JUST THROW IT AWAY! Why does he keep holding the ball so long?! He’s trying to do too much!
These are the things we keep hearing this season, about QB Carson Wentz. Many people are saying that he’s regressing. If that’s the case then the entire Offense has regressed as well. And not because of Wentz.
When Wentz doesn’t throw the ball away after 4 seconds, that’s a decision. It is a decision when he sees a receiver not uncover, and then continue to hold the ball, and wait for a window. He is making decisions that lead to sacks and turnovers. Let’s acknowledge that right at the top. So we don’t need to debate about it later.
Let me ask a couple questions here. Who repeatedly draws up a bunch of long-ass routes with no check-downs? Was that Wentz? How about those plays where our receiver routes end up in bunches, which attracts defenders, creating no windows? Does Wentz design those? When you see him hold the ball forever, notice how you never yell, “There’s a guy right there!” Why is that?
Carson Wentz, ladies and gents, is largely being fucked over by play design. That’s coaching. Head Coach Doug Pederson is falling victim to the same trap that Andy Reid and TIK, fell victim to. The need to prove how clever they are. Thus, all these offensive coaches that Doug keeps adding to the staff, for “new ideas” and “new perspectives”.
Look, the Eagles won a Super Bowl behind a bruising run game, which opened up a mind-numbingly efficient intermediate passing game, lightly accented by a multifaceted deep game, which involved raw speed on one side, and receiver who’s open even when well covered, on the other. There was nothing “clever” about it.
Not at all.
We just took you to the woodshed.
Since then, we’ve lost Offensive Coordinator Frank Reich, with whom Doug had an almost psychic bond. Then we got away from simple and brutal. Seriously. Three years ago 220 pound RB Corey Clement was our small RB (after RB Darren Sproles was injured.) This year Clement is our big back. Over the last couple of seasons we’ve devolved into a finesse running team, with underachieving TE’s, and a spotty deep passing game.
Literally everything around Wentz has taken a step back. The Offensive Line isn’t as good. The TE position is in serious transition. The run game is soft. At WR we have Travis Fulgham and our fingers crossed. Even the coaching has slid. Yet people have somehow expected Wentz to return to the MVP form of 2017. That only makes sense if you’re incapable of discerning context.
During that 2017 season, he had a high functioning team around him. This year (in case you hadn’t noticed), he’s carrying this team on his back.
I keep waiting for Doug to help him out schematically. The Eagles (and everyone else) use WR motion to get teams to declare man or zone before the snap. But what about getting to dictate where a defender goes, even after the snap? Imagine if every time the opposing defense read it right, you could make them wrong anyway?
It wouldn’t require a new playbook, or totally new philosophy. Just the incorporation of basic concepts like this:
That’s not even a whole play. However, what it does, is show a simple way to manipulate the Safety (X), while quickly getting the ball out of Wentz’s hand. No turnovers plus easy yardage. And again, that’s just a fragment of a play which could be worked in, in numerous places. There are many similar concepts out there.
It’d be nice to see Wentz get a look at a few of them.