PHILADELPHIA — Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz took accountability for his struggles during an address to the team this week, a gesture that is resonating well in the locker room as Philadelphia looks to break out of its three-game losing streak Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.
“The first step is admitting where you’re bad at, and that’s what I love that Carson did,” said veteran defensive end Brandon Graham. “When we talked to the team, he knew he had to own some of the stuff that he’s been doing, and he let us know that he’s working his butt off to make sure that he starts doing a lot of stuff better. And that’s all people want to hear is for you to take ownership of yours and we can move on. That’s how you build relationships: taking ownership of what you do.”
Wentz is mired in the worst season of his career. He ranks first in interceptions (15) and sacks (46), 31st in completion percentage (58.1%) and 30th in yards per attempt (6.02). Another rocky outing in Monday’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks helped drop the Eagles to 3-7-1.
Coach Doug Pederson said back in March of 2019 following a report questioning his standing in the locker room that Wentz could become a better teammate by “being a little more vulnerable, being a little more accessible,” and believes what Wentz did this week is a sign of his development in that area.
“He understands that he needs to play better. And for him to stand up and take ownership with the team and quite frankly show vulnerability I think is a sign of growth in any player, and we’ve had several players do that this week,” said Pederson. “It just shows that our young players — and I still consider Carson in that young [category], only five years in is still relatively young in this league — that they’re showing signs of maturity and growth and leadership ability, especially from your quarterback.
“It was good to see. And conversations that he and I have had over the last month hopefully have maybe spurred him in that right direction.”
With the offense in a rut, Pederson acknowledged that he has doled out some play-calling responsibilities to a couple of his assistants recently, as the Philadelphia Inquirer reported, and reiterated that it remains on the table this week against the Green Bay Packers.
“I am currently the play-caller. You make it sound like I gave it up completely. That’s not the case,” he said. “If I’m going to be part of the solution to our offensive woes, then I’m going to be part of the solution whatever that takes and whatever that looks like whether that be elements of the game plan, calling plays or whatever it might be in game. But ultimately these are my decisions as we move forward.
“It is something I have to dig deep and soul search a little bit because I love doing it, don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot of fun and gives you a lot of joy and excitement when you do it and do it well, but I’m going to keep it internal and focus on the team.”