Report: Carson Wentz Described as 'Selfish'; QB Fails 'To Take Accountability'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2019

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) looks on during the NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Eagles won 32-30. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

The Philadelphia Eagles have committed to Carson Wentz as the franchise quarterback of the future, despite the success of Nick Foles in the past two seasons.

It's a decision that may not sit well with some of his teammates.

According to a report from Joseph Santoliquito of PhillyVoice.com, several unnamed Eagles were critical of Wentz and his personality:

"Indeed, sources describe Wentz as 'incredibly hard working,' 'determined,' and 'highly intelligent.' But the true Wentz is more nuanced and complicated, with sources describing him as 'selfish,' 'uncompromising,' 'egotistical,' one who plays 'favorites' and doesn't like to be 'questioned,' one who needs to 'practice what he preaches' and fails 'to take accountability.' 

Another unnamed teammate reportedly suggested that Wentz was entitled:

"Carson Wentz's biggest enemy is Carson Wentz. He's had his ass kissed his whole life, and sometimes acts like he's won 10 Super Bowls, when he hasn't played in, let alone won, a playoff game yet. Everyone around him wants good things for him. He did more thinking on the field than he did playing (in 2018). You don't have to be a brain surgeon or a football expert to see how differently this team plays and reacts with one guy as opposed to the other."

Several of Wentz's teammates categorically denied the report, however: 

Brandon Brooks @bbrooks_79

@fcoxx_91 What my guy @fcoxx_91 said!!! https://t.co/DpRr39ZcEI

Zach Ertz @ZERTZ_86

Don’t believe everything you read!!! Carson has been nothing but a GREAT person, GREAT teammate and GREAT leader since Day 1. Our locker room stands behind him all the way. We can’t wait to get back to work and be the best team we can be in 2019! #FlyEaglesFly

Lane Johnson @LaneJohnson65

Whoever wrote that article needs to check their "sources". #fakenews Carson has been and is our leader and our QB. Y'all know where to find me if you have any issues. #flyeaglesfly

Nate Sudfeld @NateSudfeld

#FlyEaglesFly https://t.co/nbnI0eNeEo

Reuben Frank @RoobNBCS

My bad ... that Jason Kelce quote was from Nick Fierro at the Allentown Morning-Call ... wasn't attributed on Reddit ... here ya go: https://t.co/5wPOW2r2SP

Sal Paolantonio of ESPN (via Brian Franey of ESPN), contacted a "senior official" with the Eagles who rejected the depiction of Wentz in the story.

"You are seeing what his teammates are saying about Carson," the official told Paolantonio. "Great leader in the locker room and on the field. Carson is a good person, great character. Story has no legs."

Nonetheless, Santoliquito wrote that several unnamed Eagles claimed that Wentz had a tendency to "complicate" the offense and "bullied" offensive coordinator Mike Groh. He reportedly didn't want to run the same concepts and plays that had worked a season prior because it was "Foles' stuff."

Per that report, former offensive coordinator Frank Reich and former quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo were able to "rein Wentz in and stop him from going off-point," making sure he ran the offense and didn't freelance outside of the team's scheme. Foles, meanwhile, was described as running the offense through its progressions and quickly hitting the open receiver.

But Wentz reportedly played "favorites," namely tight end Zach Ertz, and would check out of running plays that Foles would allow the offense to run. 

One player suggested that Wentz simply needs a bit more humility:

"He has to return to who 'Carson Wentz' is. That comes with relaxing and not forcing things. It also comes with being able to take constructive criticism. He has to learn that it's not always about him and that's partly what hurt this team this year. We know what type of player he can be, and who he normally is. He needs to realize it’s the Philadelphia Eagles not the Philadelphia Carsons. A little humility goes a long way."

Several Philadelphia-based sportswriters and radio personalities challenged the report, however:

Glen Macnow @RealGlenMacnow

All I can say is I have spoken to many @Eagles players - on an off the record. Not one has ever disparaged Wentz as a teammate or leader. I predicted this narrative: Wentz becomes the bad guy. It’s not fair to him. https://t.co/hESTUMj1yV

David Murphy @ByDavidMurphy

Re: The Carson Wentz report...the trouble with anonymously-sourced character studies is the identity of the observer matters. In any group of 50+ human beings, there will be a few malcontents. Without knowing who is giving their opinion, it's hard to know how to weight it

Howard Eskin @howardeskin

These comments coming from both sides of the team suporting Carson Wentz. I’ve been around #Eagles players all year and never once heard or noticed anything close to these issues. Carson in everything I’ve heard from players is anything close than this story portrayed. https://t.co/81a4T1DYRA

Regardless of who leaked the report or just how fair the categorization of Wentz is, there's no doubt that the Eagles operated better offensively under Foles in 2018. Wentz can surely thrive in Philadelphia—he was an MVP candidate in 2017 before his ACL tear—but he didn't play his best football upon his return in 2018.

For Wentz, finding a way to return to his 2017 level of play should be the key to this offseason, even if behind closed doors that requires some personal adjustments and on the field means trusting more in the offense.