PHILADELPHIA — Talking Thursday about his improvement as a pacesetter, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz famous he’s coming into his fifth NFL season, and obtained caught on that thought for a second.
“It nonetheless appears loopy to say it is my fifth yr,” Wentz mentioned, breaking right into a smile as the subsequent thought popped up. “Positively really feel like a veteran now.”
Wanting on the variations between this summer season and final exhibits the accelerated timeline NFL gamers work on, and the way a lot has modified in a calendar yr for Wentz, who instantly finds himself smack in his prime and with loads to show.
Begin with the bodily. Final yr, Wentz arrived at coaching camp noticeably slimmed down, the product of a refined gluten-free food plan and a reimagined exercise routine that targeted on mobility, flexibility and vary of movement as a substitute of “the highschool/faculty mindset of simply elevate, elevate, elevate, work laborious, work laborious.”
His dwelling gymnasium clearly obtained loads of use over the previous few months, as Wentz arrived on the Eagles’ facility this week trying extra muscular than he has ever been.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) July 27, 2020
“The final couple offseasons I used to be coping with accidents and attempting to bounce again from accidents. This offseason, I used to be actually in a position to get after it and work out just a little more durable within the gymnasium and all these issues,” mentioned Wentz, who was shut down in 2018 with a fracture in his again and the yr earlier than that with torn ligaments in his knee. “I have not gained something insane for weight, however I’ve undoubtedly gained some weight and really feel good the place I am at.”
Some have joked that it is only a matter of including “dad power.” Wentz, who’s 6-foot-5 and was listed at 237 kilos final yr, turned a father in April, an occasion that immediately modified his perspective on life, he mentioned. Wentz and his spouse, Maddie, talked and prayed lots about him returning to work amid the coronavirus pandemic, and be ok with his choice to play in 2020.
One of many oldest groups within the league began a youth motion this offseason, with veterans leaders similar to security Malcolm Jenkins departing as a brand new wave of expertise arrived. It included Jalen Hurts, the gifted signal-caller out of Oklahoma whom the Eagles shockingly chosen within the second spherical of the 2020 NFL draft. The Eagles stay dedicated to Wentz, however the addition of Hurts brings a brand new dynamic to the QB room, which included Nate Sudfeld, Cody Kessler and Clayton Thorson this time final yr. How might it not really feel just like the temperature has been turned up a notch or two?
“I have been lucky sufficient to be surrounded by some actually good quarterbacks, and that is not going to vary my method to the sport personally or how I assist him,” Wentz mentioned of Hurts. “I’ll be right here for him, assist him to grasp the ins and outs of the sport and finally do what I can to assist the crew, and that is to assist convey him alongside as properly.”
The brand new wave additionally introduced three pace broad receivers in Jalen Reagor, Quez Watkins and John Hightower by the use of the draft. Wentz expressed pleasure about their arrival. And why not? The trio guarantees so as to add an explosive factor to an offense that Wentz needed to push like a boulder uphill far too typically in 2019.
Beginning round Thanksgiving final season, proper earlier than Wentz actually obtained that rock rolling, gamers started voting for the 2020 NFL Prime 100 record, a course of that stretched over six weeks. Wentz was left off the record. He was No. 96 in 2019, manner down from his No. three end following his near-MVP marketing campaign the yr prior.
It is yet one more factor that can be utilized as gasoline for what might show to be a defining season for the instantly veteran Carson Wentz.
“You have seen me through the years: I often do not get too caught up in loads of that stuff. Once I see it, I often want I did not see it or hear about it,” he mentioned. “However you may at all times use something and the whole lot simply as just a little bit of additional motivation. So it’s what it’s, it is voted on by the gamers. I am not going to let that trigger me to lose any sleep or something. However I do sit up for going out this yr and displaying what I can do with my teammates.”