At this time last year, the Eagles were headed to the Super Bowl. Now they’re coming out to publicly defend their franchise quarterback following a bombshell report cited team sources questioning his role as a team player.
After Carson Wentz ended the season injured for the second straight season — with backup Nick Foles unable to repeat his magic this postseason — a story published Monday painted a picture of a selfish quarterback who caused friction behind the scenes.
“Carson Wentz’s biggest enemy is Carson Wentz,” a source told PhillyVoice, which cited more than six players and other sources close to the team who spoke anonymously for the report. “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.”
But Wentz’s teammates were quick to have his back.
Third-string quarterback Nate Sudfeld, offensive linemen Lane Johnson and Brandon Brooks, tight end Zach Ertz and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox all tweeted their support of Wentz on Monday morning in response to the report.
“I’m around Carson arguably more than anybody on the team and I feel obligated to say how false and simply wrong the claims made about him are,” Sudfeld wrote.
“Whoever wrote that article needs to check their ‘sources’. #fakenews,” Johnson wrote. “Carson has been and is our leader and our QB. Y’all know where to find me if you have any issues.”
“Reading through this Carson Wentz thing and as a leader on this team none of that is true,” Cox wrote. “Carson is a great teammate and great player we are all behind him 100% he’s our guy and will come back and prove the world wrong. If you got a problem feel free to @ me I’ll respond.”
The only player to respond to him was Brooks, who wrote, “What my guy @fcoxx_91 said!!!”
Ertz, who was mentioned in the story as Wentz’s favorite target to a fault, also backed his QB.
“Don’t believe everything you read!!!” he wrote. “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!”
After going down last year with a torn ACL, opening the door for Foles to lead the Eagles to the Super Bowl win over the Patriots, Wentz’s 2018 season ended with a back injury. Foles took over again and sparked the Eagles before they fell to the Saints in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Foles is set to be a free agent, but Monday’s report made it sound as if some in the organization would like to have him back.
The story said Wentz “bullied” offensive coordinator Mike Groh, tended to “complicate” the offense and failed to take accountability.
“He needs to realize it’s the Philadelphia Eagles not the Philadelphia Carsons,” a source told PhillyVoice. “A little humility goes a long way.”