Carson Wentz must learn ‘fine line' of attacking downfield


It was perhaps the worst throw Carson Wentz has made since joining the Eagles

And a day later, no one forgot about it. 

“You probably saw one yesterday: the interception was not a great decision,” head coach Doug Pederson said on Wednesday afternoon. 

On Tuesday, Wentz reared back and lofted a fluttering pass deep for wideout Hunter Sharp into tight coverage. But instead, the ball fluttered into the hands of safety Chris Maragos for an easy interception. 

“We actually didn’t talk about that one,” Wentz said with a smile. “I don’t think there was much to be said. Just a poor decision, poor throw and, yeah, I kind of shook that one off.” 

That’s been the good and bad of Wentz so far this spring. He’s aggressive enough to want to throw the ball downfield, even more so than the two veterans in front of him on the depth chart (see Day 2 observations). And that aggressiveness is a good thing. 

Pederson said he loves the attacking nature that comes naturally for Wentz. It’s just that sometimes, the team would rather Wentz rein it in, which is what his college coaches would ask of him at times also. 

“I think there’s a fine line,” Wentz said. “I think there’s a time to be aggressive. I think that’s something I like to bring. I like to push the ball down the field when it’s there. 

“But there’s also a time to just take the underneath one and that also comes with learning, learning the offense. Again, that’s kind of those fine detail things as to when you should attack and when you shouldn’t type of thing. I’m learning that every day.”

While Wentz has been going deep more than Sam Bradford or Chase Daniel this spring, his accuracy on those throws hasn’t really improved. Perhaps it could have something to do with what Pederson thinks Wentz needs to improve upon the most: fundamentals with his lower body and footwork.

Another area that could stand to see some improvement is how the ball comes out of his hand. Pederson and Wentz admitted that there’s been some wobble on his throws this spring instead of tight spirals. Pederson said the wobble isn’t a concern and thinks it will work itself out organically. 

Wentz, meanwhile, admitted the wobble in his throw isn’t something new. At times, his throws at North Dakota State didn’t come out clean either. 

“Timing and accuracy is really what matters at the end of the day,” Wentz said. “As a quarterback, yeah, it looks pretty sometimes, but that’s not always the end all be all.”

Pederson said Wentz has made great strides in understanding the offensive scheme and terminology. Obviously, Wentz is far from a finished product and will have a chance to continue to grow throughout training camp. The question will, of course, arise about his workload. For now, he’s working with the threes but has generally been getting the same amount of reps as Bradford. Once the season approaches, that will change. But for now, he’s throwing a ton and his arm feels good. 

Even though Thursday will mark the end of the team’s mandatory minicamp, Wentz’s work with his teammates won’t end. Next month, he’ll be heading to a non-formal passing camp in San Diego organized by Bradford, along with a decent-sized faction of other Eagles. 

“Yeah, I will be there,” the rookie said. “I think we'll be there probably a week, is the plan. Just to develop a rapport. [We need] timing not only on the field but doing some routes. It'll be good to spend time with the guys, hang out with them and get to know them on another level. I'm looking forward to that.”

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