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  • Brian Baldinger


Brian Baldinger -On the Eagles

Carson Wentz hears the whispers. He heard whispers at North Dakota State.

After injuries have derailed him during the past two seasons in the middle of playoff pushes he heard the whispers as he dealt with the pain of injury and the disappointment of not being able to finish the season.

No one has suffered more frustration at not being able to participate in heat of the post season runs during the past two seasons.

But this year is different. This year has to be different.

His phenomenal backup and close ally, Nick Foles, departed in March to go try and lead the Jaguars back to the post season.

During the Eagles first pre-season game, backup Nate Sudfeld, suffered a broken left wrist while bracing for a fall with :26 seconds left in the second quarter against the Titans.

Nate was a guy that they had been grooming since September of 2017 when the Redskins released the Indiana product. It was a tight cohesive quarterback room for the past two years.

All three QB's were tall with good arms and excellent work habits.

That room has dwindled since Sudfeld's injury, but it doesn't matter.

The Birds made Carson their highest paid player in their storied history in June with two years left on his contract.

They could have easily let him play his fourth year and taken a "wait and see approach." Let Carson play out his fourth year and then begin contract talks going into his final year. That's what many teams could have done.

The Cowboys and the Rams may do that with both Dak and Jared. But Jeffrey Lurie and

Howie Roseman both believe that Carson can stay healthy and that he can lead them into the playoffs not just for 2019, but for many years beyond that.

He gets to play this season like a Las Vegas high wire act without the proverbial safety net.

For years, it is the approach that the Patriots, the Chargers, the Giants, the Seahawks and the Saints have taken since not many can name the backups to Brady, Rivers, Manning, Wilson, and Brees have taken. In 2015 when Tom Brady was coming off an off-season of "deflategate, and turmoil, I was out at his first practice at Gillette Stadium.

At that time the Patriots had only two quarterbacks on the roster, Brady and Jimmy Garroppolo and Brady took nearly every single rep. Jimmy G was a young backup who was pressed into play when Brady was suspended for the first four games.

The point is with many of these prominent quarterbacks their durability has been as important as their ability. Its now time for Carson to join the ranks of the aforementioned quarterbacks who have figured out how to play injury free football.

This is the challenge for Carson. The team around him is as deep and talented a team in the league. The Eagles second team offensive line is as good as a few starting offensive lines.

The addition of DeSean Jackson and the rebuilt backfield is only going to help. The coaching staff has remained in tack. But Carson is going to have to change the way he plays.

He is going to have to get rid of the football quicker on a more regular basis. He takes too many hits that puts him in awkward positions when he releases the ball.

I have, from afar, admired Carson's toughness to absorb punishing hits and shake it off for the next play. But too many times I have stopped the film and studied his final body position after taking a hard hit.

He falls in a way that you rarely see Brady, Rivers, or Brees ever fall. Doug Pedersen would say that he has to realize when the play is over. But Carson has had a hard time putting that phrase into practical terms. its not his DNA to quit on a play.

I see Brady and Rivers constantly throw a ball away and go on to the next play and although they do not possess Carson's physical traits, they pack all of his combative fire and then some.

Carson, if he is to start a consecutive game streak, must begin with protecting himself better.

The line will do their job and Doug can call plays with the best minds in the game. Its now up to Carson to adjust his game. it is selfish if he is to playing the style he did for his first three years.

His contract is going to change the way Howie builds this team. They can overcome the loss of players due to the salary cap if Carson plays at or near his MVP run of 2017 through he first 13 weeks.

He owes the Eagles and the organization who has treated him like a franchise QB since day 1, to return the favor by lining up for the next 20 or 40 or 60 or 100 consecutive games.

And many playoff games to boot.

Only then can Carson silence the whispers. *

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