Doug Pederson Looks for Answers on Carson Wentz's Struggles
Carson Wentz talk monopolized most of the nearly 18-minute videoconference Doug Pederson had on Monday, and for good reason.
One rather large nugget that seeped out is left guard Isaac Seumalo will miss some time, with a three-week stint on Injured Reserve likely.
Seumalo was replaced by Matt Pryor, yet the offensive line continued to hold up well against the Los Angeles Rams’ defensive front led by Aaron Donald, though the Eagles still dropped to 0-2 with a 37-19 setback on Sunday.
The quarterback, however, was the talk of Pederson's day-after meeting with reporters.
Wentz is struggling and the search for answers will be persistent until he no longer is struggling, or a change is made at the position.
Change would be drastic, and the Eagles are far from that point, especially when some of the dubious reasons Pederson rolled out for Wentz’s struggles had to do with new skill players, no OTAs or preseason games, and no chemistry due to a shortened and vastly different training camp because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We had a set of rules and protocols and guidelines we had to go by, so many hours on the field, so many hours in the building and with a lot of new pieces in particularly with the skill position, with Jalen (Reagor) and John Hightower and getting J.J. (Arcega-Whiteside) back out there and Greg Ward relatively new guys," said Pederson.
“You’re talking about two-and-a-half to three weeks of actual, full speed timing throws. I don’t care who you are throwing, I don’t care who the receivers are, two-and-a-half weeks to prepare for your first real game it’s not enough time. It’s not enough time. It’s a constant work in progress.”
Of course, every team had the same set of protocols and are doing better, but that’s neither here nor there in Pederson’s view, apparently.
VIDEO: Postgame breakdown from Eagles-Rams with Ed Kracz and John McMullen:
The same issues Wentz is having would be multiplied by 10 with Jalen Hurts if Hurts were to replace Wentz or even Nate Sudfeld.
Speaking of Hurts, Pederson said he is feeling no pressure to play him front the front office because Hurts was a second-round pick.
So, Pederson has restructured his practices a bit in order to get more detailed with the receivers and their route running and with Wentz and his pass-catchers trying to gain more chemistry and timing with each other.
“When you put the film on and watch these last couple of weeks, the mistakes we’re making they’re devastating mistakes,” said Pederson. “I understand that. But there’s a lot of good out there, too, and there’s a lot of positive we can build on and we’re not far off…The passing game is different, it takes some time. We’re going to continue to work and get better.”
It would be hard to go lower.
Wentz’s passer rating after two games is 64. He has thrown four interceptions already after not throwing his fourth last year until Oct. 20 and he had his first game without a touchdown pass since Nov. 18, 2018. His accuracy has been scattershot as well.
“I guess you could point to a lot of different things (on Wentz’s inaccurate throws), missing OTAs, not having all the necessary, maybe, reps during training camp, missing preseason games, whatever it might be, the timing of things with what we do in the passing game,” said Pederson.
“Just missing these throws. They’re throws that he typically would make the throw and it’s a little bit too on the receivers. Sometimes the receivers need to make the catch as well. Those are things we have to continue to work.”
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