Wentz Working on Footwork is a Positive Sign
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Eagles were back at it Monday, reporting to the NovaCare Complex for the first day of voluntary offseason workouts and quarterback Carson Wentz was front and center, speaking to the media about how his offseason has been going.
Although Wentz downplayed it, the sophomore starter showed a level of maturity by seeking out quarterback tutor Adam Dedeaux to help him get ready for the 2017 NFL season.
Like most young quarterbacks Wentz's fundamentals were not all that consistent during his rookie season and they really took a left turn into the second half when the North Dakota State product struggled with his arm strength and accuracy.
A balky elbow, something Wentz assured was nothing serious, the weight of a poor receiving corps and a banged-up offensive line all contributed to the signal caller speeding up things and developing some poor habits.
The current CBA, which was enacted in 2011, severely limits the time coaches can spend with players so the real go-getters seek out the best personal tutors. Wentz did exactly that by hiring 3DQB’s Dedeaux, an ex-MLB pitcher like his better-known partner Tom House.
Both House and Dedeaux have developed the reputation of quarterback whisperers who hammer in on the idea of both the mechanics of one's throwing motion as well as the importance of footwork.
You never want an outside teacher who will be preaching different things than Wentz's so-called QB incubator in Philadelphia, head coach Doug Pederson, offensive coordinator Frank Reich and quarterbacks coach John DeFillipo, and the Eagles were comfortable with Wentz's decision.
“There was never any resistance,” Wentz claimed when asked about the organization's reaction to his work with Dedeaux. “I think coaches want everybody to go do their own thing, whatever they feel is going to help them get better."
From Day 1 of Wentz's stint in South Philadelphia the Eagles’ coaching staff has preached the importance of sound mechanics to the young QB but there is precious little time for teaching when you get into the regular-season mode of an NFL schedule and Wentz's fundamentals were probably better in Week 1 than Week 16 last season.
The key is programming sound habits into a player's muscle memory so you don't see the regression when there is no real time for a tune-up.
"I thought it was beneficial," Wentz said of his off-campus work. "Nothing real specific, just overall to help me fine tune some things and work on some things to make myself more efficient.”
When pressed, Wentz wasn't giving up much more but did hint that his footwork was a priority.
“Some simple things to the naked eye that you probably wouldn’t notice,” the QB claimed. “A lot of it had to do with footwork, just trying to make everything smoother."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen