Among the many things Carson Wentz did well Sunday in his first live action of 2019 was throw on the move, or move to put himself in a better position to make a throw. This was the case on Wentz’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery, and on a crucial fourth-quarter, third-and-15 conversion to Zach Ertz.
Wentz didn’t play in any preseason games and he seldom strayed from the pocket in training-camp practices. It was reassuring to see him get back to the style of play that worked so well for him in 2017 -- without taking big injury risks.
Offensive coordinator Mike Groh was asked Tuesday about his views regarding keeping Wentz in the pocket.
“We would never put the reins on him, so to speak. That’s who he is. That’s in his DNA, it’s in his bloodstream,” Groh said. Wentz completed 28 of 39 passes in the season opening win, for 313 yards and three touchdowns. "He has the ability to extend plays, and we saw that come to life on Sunday. A couple of those third downs where he escaped out to the left and found Zach, and then found Alshon, and extended the drive there ... [also] on the red-zone touchdown, where he was able to do that.
“We don’t put any kind of restrictions on his ability to do that. It just doesn’t show up so much in practice. It’s kind of hard to simulate that in practice, so to speak. There’s a quick whistle, obviously, he’s not live in practice," where hitting the quarterback is forbidden.
There were a lot of moving parts Sunday in the Eagles’ defensive backfield, with Sidney Jones rotating in among the starting three -- the nickel corner pretty much is a starter on this team -- of Rasul Douglas, Ronald Darby, and Avonte Maddox. The Eagles gave up 380 passing yards, a career high for Case Keenum, en route to allowing 27 points.
Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said he didn’t think that was a reason for his group’s poor coverage. He denied that Darby was limited to a certain number of snaps, as he returns from ACL surgery.