Add Michael Vick to the list of former Eagles quarterbacks who aren’t sold on current Birds starter Carson Wentz.
It’s no secret Wentz struggled mightily on Sunday against the Seahawks, and that the Eagles have been a major disappointment this season, hovering near or below .500. But as my colleague Les Bowen points out, some of those terrible looking passes “were actually awful-looking pass routes, run by the least accomplished group of wide receivers the Eagles have fielded in recent memory.”
But on shows like FS1′s Speak for Yourself, hosted by Jason Whitlock, nuance gives way to bold proclamations that emphasize hot takes and viral movements over a serious discussion of what’s actually taking place on the field.
Enter Vick, now an NFL analyst at Fox Sports, who didn’t hold back his thoughts when asked by Whitlock if Wentz’s career in Philadelphia is doomed to fail.
“He will fail in Philadelphia,” Vick said. “The bar has been set so high by Nick Foles. And regardless of when he came in, [Foles] did what he did — they won the Super Bowl. Now, there’s a ceiling that’s been set. Along with Carson Wentz’s character, which sometimes has been questioned by his teammates and the public, it just makes it difficult for him."
“I think he’s fighting an uphill battle, continuously, week in and week out,” Vick added. "To win, to be a good teammate. It’s a lot. It takes a lot from you to be able to handle that responsibility.”
Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham, who played with Vick during his tenure with the Birds, defended Wentz on Tuesday, telling reporters if coaches didn’t see something special in their young quarterback, he wouldn’t be on the team.
“Everybody has their opinions, but I think if anything, that should be motivation for [Wentz],” Graham said.
The questions about Wentz’s “character” stem from a PhillyVoice story written last January by Joe Santoliquito that painted the Eagles quarterback as “selfish,” “uncompromising,” and “egotistical.” Wentz responded to the story by admitting he’s “not perfect,” but also said he’s not going to change who he is and what’s made him successful.
“Anytime you’re a Type-A guy, there’s a fine line being pushy and shove-y and humble and humility and walking that line,” Wentz told reporters in February. “Definitely learning to navigate that always and never trying to look down on anybody or make it seem like I’m better than anybody.
“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.”
Vicks comments come after Donovan McNabb said during the offseason the Eagles should replace Wentz if he couldn’t lead the team into the second round of the playoffs over the next two seasons. McNabb has since clarified his remarks, and has defended Wentz at times during his weekly appearances on 97.5 The Fanatic.
Vick wasn’t alone in thinking Wentz would fail in Philadelphia. Former Pro Bowl defender turned FS1 host Marcellus Wiley said Wentz lacked the ability Foles had to motivate his teammates to play harder and better.