More on Ben & Wentz

Posted: July 16th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 36 Comments »

I wrote a piece comparing Carson Wentz and Ben Roethlisberger on Friday. The two of them are quite alike. There is one huge difference and that is character. Wentz has a squeaky clean reputation. Roethlisberger has had to deal with multiple accusations of sexual assault. Obviously everyone hopes Wentz maintains his clean reputation. Money and celebrity can change people, but they usually enhance issues that already exist rather than completely changing a person.

Let’s get back to football for now. Big Ben was drafted 11th overall in 2004. The Steelers were coming off a 6-10 season. Veteran Tommy Maddox was projected to be the starter. He got hurt early on and Ben started the final 13 games of the season, going undefeated in those starts. The Steelers won by running the ball and playing good defense. They were first in rushing attempts and second in yards. The defense was first in yards and points allowed.

Ben was able to be a complementary QB. He didn’t have to carry the team, except in 2-minute situations. Only 4 of his starts ended with the opponent withing a touchdown of the Steelers. That team played at a high level and that limited the pressure on Ben. There were 5 games where Pittsburgh didn’t score 21 points. They won all of them, but that goes to show you that if Ben avoided turnovers and was just effective, that could be good enough to win.

When Maddox got hurt, Big Ben was thrown to the wolves. There was no Chase Daniel on that team. As it turned out, that worked out just fine for Ben and the Steelers. That team won big in his rookie year and then won the Super Bowl the next season. Ben came along slowly as a passer. He didn’t throw 500 passes in a season until his sixth year. In 4 of his first 5 years, he didn’t throw 20 TDs in a season. Over the years, Ben has developed into a QB that can throw a ton of passes and carry a team on his back.

Should the Eagles play Wentz at all in 2016?

Mike Mayock thinks so.

“The way I look at it is this: As soon as Carson Wentz is ready to play—whether it’s Week 1, Week 5, Week 11 or next year—I think he’s going to play,” Mayock said. “I think it’s important that he gets some snaps this year. I’m bullish on this kid. But he only threw the ball 612 times, if I remember correctly, in his career. The kid from Cal threw it 1,000 more times. The kid from Cal has 1,000 more live reps at a higher level, so you kind of put that in perspective a little bit. But I think when Carson Wentz is ready to play, they’ve got to play him.”

Of course, there’s a caveat. When Wentz is ready, play him—but protect him from what NFL defenses have in store.

“If he gets some reps this year … they’ve got to protect him,” Mayock explained. “When I say protect, Ray, I’m not talking—not just the offensive line, pass protection—I’m talking about the run game and I’m talking defense. If you look at Joe Flacco, who only threw the ball about the same amount of times at the same level. He came into Baltimore and they had a run game and defense and he started all 16 games. I think that’s healthy. But until they can protect him with a run game and defense, I don’t think you can throw him in there. I think the franchise itself—it starts with Doug Pederson—has to have a plan. Regardless of the hell that goes on in the city the next day, they have to stick to the plan.”

Flacco and the Ravens. Let’s check out that comparison. The Ravens were coming off a 5-11 season. They drafted Flacco in the first round and had him compete with Troy Smith for the starting job. Smith got hurt that summer and Flacco ended up starting the whole year. Baltimore led the league in rushing attempts and finished third in rushing yards. The defense was second in yards allowed and third in points allowed. Flacco had the same edict as Big Ben…don’t lose the game for us. We can win by running the ball, playing good D and coming up with a big play or two on offense.

The Ravens went 11-5 that season and have been a good team since drafting Flacco. They were bad last season when Flacco got hurt and the team was overwhelmed with injuries.

Injuries opened the door for both Big Ben and Flacco to play as rookies. Both had the right situation to help them learn while playing. The Eagles are in a slightly different situation. They are not likely to have the #1 defense. And I can say with 98 percent certainty that the Eagles will not lead the NFL in rushing attempts, no matter who is at QB.

Should the Eagles try to force Wentz onto the field at some point?

I think the coaches have to view this as a fluid situation. How does Wentz look at the beginning of Training Camp? How does he look in the preseason? How is he later in TC? Wentz’s level of play will be up and down based on how the coaches use him and the complexity of the situations he’s in. He might look dominant in the 4th quarter of the preseason opener when he’s going against third and fourth stringers. He then could look terrible in practice a few days later when going against the starting defense. The coaches have to be able to see the real Wentz and decide where he’s at.

The real key to all of this is the big picture. I don’t care about what Wentz does in 2016. He is the future of the franchise. Aaron Rodgers sat for 3 years. Tom Brady sat for a little over one year. Tony Romo sat for 3 years. Drew Brees sat for one year. Philip Rivers sat for 2 years. Don’t rush the future. Play him when he is ready. If there are injuries, play Chase Daniel. Don’t force Wentz on the field to see where he’s at.

The flip side is that if Wentz plays at an extremely high level, don’t be afraid to play him just because he is a rookie.

Doug Pederson and his staff have a plan for Wentz, but it isn’t set in stone. You make the plan based on current data, which could change drastically once you start watching him in action every day.


36 Comments on “More on Ben & Wentz”

  1. 1 Media Mike said at 9:24 AM on July 16th, 2016:

    Agree 100% that you organically let Wentz EARN the job. Mike Mayock can keep his f-ing opinion to himself on Wentz starting right away because it’ll cost the Eagles trade compensation for Bradford.

    We still need to recoup draft pick assets for Bradford that were lost in the Wentz trade.

    Two 2nds (i.e. the Alex Smith deal) should do it.

  2. 2 unhinged said at 11:01 AM on July 16th, 2016:

    That critique is only valid if they start him early and he loses. If (and I don’t expect this) CW wows the whole Eagle braintrust , forces them to get him on the field, and he shows he can handle it, you won’t even care about those draft picks.

  3. 3 Media Mike said at 12:50 PM on July 16th, 2016:

    IF he earns his way on the field AND the team plays well; you’re correct.

  4. 4 Gian GEAGLE said at 11:56 AM on July 17th, 2016:

    Adam Caplain claims that the Eagles are raving over how great Bradford has been since returning from his temper tantrum, and that the Eagles are fully committed to investing a years worth of patience keeping Wentz on the bench
    The only way I expect to see Wentz play is if Bradford gets hurt for the season with like 10 games left. In which case Chase Daniels Plays ahout 4-6 games, and as soon as we are officially out of playoff contention, Wents can play the last 3’or 4 games.
    But now that we don’t NEED Bradford to stay healthy. I expect him to be remarkably durable this year, play the entire season, and we should be in the hunt for the division down to the last two games whch would mean Keeping Bradford in Til the very end and not seeing Wentz on the field this year
    Either way, I’d be interested in seeing Bradfords yeàr two of healthy Continuity, just as much as I’d be interested in seeing Wentz play. So as long as I don’t have to sit thru 10 games of Chase Daniel starting, I’ll be very much interested in this season
    Which is kind of Ironic considering how many people are talking about a rare lack of interest in the Eagles this offseason

  5. 5 More on Ben & Wentz - said at 9:29 AM on July 16th, 2016:

    […] Tommy Lawlor I wrote a piece comparing Carson Wentz and Ben Roethlisberger on Friday. The two of them are quite […]

  6. 6 Gary Barnes said at 2:21 PM on July 16th, 2016:

    Tommy’s post shows again the importance of context for QB performance. The team you get drafted by matters a lot. The quality of the team around you matters a lot. The schemes that are run and how well they are executed around you matters a lot. The quality of coaching matters a lot. Roseman and Pederson have to put together the context that will maximize the chances for Wentz’s talent to emerge and shine. The team is not there yet. They better have a plan and make it work; I also agree with Mayock they better stick to it regardless of fan/media unrest because, in the end, they’ll be the ones held accountable.

  7. 7 Media Mike said at 3:40 PM on July 16th, 2016:

    I have a high level of trust with the two of them in building the roster / team / Wentz. Howie has seen quite a few ways of approaching team development go belly up and Pederson was a direct witness of the careful way in which Reid and company groomed McNabb into a legit Pro Bowl talent at QB.

  8. 8 Gary Barnes said at 2:32 AM on July 17th, 2016:

    Those are good points and hopefully you’re right those experiences help Roseman and Pederson.

  9. 9 FairOaks said at 5:55 PM on July 16th, 2016:

    The physical numbers don’t tell you if the QBs have the same ability to find open receivers quickly, pocket presence, ability to shed would-be tacklers and avoid sacks then make big plays, etc. It would be really *nice* if Wentz has the same abilities in those areas as Ben (maybe we can hope for not holding the ball quite as long), but I’ll have to see it to believe it.

  10. 10 Insomniac said at 8:03 PM on July 16th, 2016:

    Couldn’t have said it any better.

  11. 11 daveH said at 8:38 PM on July 16th, 2016:

    I hope he’s ad good as ARod

  12. 12 SteveH said at 9:13 PM on July 16th, 2016:

    I’m not sure he’s cut out to play 3B.

  13. 13 daveH said at 10:01 PM on July 16th, 2016:

    Not that dick .. the real A Rod

  14. 14 smallestsmurf said at 6:42 PM on July 19th, 2016:

    Oh you mean A Aron

  15. 15 daveH said at 11:19 PM on July 19th, 2016:

    No not him. Nah. . Aaron dropped a brilliant one on us. It was all a looong drawn out finely crafted well played joke ..
    Is that what u mean?
    ..all those comments like graffiti tags in the city .. finally he actually nailed a true first.. and he just drops a very understated
    .. brilliance.

  16. 16 Media Mike said at 9:48 PM on July 16th, 2016:

    I’d rather not lose his career to PED suspensions.

  17. 17 daveH said at 10:10 PM on July 16th, 2016:

    Or be an embarrassment to the franchise

  18. 18 Call Me Carlos the Dwarf said at 11:26 AM on July 17th, 2016:

    If Wentz loses his career to PED suspensions at the age of 39, after one of the 20 best careers in NFL history, I’ll call it a win.

  19. 19 Gary Barnes said at 4:15 PM on July 17th, 2016:

    So the lesson in your view is its ok to do PEDs as long as you perform well and fool teams into giving you so much money they cannot trade/.cut you even when its obvious to everyone you’re totally cooked? The guy is one of the biggest frauds and charlatans in MLB history. Greed and selfishness run amok.

  20. 20 Call Me Carlos the Dwarf said at 4:41 PM on July 17th, 2016:

    No, it’s that getting caught with PEDs didn’t stop A-Rod from having one of the greatest careers any baseball player has ever had, or will ever have.

  21. 21 eagleyankfan said at 8:48 AM on July 18th, 2016:

    Always seemed to be 2 groups of people. Jeter lovers(who are the Arod haters) and Arod baseball fans. If you love Jeter, you hate Arod. If you’re a Jeter fan, you think he’s a top 3 player in the history of baseball. If you’re a baseball fan, you think Jeter is a great singles hitter.
    People who hate Arod will always, always look the other way when it comes to players like Papi/Petitte because of Arod’s personality. Separate the player from the man – and you do have, as you said “one of the greatest careers any player has ever had, or will ever have”.
    Petitte – this document says you cheated. Petitte says, oh, that, yes I used that once because of an injury. Oh, you used a banned substance because you were hurt? Well, because you cheated for a reason, that’s ok, the world forgives you.

  22. 22 Call Me Carlos the Dwarf said at 9:49 AM on July 19th, 2016:

    Or you can say that Jeets was a Top 5 offensive SS in the history of baseball, that A-Rod is an asshole, a cheater and a moron but also one of the greatest players of all time, and that you really don’t give a shit about people using HGH to accelerate recovery from a ligament injury.

  23. 23 daveH said at 7:32 PM on July 17th, 2016:

    Yes A Roid is the world class cheater .. A Rodgers is world class .. didnt he throw 2 consecutive hail Mary TD’s for wins this year? And 1 game later watched cam newton give up w 6 minutes to go ..

  24. 24 Anders said at 2:13 AM on July 18th, 2016:

    you are fooling you self if you only think people getting caught cheats.

  25. 25 Gary Barnes said at 6:24 AM on July 18th, 2016:

    Where did I ever say I believed that?

  26. 26 Eagles News: Doug Pederson expects to deactivate Carson Wentz on game day - NFL Feeds To The Fans said at 7:41 AM on July 17th, 2016:

    […] More on Ben & Wentz – Iggles BlitzShould the Eagles try to force Wentz onto the field at some point? I think the coaches have to view this as a fluid situation. How does Wentz look at the beginning of Training Camp? How does he look in the preseason? How is he later in TC? Wentz’s level of play will be up and down based on how the coaches use him and the complexity of the situations he’s in. He might look dominant in the 4th quarter of the preseason opener when he’s going against third and fourth stringers. He then could look terrible in practice a few days later when going against the starting defense. The coaches have to be able to see the real Wentz and decide where he’s at. […]

  27. 27 Call Me Carlos the Dwarf said at 11:27 AM on July 17th, 2016:

    To Maycock’s point, I think that protecting Wentz this year is a huge part of why we have Bradford.

    This lets Pederson install his system and get it up and running in game situations for several weeks before Wentz slots in.

  28. 28 soundbonz said at 11:42 AM on July 17th, 2016:

    Recent history has shown that most of the successful franchise QBs started early in their rookie year. Whether by plan or happenstance, that’s the way it’s been. Aaron Rodgers is one of the few – if not lone – exceptions.

    I have no problem going into the season with Bradford. But if Ryan Mathews shows promise – he’s underestimated by most in the media – and the Schwartz defense comes together quickly – then I would agree with Mayock. If a run game and good defense becomes reality in Philly then you switch to Wentz. Nobody should really be believing in Bradford anymore – he’s a place holder. If the place is ready sooner than later, you make the move.

  29. 29 Dude said at 1:21 PM on July 17th, 2016:

    Recent history is still a little too…. recent to really get a good feel on young QB’s, or to really call them successful. Also, none of the young guys starting now had a guy like Bradford in front of them on the depth chart. Bradford isn’t a star player or anything, he is certainly just a place holder, but he is a capable NFL starter.

  30. 30 Media Mike said at 6:48 PM on July 17th, 2016:

    And there have been some fool’s gold guys who have looked good as rookie and then crapped out.

  31. 31 Gian GEAGLE said at 12:08 PM on July 17th, 2016:

    Easy to see the many comparisons between Wentz and a young Big Ben….. But their reputation as people makes them polar opposites, Wentz is know as this great guy with a humple Convidence while Ben was infamous for being a jerk and a creep
    In fairness to Ben, he seems to have matured and done a decent job rehabilitating his image the last few years

    A big difference in their style of play right now is Wentz will probably take off from The pocket, and even call a few designed runs for him similar to Cam Newton while Ben does most of his running behind the line of scrimmage, running to by Time to find a WR down field, similar to how Donovan used his mobility once he matured.
    Eventually we will need Wentz to stop running as much, and start using his legs like Rothlisberger and McNabb, buying time to throw down field, but hopefully Wentz NEVER completely abandons his ablity to make big plays with his legs like McNabb did.
    Typically I hate running QBs, at least The ones whos ability to run crippled their development as a passer.. But If Wentz can be that rare Cam Newton type where he is able to run, while staying healthy and still Develope into a good passing QB, hopefully Wentz never reaches that McNabb poïnt where he practically refuses to run and take yards that the Defense is giving us
    As long as Wentz can stay healthy, and develope into an elite passer, he can run as much as he wants as far as im concerned, as long as he is sliding and not trying to run over linebackers of course

  32. 32 Gian GEAGLE said at 12:24 PM on July 17th, 2016:

    Mayock is drunk if he thinks a healthy bradford has any chance of being benched in week 1’or week 5 because our 3rd string rookie QB is “ready”… We,won’t be seeing Wentz play in September while 20milliln worth of healthy QBs are sitting on the bench between Sam and Chase.
    Probably highly unrealistic to expect a raw rookie to be ready to beat out Sam or Chase running a complicated west coast offense… Wentz being better than Sam in September is probably to unrealistc to even bother worrying about
    It’s more likely that sam looks clearly better Than he did last yeàr,,,. How much better is The real question. But I think it’s a mistake to look at Sam last season and think that is The same QB we will see this year,,,, continuity/good health could do wonders for Sam
    Think this team should be held to the standard of needing to win the division. When you have The best defense in the division by a large margin, and one of the better Offensive Lines, there is no reason why we should just accept not winning The division.

    Obviously I won’t crucify a first year coach if he misses the playoffs, but I damn sure am not going into the season expecting and accepting some 6-10 season when we play in a shit division And we don’t have the GLARING weaknesses that our Rivals have even tho a lot of silly people seem to think we are the least talented team in The division which is a crock of Shit….. If we are The least talented team than Howie should be fired today for how much money he soent…. Fortunately I don’t expect that to prove true
    All I really ask for is to still be playing meaningful football in DECEMBER. If we end up missing the playoffs hopefully it will come down to week 17

  33. 33 Dan in Philly said at 2:19 PM on July 17th, 2016:

    I remember when Ben was a rookie, he’d have games when he didn’t throw the ball 20 times. Hard to imagine a coach under the Andy Reid tree doing that.

  34. 34 Mary Woods said at 1:56 AM on July 18th, 2016:

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  35. 35 daveH said at 9:21 PM on July 17th, 2016:

    Glencoe by Marc Marquez and his Honda team to go with slicks just as the track was driving today in Germany

  36. 36 华夏兼职 said at 4:33 AM on July 18th, 2016: