When Nickell Robey-Coleman met Carson Wentz this summer, the cornerback was surprised to find out Wentz already knew his full name.
Robey-Coleman is one of the new faces filling out the Eagles secondary after spending three seasons with the Los Angeles Rams. The 28-year-old slot corner was on the field when Wentz tore his left ACL at the Los Angeles Coliseum in 2017, but hasn’t played against Wentz outside of that game.
“When he first saw me, he knew me by my first and last name,” Robey-Coleman said. “I didn’t even expect him to know my name. He knew exactly who I was.”
Robey-Coleman has now shared practice fields and locker rooms with both Jared Goff and Wentz, which gives him a perspective that NFL decision-makers would have gone to great lengths to have in 2017, when Goff went first and Wentz went second in the draft. He’s too late to help general managers and draft experts, but the comparison between the quarterbacks will never fully end.
For Robey-Coleman, it’s the small things, like knowing a new teammate’s name, that make Wentz different.
“First off, they’re both great players with great minds,” Robey-Coleman said after Monday’s practice. “You can tell that they’re more fifth-level, sixth-level type quarterbacks, and they’re definitely on the rise. As far as being Tom Brady-, Aaron Rodgers-type quarterbacks, when they get more experience with the years. The difference is, I think Carson, he takes a lot of ownership. Carson takes a lot of ownership. He’s willing to be the guy. He’s willing to make the play. He’s willing to be the guy to appoint his teammates.
“The ownership and the accountability part is what gives him his edge,” he added.
Through four seasons, Wentz and Goff have had similar peaks and valleys, just at different times. Goff struggled mightily as a rookie, throwing seven interceptions to just five touchdowns and losing each of his seven starts. Meanwhile, Wentz showed promise in his rookie season before emerging as an MVP candidate in 2017. Goff rejuvenated his career under Rams head coach Sean McVay, making back-to-back Pro Bowls in 2017-18 and leading the Rams to a 13-3 record and a Super Bowl berth in 2018, which was Wentz’s worst season.
When looking at the career totals through four seasons, Wentz has the edge in touchdown passes, interceptions, and completion percentage. Goff has the advantage in overall turnovers including fumbles, yards per attempt, passing yards, and winning percentage.
Andre Dillard and Lane Johnson took up cycling Monday morning.
The Eagles’ starting offensive tackle duo both missed practice and did cardio on stationary bikes side-by-side at times during the session. Johnson popped up on the injury report Sunday with a lower-body injury. Dillard left during Sunday’s practice and did not return with what the team characterized as an upper-body injury. Both players are considered day-to-day.
Without Johnson and Dillard, the first-team offensive line was bookended by Jordan Mailata at left tackle and Matt Pryor on the right side. Jason Peters, who spent 16 seasons playing left tackle, remains at right guard even with the injuries, although it’s likely just so the 38-year-old can get reps at his new position.
Tight end Zach Ertz and running back Boston Scott both returned to practice Monday. Ertz was sidelined with an upper-body injury since Friday and Scott was limited or out since last Wednesday. With Miles Sanders week-to-week with a lower-body injury, Scott often slotted in with the first-team offense Monday.
Although deemed dubious by some experts, the Miami Dolphins are reportedly expecting to have a limited number of fans in attendance for their season opener next month.
The Eagles’ prospects of hosting fans at Lincoln Financial Field for the home opener on Sept. 20 are bleak at best, but Robey-Coleman is hoping against hope.
“I’m a defensive guy, so I need fans,” Robey-Coleman said. “That’s a big edge. People don’t know how much that affects offenses. It affects receivers, especially when the momentum is on the defensive side. ... I really hope that the city of Philadelphia can come up with a plan to let the fans in the stadium.”
The Eagles reportedly are bringing Trevor Williams back into the fold.