Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is speaking for the first time about a report last month that characterized him as selfish and lacking a team mentality.
Wentz spoke with a small group of reporters recently at the team’s practice facility, according to ESPN, and outlets dropped the story Monday morning after the Eagles officially lost their reigning Super Bowl champion status.
Report paints Wentz in bad light
A January report from Joe Santoliquito at PhillyVoice cited numerous anonymous sources inside the Eagles locker room and NFL who characterized Wentz as “selfish,” “egotistical” and one who plays favorites on the field.
It reported that the 26-year-old is one who needs to “practice what he preaches” and that he fails “to take accountability.”
Teammates quickly rushed to his defense on Twitter and insisted the team is behind him.
Wentz takes accountability
In contrast to the story, Wentz took accountability for some of what was reported. From ESPN:
“I know who I am, first of all. I know how I carry myself. I know I’m not perfect. I know I have flaws,” he said during a sit-down with a small group of reporters at the Eagles’ practice facility recently. “So I’m not going to sit here and say it was inaccurate and completely made up. I’m not going to do that. But at the end of the day, I will say our locker room is really close. If there were guys that had issues, in hindsight, I wish we could have just talked about them. But, again, I don’t know how that all happened and everything with that.”
He said he didn’t sense the friction, but asked himself why others may have seen him that way and what he could do to better it in the future.
“I realize I have my shortcomings. Yes, I can be selfish. I think we all have selfishness inside of us. There’s human elements to that, that I really look at and say, ‘Well, I can get better.'”
Emotion of injuries plays its part
Went said he “maybe wasn’t the greatest teammate at times,” per ESPN, because of injuries that separated him from the group both in practice and in watching from the sidelines on game days.
Wentz came back from an ACL injury in 2018, but missed the Eagles final three games. Nick Foles, who quarterbacked the Eagles in the Super Bowl victory, took over again.
Wentz said he was “emotionally kind of all over the place” and neglected certain aspects of being a teammate and friend.
He described himself as a Type-A person, who at 26 is “to some extent” set in his personality. He said his confidence won’t change but he is learning to walk the line between being pushy and being humble.
Wentz disputes portions of it
The PhillyVoice report included a mention that a “highly respected teammate” once verbally attacked Wentz for “not being a ‘team guy.'” The quarterback told reporters he “didn’t know what that was about.”
He also denied that he didn’t want rushing plays since it was “Foles stuff,” and that he “bullied” offensive coordinator Mike Groh. He said the two had “healthy dialogue” and to say he bullied the coordinator was “disrespectful to Groh.”
Wentz also spoke about previous coordinator Frank Reich, adding that their competitive arguments were also healthy.
“That stuff happens,” Wentz said. “That’s, I think, what good football teams have, the ability to respectfully do that and kind of be stubborn and those things. It was the same way with Groh.”
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