John DeFilippo has now spent a month working with Carson Wentz, including daily one-on-one meetings to go along with on-field work and position meetings. DeFilippo, the Eagles quarterbacks coach, said the pre-draft evaluation of Wentz was the most thorough he's ever been involved in, during a decade of NFL coaching. Still, Wentz has surpassed what DeFilippo expected in two specific areas.
"I don't want to say there's anything that surprised me," DeFilippo said Wednesday. "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."
Wentz played at North Dakota State, which played in the Football Championship Subdivision, the second-highest NCAA level.
"I think just his overall physicality, his size, the way he can run for a guy that's that big," DeFilippo said about Wentz. "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."
DeFilippo quieted any notion that there's a quarterback controversy in Philadelphia. He said the team benefited from Doug Pederson naming Sam Bradford the starter, that there's a "hierarchy" in the quarterback room and "everyone operates better when they know where they're at."
DeFilippo said Sam Bradford has "taken the huddle and the ball" and impressed the coaches this spring. He's studied Sam Bradford in the past so he had an idea of what to expect, but DeFilippo is even more impressed up close.
"I've told Sam this: Sam is as naturally gifted of a passer, as naturally gifted throwing the football, as anyone I've been around in a long time," DeFilippo said. "He can really throw the football. He can change launch points. He can throw off balance. He can do those things that he's shown out there on the field that I saw it from afar…he's really a gifted passer."