Carson Wentz Era Begins Week 1: Excitement Builds Despite Inexperience

Sep 19, 2016, 00:40

Per Pederson, Wentz has fully recovered from the rib injury he suffered during his first preseason action. More than any team, they need as many picks as possible to remedy their perpetually poor showing and with a new management team both in the front office and on the sidelines, a larger fresh start than pinning it all on one, unproven player is the smarter road. In fact, I don't even think that even factors into his thinking, " Pederson said.

"Hello, do you know us?" I knew I was taking the mental reps, being out the last couple of weeks, even going out to the first preseason game. "I felt like I've developed at a fast pace". I'm confident in myself, I'm confident in this team. Don't get me wrong, it's a big deal, big moment for me and I'm excited for it, but I'm not trying to make it bigger than it needs to be. And don't feel like any less of a football fan if you don't recognize more than two or three of the names on there. "This stage is not too big for him", Pederson said.

Pederson said Wentz was drafted "to take the reins". The optimism continued throughout training camp to the point that Pederson was comfortable trading Bradford one week before the season.

So why did the Browns, a team that has QB turnover like none other, decide to pass on the opportunity to select the player who the Eagles jumped up the draft to fill their ever-popular "quarterback of the future" role for a reclamation effort with RGIII?

"What he did in all OTAs, what he's done around this building, the plays he's made in practice, in the one preseason game has given me confidence that he can lead this football team". And keep in mind, while Jackson takes over an obviously depleted roster, he was able to guide the Oakland Raiders to one of their two.500 finishes in the last 13 years, so this is not an entirely unique position to him.

Joe Thomas has been to nine consecutive Pro Bowls, but the left tackle has never been a cure-all for Cleveland's offensive line woes.

Neither can Wentz's teammates. "I really just block it out", Wentz said. I don't need, necessarily, that extra yard. This guy loves to play football.

Wentz seemed undaunted by any additional pressure that might come his way. He'll be the first rookie quarterback to start an opener for the Eagles since at least 1950, and the fans will be energized about the player the Eagles acquired with the second overall pick in a blockbuster pre-draft trade - from the Browns, no less.

In a recent interview with ESPN's Tony Grossi, Browns chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta claimed that the reason the Browns didn't target Wentz in this year's draft was because they did not believe he was a franchise quarterback. After the Bradford trade, there was word that Wentz would be the starter as soon as he was healthy.

While protecting Wentz will be of the utmost importance heading into the regular season, Pederson said he believes backup quarterback Chase Daniel will serve as a great mentor to the young quarterback.

"Guys were excited. Guys were excited for Carson", Pederson said.

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