Training camp was not perfect for Carson Wentz.
It wasn’t perfect for any of the 90 players on the Eagles roster, but because Wentz is the quarterback and because he is coming off season-ending injuries the past two seasons, anything less than perfection seems to be the expectation.
Has he thrown some picks in practice, maybe more than you would hope to see, thrown some high, some low? Yes.
Has he threaded he needle and dropped some dandy throws too? Absolutely.
VIDEO: Carson Wentz says he is OK with whatever Doug Pederson decides about preseason snaps
Wentz is still trying to find that level of consistency, though, and it looks like his search won’t include any snaps in four preseason games. Though he has yet to be ruled out of Thursday night’s second exhibition contest, this one against the Jaguars in Jacksonville, it is a longshot he plays.
“Having the experience in this league, playing multiple seasons now, having experienced the rigors of a 16-game season, I’m not real concerned with what preseason brings, so to speak, in the sense of what it can offer me,” said Wentz following Tuesday’s final practice of camp. “I think it’s good, but at the same time I don’t think it’s necessary.”
Earlier this week, I floated the possibility that Wentz may be growing stale by having to play against the same defensive backs day in and day out and that some reps against players he doesn’t know inside and out would be beneficial.
Asked if he gets tired of playing the same defense every day, he said: “You do. I mean, at the same time, they do so many different things, and they present a tough look every day, so you get tired and tensions obviously run high at times. Things happen. You’re at the same time excited to face other defenses soon.”
Wentz will face another defense soon. That opportunity comes Monday and Tuesday when the Baltimore Ravens will practice at the NovaCare Complex with the Eagles.
There’s also the possibility that the Eagles defensive backs are pretty good, and that is another reason for some of Wentz’s camp interceptions. At the very least, those DBs are clued into what the Eagles are running offensively and maybe some cues that Wentz gives them having played against the quarterback for the past many weeks.
“The talent that secondary has over there with multiple safeties now and getting (Ronald) Darby back and the DBs we have, it’s hard to say which one has been the most talented, but they’re definitely mixing it up probably more than we’ve seen in the past, so we have definitely gotten some very good work against them,” said Wentz.
No one needs to be reminded that Wentz broke some ribs as a rookie in the first preseason game and was sidelined until the season opener after being elevated to the starter spot a week before camp when the team traded Sam Bradford. He threw 16 touchdowns to 14 interceptions, his lone season that he played all 16 games.
The injuries from the previous two seasons have given Wentz the label of injury prone.
“I get it,” he said when asked how he feels about the perception that he is brittle. “You play a couple seasons and you have a couple injuries, I get what’s happening. It’s unfortunate that I’ve ended the last two seasons on the bench, so there’s only so much I can do to talk about it, now I have to be about it.
“I’m going to set myself up as best as I can to stay healthy, to play a whole season, and get out there every week, but, again, it’s football and things happen. Everyone has their own opinions but at the end of the way I’m not really worried about it.”
He was worried about the perception initially, he said.
“I’ve really had to come to grips really not caring what other people’s opinions are on the matter, just doing the best I can,” said Wentz.
Wentz went on a diet that included no gluten, which means pizza is out, and it’s been seven months since he had a slice.
“Trying to avoid pizza,” he said is one of the hardest things about his diet. “That’s the thing you do when you hang out with the guys, you order pizza, so trying to find pizza substitutes hasn’t been as successful as I would like.”
It’s not perfect, the substitute pizza, and neither is Wentz.
Consistency and good health, though, will be just fine.