The Philadelphia Eagles slipped into the playoffs on the arm of backup quarterback Nick Foles, but largely underachieved in 2018 as many expected big things from the defending Super Bowl champs.
It turns out that there might have been some issues in the Eagles locker room with quarterback Carson Wentz, according to a recent article published by a local Philadelphia news outlet, Philly Voice.
The article, based on interviews with a half dozen players and other team sources, sources, described Wentz as “selfish,” “uncompromising,” “egotistical,” one who plays “favorites” and doesn’t like to be “questioned,” one who needs to “practice what he preaches” and fails “to take accountability.”
The article added that the sentiment in the Eagles’ locker room is that Foles is “universally loved,” and Wentz isn’t.
Carson Wentz: “It hasn’t been the easiest last year for me.” How did that affect him as a teammate? He explains: https://t.co/T38lT2HhRl
— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) February 4, 2019
With Foles now apparently moving on from the Eagles, the team will be 100 percent in the hands of Wentz. And it’s apparent that he has some issues to address in the locker room. But to Wentz’s credit, he didn’t run away from the criticism when confronted with it. He met with reporters this weekend to take responsibility for some of the claims in the article.
“I know who I am, first of all. I know how I carry myself. I know I’m not perfect. I know I have flaws,” Wentz told reporters, according to ESPN.
“So I’m not going to sit here and say it was inaccurate and completely made up. I’m not going to do that. But at the end of the day, I will say our locker room is really close. If there were guys that had issues, in hindsight, I wish we could have just talked about them. But, again, I don’t know how that all happened and everything with that.”
Wentz said he was blindsided by the report, but wants to use it as an opportunity to “get better.”
“It’s never fun to read, but to an extent, you look at it and be like, ‘Well, if someone did have this perception of me, why? What have I done wrong? What can I get better at?'” Wentz said. “I realize I have my shortcomings. Yes, I can be selfish. I think we all have selfishness inside of us. There’s human elements to that, that I really look at and say, ‘Well, I can get better.'”
There were teammates who came out in support of Wentz, including offensive lineman Stefen Wiesnewski, who called him an “unselfish leader” with a “great attitude” who helped his teammates get better.
Anyone who talks about a serious flaw in the character of Carson Wentz is definitely making it up. He is an unselfish leader and one of the best QB’s in this league. During 2 straight season-ending injuries he came to work w a great attitude and helped his teammates get better
— Stefen Wisniewski (@stefenwiz61) January 21, 2019
A senior team official described Wentz as a “good person” with “great character” to ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio.
“What have I done wrong? What can I get better at?”
If you don’t think Carson Wentz is a leader, if you don’t think he’s a stand-up guy, read this: https://t.co/a9Kkytiz7M
— Reuben Frank (@RoobNBCS) February 4, 2019
“I’ll learn from it and we’ll all learn that a.) things shouldn’t kind of come out the way it did, and b.) the pieces that I can learn from it and be a better teammate and player and all that stuff I will grow from,” Wentz said. “But other than that, just turn the page.”
Wentz said there were some things in the Philly Voice story that he disputed, but admitted that maybe he “maybe wasn’t the greatest teammate at times.” Some of that may have stemmed from battling back from an ACL injury that sidelined him last year during the Super Bowl run.
“You go through the (ACL) injury, and you’re just 100 percent determined to get back, that’s like what my mind is on, and looking back, were there things that maybe I neglected as a teammate and as a friend because I was just so determined and that’s all that mattered?” Wentz said, according to ESPN.
Wentz added that he’s not going to change what has made him so successful.
“I’m 26 years old. My personality, to some extent, ain’t going to change,” he said. “What’s gotten me here, what’s gotten me successful, I’m not going to say, ‘Oh, now I’m going to have this free-spirited, Cali-guy vibe.’ That’s just not going to change.
“Any time you’re a Type-A guy, there’s a fine line between being pushy and shovey and humble and humility and walking that line. Definitely learning to navigate that always and never trying to look down on anybody or make it seem like I’m better than anybody,” Wentz said.
“But at the same time, as a Type-A, so-to-speak, confident person that’s confident in off-the-field things and then on the field with what we like, that’s not going to change,” he said. “That’s not going to go anywhere. I think that’s something that is a positive if used correctly.”
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