Carson Wentz refused to admit he had revenge on his mind when discussing the Philadelphia Eagles encounter. He had no animosity towards the franchise, which drafted and nursed him and then released him like a Lynyrd Skynyrd song.
Wentz treats the Commanders Eagles game as another game in week 3. He spoke only of good memories and a lot of fun during his five-year run in Philly. That’s a side issue. Up the corridor off I-95, some players come into the Eagles locker room with something to prove.
According to Brandon Graham, some guys had “circled” this game on the schedule. Revenge? Partially. Wentz somehow quit the team after being benched for Jalen Hurts in 2020.
“This situation is completely different with him, how it ended up being here, how things went,” Graham told reporters. “I just feel like if he ever plays us again some guys have just circled his game. So, it’s the first time I’ve seen him since he’s gone. So, you know, we’re going to do what we have to do.”
It’s probably more of a sense of pride in what Wentz has refused to be a part of after allowing hurt feelings to get in the way. He could have come to training camp and fought for the starting spot with hurts, but he didn’t want to. Instead, Wentz asked for an out-of-town trade, creating an awkward situation.
“You know what? I’m happy to play him because we can talk about that later in our career after whoever wins that game, whatever the outcome,” Graham said. “But we see him twice , and that’s good for us and for him because he’s had two chances to do his thing against us and the two of us to do our thing against him.”
Fletcher Cox revealed he had a chat with Wentz the other day and makes a point of staying in touch with his former franchise quarterback. Why not? The Eagles won’t win the Super Bowl without Wentz steering the ship for 13 games in 2017.
“We loved Carson when he was here,” Cox said. “I’m still talking to him, actually I spoke to him yesterday. Nothing has changed.”
Not even Wentz’s unique abilities have changed: great arm strength, slippery agility, and a flair for the dramatic. Cox sees the same quarterback in Washington, with the same qualities, that he’s seen in practice every day for five seasons.
“The thing about Carson is that he still has the arm talent,” said Cox. “He’s still making shots on the field and making the guys miss. Again, he’s very slippery when it comes to dodging blocks and missing guys. I think the biggest thing for us is to just focus on our game plan.
And focus on Wentz’s explosive weapons and offense. They put 27.5 points per game on the board.
“Don’t focus so much on Carson just because they have an elite group of skills,” Cox said. “I think they’re pretty good from the off, so it’s going to come down to who wants it the most.”
Darius Slay was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week after a night of two interceptions against Minnesota. It was his fifth weekly honor of this kind – two with Philadelphia, another three with Detroit. Does winning these things get old? No, especially not when it was Jamel Dean Balling out for Tampa Bay.
Slay mentioned Dean’s big day while acknowledging how grateful he was for the honor.
“It’s hard to be named Defensive Player of the Week,” Slay said. “There’s a lot of great DBs over here, a lot of great ball being played, Dean could have won it the other day. He also had two picks, so a lot of people could have won. It’s always a pleasure for me to win it, I’m always grateful. I appreciate it. But I got out there and worked pretty hard for it.”