he reiterated that the Eagles believe Wentz is ready for the big time.

"The stage is not too big for him," Pederson said. "He can handle this. He’s such a special guy that this doesn’t bother him and he can handle this. That’s why making this decision is very comforting for me and really easy to make.

"Just knowing him and how he prepares and knowing what he’s done in the past and this guy is a proven winner. He’s proved it all the way up through college and fully expect him to do the same thing at this level.”

Pederson, who was away from the team with his ailing father when the trade was consummated did say he remained in the loop and signed off on the deal because Wentz is “ready to go.”

“We were fortunate to get some draft picks back that we gave up for the trade for Carson and it was right for this football team,” he said. “...This is why we drafted him. ...Right now where we are, we got a good football team around him, we got a great defense, special teams, good offensive line, good runners. All the pieces are here for him to be successful and for us to win some games.”

-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for You can reach him at or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for You can reach him at or on Twitter @JFMcMullen