Coaching Matters

Posted: March 25th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

We haven’t had a Carson Wentz discussion in a while so let’s change that.

Well, you are allowed to say this about Wentz. I don’t think any reasonable person would say Wentz would be the same player in Cleveland that he’s been in Philly. Coaching absolutely makes a difference. Teammates absolutely make a difference.

NFL Philosophy (Joe) wasn’t a fan of Wentz’s coming out of college. He has since admitted he was wrong and changed his thoughts on Wentz. You can tell he still has his doubts about just how good Wentz truly is.

There are a couple of different angles here. First, Wentz vs Foles. Nick Foles was great in 2013 and then in the playoffs last year. He didn’t exactly set the world on fire 2014-2016. When Foles has good blocking and the right skill players, he can be a good QB. At times, he can even be outstanding.

Foles isn’t special in any way. When he is asked to carry the offense, things don’t go so well. He can’t create plays on a consistent basis. Blocking is a must for Foles. All QBs struggle with pressure, but it really gets to Foles. He has a history of backpedaling and making poor throws.

We have only seen Wentz play with mediocre personnel once, and that was his rookie year. Even with the worst set of WRs in the league and a constantly shuffling OL, Wentz led the Eagles to a 7-9 record and made his share of plays.

Wentz did get legitimate weapons in 2017 and the results were spectacular. Foles posted great numbers in 2013, but this is where having seen the tape is so crucial. Foles got a lot of lucky breaks that year, where underthrown balls or contested passes were caught by Eagles and turned into big plays. Wentz, on the other hand, made some ridiculously special plays.

If you watch those two highlight packages, you’ll see that one QB is special. The other guy got great results, but wasn’t special in any way. That is a massive difference in the two players. It doesn’t make Foles a bum or Wentz a god. Wentz is simply better. He is on a different level.

The fact he was lucky enough to end up with the Eagles is what gives him a chance to have a special career. Steve Young was a bad QB for the Bucs. He went to play for Bill Walsh and with Jerry Rice and ended up in the Hall of Fame. Young was talented in Tampa, but that was such a dysfunctional situation that he couldn’t overcome it.

Archie Manning played for bad teams and that limited his career. Peyton got lucky that the Colts drafted him. The very first huddle of his NFL career had Marshall Faulk and Marvin Harrison. Peyton spent the first decade of his career with elite skill talent and that helped him to have an amazing career.

Anyone who thinks Wentz has only been successful due to coaching and surrounding talent is way off. He was outstanding in college. He played well at the Senior Bowl. Watch his rookie season and you see hints of his special talent. There was a 50-yard bomb to Dorial Green-Beckham in the Steelers game that DGB dropped. There was a beautiful touch pass to Jordan Matthews along the sideline in the end zone. Only Matthews couldn’t get a second foot down. Dropped passes were a huge issue in 2016.

2017 was very different. Wentz was in his second year and played better. It was the second year of the scheme, which helped returning skill players. A new WRs coach made a tremendous difference. And the team added talented pieces like Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith.

Wentz is lucky to be coached by Doug Pederson. He was lucky to have Frank Reich and John DeFilippo for the first two years of his career. Wentz has generally had good blocking and now has a good group of skill players. The flip side is also true. Doug Pederson isn’t getting hailed as a genius if Wentz doesn’t play at an elite level. Reich isn’t a head coach. DeFilippo isn’t running the Vikings offense.

There is no question that the success of Foles had a hand in that as well, but the first 13 games with Wentz at QB were proof that wasn’t luck or just a player on a hot streak, but rather great coaching and player development.

History happens when the right player and the right coach come together. We’ll have to wait and see if Pederson and Wentz have a historical run in them or not. They sure look like a special combo right now.

We’ll definitely know more about Wentz in 2030, when new head coach G.J. Kinne and offensive coordinator Paul Turner are running the show.


One Comment on “Coaching Matters”

  1. 1 Iggles Blitz » Blog Archive » A Bit More on Foles said at 12:59 AM on March 27th, 2018:

    […] Some people took yesterday’s post as an insult to Foles. I mentioned a few times that he wasn’t special in any way. That’s not an insult. That’s just reality. Foles would be the first to tell you that. […]