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Carson Wentz jacked, Doug Pederson Aiming for Creativity

Eagles QB looks like he spent time in weight room while head coach mulled ways to come up with the best 53 players for his roster without preseason games

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz showed up at training camp on Monday and looked jacked.

The new father to a daughter born in April looked as if he had found some time to sneak in some weightlifting in between changing diapers and cuddling his baby girl. Chances are, he could not have cared less about some ridiculous NFL list that didn’t even have him among the top 100 players in the game.

It’s a list voted on by players around the league, and not many of them take it seriously when punching out the names on the list at each position, so Wentz probably doesn’t, either.

You know who’s also jacked?

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson. Not so much physically but mentally as he ponders ways to get his team ready to start the season on Sept. 13 – if everything goes as planned with COVID-19 not looking like it’s going anywhere anytime soon.

There will be no benefit of four preseason games after the NFLPA and league decided to cancel all of them in favor of an extended acclimation period to make sure players are ready to begin the rigors of a season with the hope it will not have to be cut short.

Pederson said there will likely be more intra-squad scrimmages in order to account for no preseason games.
“Just coming up with creative ways, whether I do more scrimmage situations, do a couple of live practices during camp, anyway, and I have to do maybe some more scrimmages and put our young players and put the guys we need answers on in those situations,” said Pederson. “I have to come up with ways of having game-like situations in practice because we are missing the preseason games.

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“It can definitely be done. We'll be creative about it as a staff, and we'll eventually have the answers we need at the end of camp.”

Camp will get off to a limping beginning.

The veterans reported Tuesday, but before they can enter the NovaCare building, they must self-isolate for five days while getting tested for the virus. If the testing comes back negative, they will be allowed inside the facility and their physicals will be conducted on Saturday.

Players who reported last week – rookies, quarterbacks, and select veterans – already went through the process, and that is why Wentz was able to enter the building already.

“Training camp has been divided into three phases, much like the off-season program, so it's phase one, phase two, phase three,” said Pederson. “We are in this phase one, strength, conditioning phase right now. And then we get into the acclimation phase. Then once we get into the training camp, the so-called training camp, or the padded portion of camp, I have to do what I feel is best for the football team from a standpoint of putting the guys in position to succeed on the field.

“Meaning, we have to have answers on a lot of our players, especially the young guys. We haven't seen these rookies live and in person. So it's my job as the head coach - from a scheduling standpoint as we go throughout this training camp - to put our guys in competitive situations to see what they can do and then do the best we can at the end of training camp to come up with the 53.”

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