NFL

Carson Wentz Makes Eagles Look Smart in Debut

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The Carson Wentz era is officially here.

When the Philadelphia Eagles decided to trade Sam Bradford to the Minnesota Vikings, it was obvious which direction this team was going.

After selecting Wentz with the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, everyone knew who the future guy was under center.

However, most didn’t expect it to come this soon.

Just months following the draft, Wentz made his professional debut against the Cleveland Browns in the ‘City of Brotherly Love’ and he wouldn’t disappoint. The 6-foot-5, 237 pound Wentz completed 22 of 37 passes for 278 yards to go along with two touchdowns in the team’s 29-10 victory.

It all started on the opening drive when Wentz completed four of five passes for 57 yards, capped off with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Matthews.

“It was huge. It gave me a lot of confidence,” Wentz explained. “Going down, moving the ball, getting that 20-yard touchdown or whatever it was right away, right off the bat, was huge for my confidence and was huge for this team’s confidence. I know the people here were rocking, so it was a lot of fun and was a great start to the year.”

Oh yeah, how about no turnovers as well.

You’d think, first career NFL start as a rookie quarterback would be nerve-racking, but don’t tell that to Wentz.

“I wasn’t really nervous. I really don’t get nervous,” said Wentz. “I like to listen to worship music before the game to kind of calm my nerves. I just go out and have fun. It’s a game and I try to enjoy it. I had a lot of fun today and the turnout was good.”

Sure, it was just the Browns.

Nonetheless, for a rookie to play with such control and poise as Wentz did in his first official NFL contest is impressive to say the least.

Center Jason Kelce agrees.

“I think what was really impressive as a rookie; he had so much poise today,” stressed Kelce. “I think there were a lot of things that the defense did. They didn’t hold back anything, obviously. They were coming after with some blitzes, some situations with some exotic stuff, and he didn’t let that get to him. I thought it was tremendously handled; the ups and downs of the game. He did a really good job for us.”

At the time of the Bradford trade, there were critics wondering if head coach Doug Pederson and the organization jumped the gun a bit.

After all, how many times have we seen young quarterbacks get thrown into the fire too early and flame out?

It’s too many for us to keep track of, which is why there’s people still wondering if Wentz is truly ready after coming from the FCS and playing in just one preseason game.

Yes, he balled out in week one against Cleveland, but it’s only one game, so there’s no need to overreact. With that being said, Wentz has left Philly fans with tons of optimism going forward.

“I will see what happens. At the end of the day, for me it’s still just about playing football. I have to block out the noise, both good and bad, and just get back to work. That’s what it’s about and the goal is to go 1-0 each week,” said the newest Philly sensation.

Things will get tougher next week as Wentz will play in his first road game against the Chicago Bears.


About Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.