Inside The Birds: Wentz's Mechanics Under Microscope
Eagles training camp so far has mainly centered on wide receivers, new starters on the offensive line, and the rapid acclimation of rookies who didn’t have OTAs and minicamps to prepare for the start of training camp.
It’s been a relatively quiet camp for Carson Wentz, who enters his fifth season and has cemented his status as one of the NFL’s most talented, but also streaky, quarterbacks. In the latest Inside the Birds podcast, co-hosts Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan share what they’ve been told from sources about Wentz’s summer camp in light of recent observations from beat reporters at practice about Wentz’s inconsistency.
“I was told Carson is having a very good camp, especially when you consider that there were no OTAs and he’s got a lot of new guys to work with,” Mosher said. “The one thing I [asked] was, ‘What about the mechanics?’ He is known to sail passes.”
Mosher was referring to a past ITB episode in which guest analyst Greg Cosell observed from extensive 2019 tape review that Wentz tended to “miss too many layups,” occasionally mis-firing on routine passes.
Wentz struggled with accuracy and mechanics last season during a three-game losing streak coming out of the bye week that dropped the Eagles to 5-7 before they rallied to win their last four.
“When I asked and followed up on that, the answer I got was, basically, look, this is Carson. We know that these are always going to be a part of his game,” Mosher added. “They also think that’s the product when you often see a quarterback have to work with an entirely new set of weapons all the time, which he really he had to do last year. They had receivers running in and out, guys signed off the street.
“And now he’s dealing with the same thing. They’re trying to get [Jalen] Reagor worked in, trying to get [John] Hightower, theyre trying to get the other kid –[Quez] Watkins – worked in. Carson is throwing to a lot of guys and he just doesn’t have the timing and rhythm that you would see with, say, Drew Brees and Michael Thomas, who connect 110 times a year.”
Caplan noted that Wentz’s mechanics were adjusted prior to the 2017 season, when then-quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo tried to help Wentz improve upon some of his rookie-season overthrows and inconsistencies.
“What [DeFilippo] said was he made a decision because he reviewed the ’16 tape that … the process was taking too long,” Caplan said. “If you watched him in OTAs in May, it was not pretty. I heard he wasn’t loving doing it because he had done it a certain way his whole life.”
Wentz led the Eagles to 11 wins before going down with a knee injury that led to Nick Foles leading the team to its first Super Bowl win.
“I don’t worry about Wentz, I really don’t,” Caplan added. “He’s still going to go through some bouts of inaccuracy, and you just have to live with it.”
Other notes from the latest ITB: On Zach Ertz’s contract talks
Caplan: “Not that it was close last December, the Eagles thought they were going to get a deal done with Zach. The structure was not to his liking. Here’s what I can tell you: they’re not not close, they’ve never been close. They’re talking. I would say this – and no one has told me this – … I don’t think he will play next year without a new deal.”
On first-round pick Jalen Reagor
Caplan: “We’ll see how good he is once the season starts because this is a different level. I got to tell you, the kid attacks the ball. The kid has got energy, he’s got all sorts of passion for the game talking to people close to the situation. He does one thing that needs to be cleaned up. He does double-catch the ball every now and then. He doesn’t always catch the ball with the proper technique.”
On fifth-round pick WR John Hightower
Mosher: “The one thing I’ve been told that really stands out about him, and that’s probably why you’re seeing him move around a little bit, of all the receivers I’m told his FBI –his football intelligence – is really impressive.”
On LT Andre Dillard
Caplan: “Here’s what I’m told: His worst practice of training camp was on Wednesday. From what I heard, at least a half-dozen plays were ones he would like to have back. It’s concerning. He needs to bounce back. But here’s the thing with Dillard. I’m told he also has had some really good snaps this training camp. But what happened Wednesday is very concerning.”
On seventh-round pick DE Casey Toohill
Caplan: “He’s grown on me. His high motor, he’s athletic. This kid is interesting. I think he’s now in the conversation to be one of the six [Des to make the team]. I didn’t think he had a prayer, but I asked someone I trust. I said, ‘Did what I see, is that legitimate?” The person said yes. He’s coming on.”
–– Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher are co-hosts of the Inside The Birds podcast, the leading podcast in Eagles intel. Listen to the latest "Inside The Birds" podcast here: