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Carson Wentz Talks Pressure of Taking over from Nick Foles, Injuries, More

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 15, 2019

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz walks on the field before an NFL divisional playoff football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz addressed the media Monday and discussed multiple topics, including the pressure of taking the reins back from Nick Foles.

According to Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia, Wentz acknowledged that regaining the starting role next season could come with additional pressure given the success Foles had the past two years:

"It could. Without a doubt. You look at that and you could say it could put more pressure. I mean, you can say coming into the season there was more pressure. But I do everything I can to block that stuff out. I think right now, going forward, my focus is getting my body right. And to play this game freely the way I did last year before the injury and cut it loose. Get rid of all that pressure and anxiety and whatever it may be, just play the game freely. And that’s where I’m going to get to."

Wentz missed the final three regular-season games and both of the Eagles' playoff contests with a back injury, but Foles and the Eagles fell short in Sunday's NFC divisional-round game against the New Orleans Saints, which ended their hopes of repeating as Super Bowl champions.

In addition to helping the Eagles reach the playoffs this season, Foles led them to the Super Bowl last year and was named the game's MVP in Philly's upset win over the New England Patriots.

Foles stepped in for Wentz late last year when he suffered a knee injury, and Wentz lamented the fact that he has yet to take part in a playoff game: "Yeah, super frustrating. You want to play postseason football. I still have zero games of postseason football under my belt. I realize I have a lot to prove in that regard. I'm confident that I will get the chance to do that."

Given Foles' playoff success, there has been some controversy regarding whether the Eagles should move forward with Wentz or Foles as their starter. While Foles led the Eagles to the first Super Bowl win in franchise history, he will turn 30 this month, while Wentz is still just 26.

Although Wentz has no playoff experience, he was well on his way to being named NFL MVP in 2017 when he threw for 3,296 yards, 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 13 games before getting injured.

He was also putting up solid numbers this season with 3,074 yards, 21 touchdowns and seven picks in 11 games.

Considering Wentz is young and seemingly has all the tools needed to be a superstar, it is difficult to argue against keeping him.

Wentz is eligible for a contract extension this offseason as a three-year pro, but he isn't yet interested in discussing that: "I'm not going to go there. Not right now, especially after the season ending yesterday the way it did."

The likeliest scenario for the Eagles seemingly involves trading Foles to a place where he could be a full-time starter. If that happens, it would be a complete vote of confidence in Wentz, and it would remove the safety net the Eagles previously had when he went down with injuries.

Foles has been a luxury, but since he has earned the opportunity to start, parting ways with him is perhaps the best way to give everyone involved what they want.

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