Eagles QB coach 'pleasantly surprised' with Wentz


Eagles quarterback coach John DeFilippo has worked with his share of young quarterbacks.

He was a Jets assistant in 2009 when New York drafted Mark Sanchez and spent plenty of time with Derek Carr during the passer's rookie campaign in Oakland. He even coaxed moments of strong play out of Johnny Manziel last season before the former Browns quarterback bloomed into an off-the-field A-bomb.

Now paired with Carson Wentz, DeFilippo says the No. 2 overall pick has surpassed expectations during their first month together.

"I don't want to say there's anything that surprised me," DeFilippo said Wednesday, per Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer. "I think there were some things that I thought he would need a little more work with it than he does. He's further along from a seeing-the-field standpoint than I thought he would be. He's further along from a playing speed standpoint than I thought he would be coming from the FCS level. Those are things that I guess you can say I'm pleasantly surprised with, but not shocked."

If Wentz hasn't shocked DeFelippo, it's because the coach acknowledged that his pre-draft study of the North Dakota State passer was the most thorough quarterback evaluation he's ever been a part of in the NFL. 

"I think just his overall physicality, his size, the way he can run for a guy that's that big," DeFilippo said. "Obviously his mental makeup and character are off the charts. Those are the things that jumped off to me. You can go out and watch anyone throw a football. But when you can combine the mental part of the game that he has, the physical part of the game he has, and the off-the-field character, it was a no-brainer."

It's entirely possible that Wentz sees meaningful snaps as a rookie, but DeFelippo emphasized that Sam Bradford is viewed inside the building as the Week 1 starter, citing a day-to-day "hierarchy" in quarterback meetings and saying that "everyone operates better when they know where they're at."

We know where they're at today, but that doesn't mean this quarterback duel is over. If Wentz looks like the passer everyone expects him to be, nothing we've seen from Bradford in recent years is about to stop the rookie's ascension.