Aren’t you excited to tell your kids about the days when you, Greg Ward, your neighbor from 3 doors down, and I were catching touchdown passes from Carson Wentz en route to helping the Eagles clinch the NFC East and secure a playoff spot?

Okay, that may not be exactly how the story went but it certainly feels like it. After losing his a multitude of his top targets 75% through the season, Carson Wentz successfully played the hand he was dealt becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 4,000 yards without having a single receiver go over 500 yards on the season.

As we know the season for Carson Wentz is a tale of two stories…

Wentz through weeks 1-13:

  • 236.7 Yards Per Game
  • 20 TDs
  • 7 INTs
  • Passer Rating: 90.0%
  • 6.5 Yards Per Attempt

Wentz through weeks 14-17:

  • 299.8 Yards Per Game
  • 7 TDs
  • 0 INTs
  • Passer Rating: 100.8%
  • 6.9 Yards Per Attempt

While Wentz’ stats in the first half of the season were admirable, with the Eagles sitting at five wins, there were seven losses that include blowouts against Dallas and Minnesota, heartbreakers against Seattle and New England, and an inexplicable loss to a woeful Miami team that made any good Carson Wentz would do seem irrelevant. This isn’t to say Wentz wasn’t at fault as errant passes, missed reads, and untimely sacks were just as much to blame as the injuries, drops, and anything else that could go wrong during the 2019 season.

Winning, however, is the cure to just about any problems a franchise faces, unless you’re the ’97-98 Chicago Bulls of courses.

So the 2019 season will go down as the year the Eagles overcame the odds to get Carson Wentz to the playoffs (what happened is another story for another day).

Yet despite this improbable run of sorts, the fact of the matter remained that the Eagles offense was lacking in arguably the most important department an offense in today’s league should have. SPEED! It was bad enough that the threat of a guy like DeSean Jackson was sorely missed, but the fact that the Eagles receivers couldn’t create an ounce of separation made things considerably worse.

To give you an idea as to how little separation there was between a Philadelphia receiver and an opponent, here are some numbers from NFL Next Gen Stats:

Photo: NFL Next Gen Stats

While Wentz has loved himself a tight window throw since his days at North Dakota State, these numbers are far from on purpose ladies and gentlemen. So in order to address the situation at hand, Eagles coach Doug Pederson publicly stated that the Eagles offense will “look different”.

The question is, how different will the offense look?

Well if the moves Philadelphia made during the off-season have the expected impact, then a lot of people will be really happy, including the franchise quarterback.

To improve an offense ranked 22nd in average max speed by an offensive ball carrier (12.85), the Eagles went on a quest to add elements to the offense that are beneficial to the skill set of Carson Wentz.

Here’s what they are.

Speed Kills

The Eagles brass has been on the search to find Carson Wentz a legitimate weapon to threaten over the top since the moment he entered the league in 2016. Which, who can blame them; Carson Wentz has excelled in games played with guys who can be considered a deep threat (Torrey Smith & DeSean Jackson).

Wentz in games with Jackson or Smith

  • 12-2 record
  • Completion Percentage: 61.1 %
  • 3,609 yards
  • 36 TDs
  • 7 INTs
  • Passer Rating: 104.1 %

So to combat the lack of playmakers at the receiver position, Philadelphia acquired multiple guys who can stretch the field in the draft and via trade. Pederson previously has made it known this off-season, that the Eagles would love to continue to use 12 personnel (1 RB-2 TE-2 WR) as their base offense.

Which means Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz are set to be a prominent role in the offense, but what about the players around them?

Imagine an offensive set that includes Ertz and Goedert as the inside receivers, Miles Sanders in the backfield, with Jalen Reagor and DeSean Jackson as the outside receivers.

That unit would instantly become a matchup nightmare for just about every defense in the league. Shades of 2010, maybe?

Photo: —

It sounds great thinking about it but when you take into account the fact that Wentz was at his best throwing the ball in areas where each of the four pass-catcher named generally sees a bulk of their success. It gives you a glimpse into how the Eagles will look to attack opponents this upcoming season. With the deep and intermediate passing game now having the space to operate, that will allow things to open up for the usual underneath work, such as the abundance of screens we see from Doug Pederson’s offense. To ensure the injuries that hampered Philadelphia’s offense for a majority of last season doesn’t happen again, Howie Roseman bought in reinforcements like Jalen Reagor, Marquise Goodwin, and John Hightower. These additions should allow the Eagles offense the opportunity to successfully attack defenses at all three levels on a consistent basis.

The Rich get Richer

Philadelphia went on an extensive search this off-season to find a-Doug Pederson another offensive coordinator. After a month the Eagles announced that there would be no offensive coordinator, instead opting to assign different titles to multiple coaches

The Eagles offensive coaching staff will now look like.

  • Head Coach: Doug Pederson
  • Passing Game Coordinator/Quarterback Coach: Press Taylor
  • Run Game Coordinator/Offensive line coach: Jeff Stoutland
  • Senior Offensive Assistant: Rich Scangarello
  • Pass Game Analyst: Andrew Breiner
  • Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs Coach: Duce Staley
  • Wide Receivers Coach: Aaron Moorehead
  • Tight Ends Coach: Justin Peele

Earlier in the off-season at the NFL Scouting Combine, Doug Pederson explained why this was the best decision for the Eagles offense moving forward on the Eagles Insider Podcast with Dave Spadaro.

” Bottom line, I’m the one calling plays on game day. So in some facets, you could consider me the offensive coordinator as well. The more I thought about it, I’m like, just again, I’m really excited about the Press. I think he’s got a bright future. Giving him the title of passing game coordinator, really again, gives him the opportunity to give more thought and input on our game plans. Having Rich being as a senior offensive assistant, he can assist and help sort of bridge the gap with Stoutland and Press and putting all the pieces together, along with myself and Justin Peele and Duce Staley. Just bringing our game plans together. That’s what I want. That’s my vision for this season and really have a seamless transition that way. When we win, we win as a team. Again, it’s not about one guy getting the credit. I feel like this is the best structure for us, for me as the play-caller. Because there are times when I get pulled in a lot of different directions and I gotta lean on Press. And I’m going to have to lean on Rich and Jeff Stoutland and the guys to really pull the game plans together and really give me the information that I need as we prepare for games.” – Doug Pederson

The coaching acquisition that will seem to have the biggest impact on the Eagles offense this upcoming season is Rich Scangarello, the new senior offensive assistant. Scangarello is best known for the time he has spent with Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers as the QB coach and the work he did with backups Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard. The former Denver Broncos offensive coordinator had rookie quarterback Drew Lock performing at a high level to end the season, despite the Broncos being the only team to finish at the bottom of the league in points, yards, third-down percentage, and red zone percentage in Scangarello’s only season. The big knock on Scangarello as the offensive coordinator was his inabilities as a play-caller, however, it was said that he did a phenomenal job when it came to playing design and scheming up a game plan.

This looks as if a match made in heaven for Scangarello, Pederson, and Carson Wentz as each party is sure to gain a lot from this alliance. Scangarello has the benefit of not having to call plays as Pederson handles that duty, while Scangarello can help implement schematic concepts of his own. Thus adding a few unfamiliar wrinkles to Pederson’s system we’ve seen over the last four years. As for Carson Wentz and where he fits into this equation; in Scangarello’s modified version of the Shanahan system, there is still plenty of emphasis on utilizing the play-action game off of different zone rushing concepts (expect to see the Eagles add more counters and outside zones to go along with their wham, trap, and inside zone concepts), along with more quarterback rollouts to get Wentz on the move. Which once again makes sense when you take into account that Wentz is at his best when performing outside out the pocket.

Photo: Bill Streicher/USA Today

It seems as if Philadelphia has essentially dedicated the off-season to make calculated decisions to maximize the potential of their franchise signal-caller. With Wentz now playing on the fifth and final year of his rookie contract before heading into the first season of the four-year, $128m extension he signed in June of 2019.

As Howie Roseman told NFL Networks Ian Rapoport:

“Coach Pederson and me. Mr. Lurie and I. We are all married to Carson. We’ve shown it with our actions.”

The same can be said for Wentz, who reaffirmed his belief in the organization when asked about the selection of Jalen Hurts.

“I think the team showed their faith in me last year” with the contract, he said. “I have nothing but confidence and faith in them and they have confidence and faith in me. … If I were to start questioning Howie and management now, I’d really be questioning myself,”

With a contract, a commitment, and a new and improved arsenal, it’s safe to say the Philadelphia Eagles are all in on their Carson Wentz investment.

Featured Image: CBS 3-Philly
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