ASHBURN, Virginia – Carson Wentz is no stranger to the rivalry between Washington and Philadelphia NFC East.
The change of sides left the Commanders quarterback with perspective.
“My career has been a whirlwind,” Wentz said Wednesday at the commanders practice facility. “I tell you.”
Wentz, 29, is a veteran quarterback on his third team in three seasons. The Eagles, the team that drafted Wentz No. 2 overall in 2016, he sent him to the Indianapolis Colts in favor of Jalen Hurts after the 2020 season. The Colts joined him after one season. For the first time, Wentz plays with one of his former teams. There will be mixed emotions, Wentz said.
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“I definitely enjoyed my time up there,” Wentz said. “It was a wild ride in many ways. I have grown a lot as a man. he got married. had a son. A lot of things. So I am very grateful for my time there.
“But it takes you off guard. Things change. You have to learn to grow, change, adapt. At the end of the day, I am grateful for this, I am grateful for the changes that life has brought. ”
In his second season with the Eagles, Wentz received MVP ratings and Philadelphia was 11-3 when he suffered an ACL tear that ended his season.
“He was solid,” said Washington head coach Ron Rivera. He has done some very good things and is a very capable player. We are very lucky to have it. “
Philadelphia won the Super Bowl less than three months after his injury. Wentz has regained his job as a starter but has had inconsistent seasons.
“It was a lot of fun. Obviously, we had a lot of success there,” said Wentz. “Winning the Super Bowl was really special, being a part of it was really cool. It is rather the city, rather the fan base, rather the experience, I will definitely enjoy my time there. But obviously being on the other side now, it will be quite different. ”
The path led Wentz to the commanders. In two games, he scored seven touchdowns between a loss to the Detroit Lions and a first-week win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Wentz leads NFC touchdowns and yards passed (650 yards).
His teammates are expecting nothing different in week 3 simply because of the opponent.
“Carson approaches the games the same way,” said wide receiver Terry McLaurin. “I really like how he approaches the receivers and you start talking about the game plan and how we want to attack the defense. He does a really great job of talking to each receiver about some plays they might have each week and talking about the point of capture, release and what he is thinking.
Under the guidance of coach Nick Sirianni, hired in 2021, the Eagles enter as one of the most impressive teams for two weeks, especially in attack. The Eagles lead the league with 470.5 yards per game.
Hurts leads the league in total attack (709 yards) and has three quick touchdowns. The dual threat approach causes the defensive coordinators to reach the Advil.
But Sirianni will scour the institutional acquaintances in the building to get an advantage over Wentz.
“You never leave any stone unturned,” said Sirianni. “Are you going to ask the people in the building who are familiar with Carson about him? Yes, I’m looking for information “.
Wentz won’t think too much about this, even after Seattle Seahawks’ wide receivers video favored defense on Russell Wilson’s hand signals on the scrimmage line during a week 1 win over the Denver Broncos.
“Sometimes in the heat of battle people think, ‘Oh, I got it. I know their signals,'” Wentz said. “But there is a lot to be done out there for both sides of the ball. I, personally, and I know a lot of guys don’t really care about these things until they have to.”
In Washington, Wentz joined a receiving unit that includes McLaurin and Jahan Dotson (seven catches, 99 yards, three touchdowns). Curtis Samuel (15 receptions, 133 yards, two touchdowns) is healthy after a groin injury limited him to five games last season. The options gave Wentz the opportunity to push the ball down the field and he averaged 7.5 yards per pass attempt.
“We know (Wentz) can get hot and be really on,” Sirianni said. “We know that he is powerful with the ball in his hand and can play at any time.”
That’s why Washington brought in Wentz, Rivera said. In a league with a more competitive quarterback market than ever, he was a top priority this off-season
“The analyzes that we had on Carson and the studio, I think they really talked about why it was as successful as it was,” Rivera said. “Look at those numbers, he’s playing with those numbers.”
“This tells you who he is and why he is important to us.”
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.