During his press conferences, Carson Wentz always keeps an even keel. He’s positive, he’s optimistic.
But it’s fair to wonder what he’s been like behind closed doors throughout the last three weeks of this season. Because the Eagles are 0-2-1 and Wentz has played like one the worst quarterbacks in the NFL so far.
On Thursday, I had a chance to ask one of his best friends, Zach Ertz, how Wentz has been dealing with these struggles behind the scenes.
Ertz has been impressed.
“He holds himself to a really high standard,” Ertz said. “So no matter what is going on on the outside, no matter how quote-unquote ‘hard’ people are going to be on him, he’s going to be hardest on himself, and he goes back after each and every game and reflects and sees how we can be better. He doesn’t let the outside world, per se, kind of influence his day-to-day. He’s very grounded in his faith obviously, so he knows that we can all play better, that’s the bottom line. We all gotta play better.
“He’s very even keeled and from a leader I think that’s what you have to do. You can’t be a roller coaster where one day you’re in a great mood and the next day you’re pissed off yelling at everyone else. The leader of the football team's gotta set the tone in how they carry themselves and he does that to a very high degree in my opinion, but he’s eager in the sense that he wants to win football games. We all got that urgency that we have to win a football game, and that’s the goal this weekend.”
The leadership aspect of Wentz’s role with the Eagles shouldn’t be overlooked. He’s been a captain for several years and as the starting quarterback, he needs to be a leader.
So no matter how frustrated he might be about his awful start, he can’t let that frustration alienate any of his teammates. It might be annoying for some fans to hear the same responses week after week from Wentz, it’s by design. He’s trying to be the same guy each week for his teammates. Of course he wants to improve, but he doesn’t want his personality to change either.
Ertz on Thursday made sure to point out that the Eagles’ offensive struggles aren’t all on Wentz. He said the entire offense knows it has to play better.
That’s obviously true. But it also feels like if Wentz doesn’t play better, then none of that other stuff will matter.
His teammates, at least the ones who have spoken publicly this week, have all gone out of their way to show support for Wentz. Ertz was obviously no different.
“He’s going to do everything he can to be the best quarterback he can be, the best leader,” Ertz said. “Even though there are times maybe he’s had a few bad plays, the leadership has never dropped. That’s something you love to see in your quarterback and the leader of your football team, and it’s something you can’t take for granted."