Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has grateful fans for soccer



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Wentz coaches and teammates will badure you that the quarterback's rapid ascent is not accidental. It is born, they say, by the will to walk. For study. To catalog these studies meticulously. Discuss with the coaches about the merits of these studies. Back in the state of North Dakota, where Wentz led the Bison to national FCS championships in 2014 and 2015, his coaches badyzed the team's third opportunities on Tuesday. In the meeting room, their discussions began promptly at 6 a.m. By 6:30, Tim Polasek, then the offensive coordinator in Fargo, would have multiple text messages. Wentz, first thing every Tuesday morning, persuaded his coach with suggestions from third parties. Polasek would consider Wentz's offerings, then look at the board full of plays that the staff had prepared.

"God," he said. "Let's erase that idea, this is better."

As a professional, Wentz still gets involved in these debates. At home against Washington at the end of October, the Eagles installed a move at the behest of Wentz that came directly from his old college playbook: a two-pack tight end that culminated in a touchdown pbad for the Corey Clement runner. He even called NDSU to secure the old movie, evidence to convince the Eagles boss that the work could work. "The way I trust Carson right now is the way he studies and prepares," says Eagles coach Doug Pederson. "If he came looking for me from nothing … just throwing things out of the air, it would be a little different, but I know that when it comes to me, it's well thought out."

Later that same Monday night against Washington, just five seconds from the fourth set, Wentz lined up on the shotgun in third and 8th. Six Redskins fell into Wentz's pocket, where he was swallowed whole and a sack It felt inevitable. "Wentz will be … escaping!" shouted Monday Night Football man play-by-play Sean McDonough. While Wentz was fleeing from the pile of bodies that McDonough, the Washington runners and the entire Philadelphia team thought had engulfed him, Eagles quarterback coach John DeFilippo, who had been planning the next series, lifted the view of your call sheet. "Suddenly I hear people go crazy," he says. "And he goes".

Wentz would fight for 17 yards and a first chance, one more play in a growing arsenal that has freed this team and its supporters from a familiar feeling: disappointment. "Even if he wins a couple of Super Bowls on the way," says Didinger, "when people are kicking in some Fishtown bar, talking about Carson Wentz, it will not be long before somebody says," But You know what game I remember best? That game against the Redskins. "


The Eagles have won the NFL championship three times, each time with a quarterback wearing No. 11. AP Photo

Randall Cunningham is known in these parts as a legend of the Eagles, but when he talks about Wentz, he sounds more like the shepherd he has become in his post-game days. The young field marshal of the Eagles, he says, "is in a divine place in a divine time."

There lies the lingering pang of uneasiness in the infused mania of Wentz of Philadelphia. These fanatics have been sure to have the divine person in the divine place in the previous divine time. Once upon a time, there was a second-year star that took the Eagles to unplanned heights ahead of schedule. Who won the city in the winds of a quite magical season. Who dazzled them from the start with visions of Super Bowls and trophies and parades on Broad Street.

His name was Donovan McNabb.

McNabb's legacy is so loaded, the totality of what he achieved, and more importantly, he could not – So absorbing, that there are no trees, only forest. Why remember his second season of rupture, which led him to lead the 2000 Eagles to an unexpected spot in the playoffs? His encore act was three straight losses in the game for the NFC championship. Why does he get nostalgic in his 2004 Super Bowl career? It fell short and never came back, right?

In truth, it is one of the parades of field marshals whose relations with the city turned out to be complicated in the best of cases. Ron Jaworski led the Eagles to his first appearance in the Super Bowl in 1980 and is now an icon in the area, but in his day he was relentlessly interrupted. "I do not remember the exact year, but I think I started against the Colts," he says. "I completed my first 11 pbades, 12 was incomplete and they booed me." Cunningham was electric, but he won a tiebreaker game in 11 years. Even Jeff Garcia, who wished the city a merry Christmas after toppling Dallas and becoming a popular hero during a spell, was not in town long enough to breed disillusionment or idolatry.

"Wentz looks like a guy who might be living in a townhouse in Kensington."

– Sportswriter Ray Didinger

Among them, though, McNabb stands out as a singular lightning rod. It has been since the day of 1999 when Paul Tagliabue approached the microphone and said: "With the second selection, the Philadelphia Eagles select Donovan McNabb, field marshal, Syracuse University." Before Tagliabue had finished, a chorus of boos –
vociferous, boos from the arm – it rained. The Dirty 30, as that band of Eagles fans became known, unknowingly, and permanently, changed the relationship of the city with the man who would become the best quarterback in the history of the team. "I think Donovan took that personally and it bothered him," says Jaworski. "I think still bothers him."

That the Dirty 30 was, in fact, an event orchestrated by a local radio personality, not really an organic disgust geyser, it did not turn out to be an ointment. Nor did the later claims of the fans that they were not booing McNabb per se; They were booing the act of not choosing the reigning winner of Heisman, Ricky Williams. Nor a great deal of personal apology from the representatives of the Dirty 30: McNabb, his parents, the entire Eagles organization. Not even the quarterback's success – his 92-49-1 record as Eagles starter, five games for the NFC title, a Super Bowl – could solve the reality that Donovan McNabb and Philadelphia never found peace. among them. "Every time I come back [to Philly] someone will always mention:" Hey, you never liked the fans, "he says. "And I think, 'Why do you think I do not like fans? & # 39;

There is no easy answer to the lack of misty gratitude towards McNabb. While Philadelphia embraced Wentz for his blue-collar personality, it bothered McNabb and his (not understandable) unwillingness to overcome those boos. And McNabb has not refused to recognize any ugly force at stake. In 2013, when asked if the race played a role in how he perceived it in his career, he did not object. "It's been a part," he told Philadelphia Magazine . "What percentage, I do not know, I care, No. But it has been a part." In the end, this looked like an indestructible clash of personalities: McNabb, for the fans, was thin and distant; Philadelphians, from their point of view, were demanding and inhospitable.

However, over the years, frustration among McNabb and Eagles fans seems to have given way to mutual apathy. Outside the Lincoln Financial Field before the Denver game in week 9, there is a constant dose of nostalgia. Brian Dawkins jerseys abound. Reggie White Harold Carmichael There is simply a small melancholy fed by McNabb. The fans applaud him when he returns. They thank you for the victories and, yes, the memories. But they do not crave it, despite the clear gulf between his time as field marshal and that of his successors. "I played for over a decade there and my winning percentage speaks for itself," says McNabb. "And then, when I left, they thought Kevin Kolb was going to be the guy, Michael Vick made his deal, Nick Foles, he was quarterback after quarterback after field marshal, but they could not duplicate the things we were doing. consistently. "

Now it's the turn of Carson Wentz to try to achieve what McNabb never did. What none of his predecessors could do. It's your turn to try to win the Super Bowl and become, and remain, loved in Philadelphia.


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