What on Earth did Doug Pederson do to Carson Wentz?

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Reuben Frank
·4 min read
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What on Earth did Doug Pederson do to Carson Wentz? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

We’ve heard from numerous sources over the past week that Carson Wentz isn’t sure he can co-exist with Doug Pederson.

That the rift that’s grown between them will likely lead to Wentz demanding a trade.

What we don’t know is why.

None of the anonymous sources has explained exactly what caused the fissure between Pederson and Wentz and how what appeared to be a healthy and productive relationship for four years suddenly became so poisoned that Wentz doesn’t even want to be here anymore.

What the heck did Doug do to the poor guy?

I suppose it would be understandable if Wentz didn’t feel the organization had surrounded him with enough weapons for him to be successful or if he felt the Eagles betrayed him by drafting Jalen Hurts. But those are front office issues. Those are Howie Roseman issues. And nobody has said Wentz doesn’t want to be here because of Roseman.

No, by all accounts this is a Carson-Doug issue, and it’s hard to imagine what Pederson could have possibly done for Wentz to feel so hurt.

Is he really that angry about getting benched that he wants to be traded? If anything, Pederson waited too long to sit him down. Wentz was awful. The Eagles were still in the NFC East race at the time and Pederson was correct to try anything to jump start the offense. You can’t just keep running the guy out there if nothing’s changing. Pederson gave Wentz 11 1/2 games to get his act together, which is a lot of rope. Wentz never responded.

Is he upset about Pederson’s play calling? Maybe. It wasn’t very good this year. But when you look at Wentz’s mistakes - holding onto the ball too long, throwing into traffic, fumbling - they had nothing to do with play calling.

Is he mad that the coaching staff changes didn’t work for him? Could be. But his confidant, Press Taylor, had his duties expanded this year and had an even bigger role in the offense. Pederson promoted Taylor to accommodate Wentz.

Is he disappointed that Pederson said last month he wanted Wentz to be more accountable and that Pederson at times was hard on Wentz while he was struggling? You better have a thicker skin than that if you’re going to play quarterback in the NFL. There’s nothing Pederson said in public that Wentz shouldn’t have already known.

Wentz had three terrific years under Pederson, and Pederson helped make Wentz a very wealthy man. Safe to say that if Pederson hadn’t helped Wentz reach the level he did from 2017 through 2019 – 81 touchdowns, 21 interceptions, 64 percent accuracy, 98.3 passer rating – that four-year, $128 million contract never would have happened.

If anything, Wentz should be grateful to Pederson for helping him become one of the NFL’s top seven or eight quarterbacks before this past season began.

It’s really hard to imagine what Pederson could have done to Wentz between the end of 2019 and the end of 2020 for things to unravel like this.

And if Wentz sees getting benched when he was statistically the worst quarterback in the NFL as some sort of violation of trust then he needs to look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that he deserved to sit.

Pederson hasn’t been perfect. He hasn’t had a great year, that’s obvious.

But there isn’t one thing he’s done that warrants Wentz responding the way he has.

If he wants to stay here and try to win his job back, great. Roll up your sleeves and get to work. Be that competitor you always say you are.

But if you’re really that fragile that you can no longer play here because you got benched in the middle of one of the worst seasons by an established quarterback in the last 25 years, then it really is time to pack up your bags.

Stick around and fight for your job or blame it all on someone else and leave. We’re about to learn a lot about Carson Wentz.

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