Are the Philadelphia Eagles making the right decision by starting Carson Wentz in Week 1?
This is an exciting time for the Eagles. The quarterback they invested so many future assets in will get to play far sooner than originally expected after the trade that sent Sam Bradford to the Minnesota Vikings. But is immediately starting Wentz the right decision? Could the Eagles be rushing him?
Leading up to the Bradford trade, the Eagles seemed comfortable with having Wentz sit on the bench as their third quarterback for an extended amount of time. 2016 was supposed to be a redshirt year for Wentz to learn the ropes of the NFL.
That all changed when Bradford was moved. Instead of Chase Daniel starting for the Eagles, the team will start Wentz, which Daniel is understandably upset about.
The decision to start Wentz over Daniel has to make you wonder whether or not the plan really was to have 2016 be the rookie’s redshirt season all along. The Eagles clearly love Wentz and that is evidenced by the team giving him the starting job over an eight-year NFL veteran.
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While starting Wentz over Daniel certainly is the more attractive option, is it the smarter option?
It’s hard to say.
In the only game Wentz appeared in this preseason, he looked impressive. Aside from throwing a preventable red zone interception and suffering his rib injury, Wentz showed poise, a strong arm, good running ability and, obviously, the willingness to take a big hit if necessary. At the same time, however, Wentz also looked uncomfortable under duress, causing him to make some ill-advised throws.
It’s fair to wonder if Wentz has gotten enough in-game experience to be an effective starter for the Eagles, especially after missing the majority of the preseason with his rib injury.
If the Eagles chose to start Daniel over Wentz, would the Eagles really be that much worse?
It’s doubtful that Wentz leads the Eagles into the playoffs as a rookie, especially while surrounded by a weak supporting cast of offensive playmakers. If Wentz has a poor start to the season, that could have long-term effects on his overall development. At least by starting Daniel, Wentz would be learning from afar without having to worry about his body or mental resolve taking a hit.
At the same time, though, throwing a rookie quarterback into the fire isn’t always a bad thing. Some players prefer experiential learning more so than sitting on the sidelines holding a clipboard. If that pertains to Wentz, than the Eagles are making a fabulous decision by starting him.
As of now, however, It’s too early to tell if the decision to start Wentz over Daniel is good or bad. Based off of preseason performances, Wentz is undeniably the better option. But preseason is totally different from the regular season and regardless of how Wentz learns, there will be bumps in the road. For his sake, there hopefully won’t be a lot of them.