For the third week in a row Doug Pederson said he is not sure whether or not his starting quarterback will play in this week’s preseason game. Pederson told the media today, “[He is] not there yet. Obviously, we are focused on today, getting through today. Again, as you guys know usually wait till the last minute on those decisions, and uh, same is true this week.”
Even though Coach Pederson has left the door open to the possibility of Carson Wentz starting Thursday, it seems very unlikely. The Eagles have lost two quarterbacks to injury in the first two preseason games of the 2019 season. Pederson seems to like the joint practices for his players better than preseason games. When he was asked about whether or not he believes the NFL is moving away from preseason games to joint practices Pederson said, “I think that is the trend. I think that is where the league is going. I like it. The players like it. It breaks up hitting the same, your team mates for so long. The thing about practice, especially joint practice, is that as coaches we get to set the situations, control the environment.” In preseason games, the coaches have no control on the environment, and that is why so many starters are sitting out of preseason games.
Quarterback Carson Wentz said that it is Pederson’s call as to whether or not he plays against the Ravens Thursday night, but he is ready to go for week one even if he doesn’t play in any of this year’s preseason games. He went on to say that he believes he is getting plenty of good work in joint practice against the Raven’s talented defense. Wentz enjoys having the Raven’s defense in town to play against and said it breaks up the monotony of playing against his team mates.
Wentz has been focused on getting the ball out faster and putting more points on the board in the first quarter of games during practice. When asked if it has been a conscious decision of his not to scramble from the pocket this preseason, Wentz said no. “I think it goes back to playing fast and making quick decisions, and just going through my reads quicker. That part of my game [the scramble] is definitely not gone. You know it is still going to be there, but if I don’t need to why would I get out of the pocket when the o-line is holding up?” The quarterback then went on to reassure the media again by saying, “When I need to get out and make a play that will definitely still be a big part of my game.” If Wentz continues to throw 40 yard passes down the field to Alshon Jeffrey against players like Earl Thomas like he did yesterday in practice, he should remain in the pocket as much as possible.
Chances are fans will have to wait to see Wentz and some of the other starters play until the regular season, but who can argue with that call. The good news from today’s press conference is that we can expect to see Lane Johnson (knee) and Dallas Goedert (calf) back in action for week one as Coach Pederson confirmed that their recoveries are on schedule. With so many injuries to quarterbacks and players this offseason it just doesn’t make sense to start Wentz. The fourth-year-quarterback told reporters today that he feels good both physically and mentally. We need to keep it that way. The goal is not to come out of preseason 4-0. Our goal is to win another Super Bowl.