#WudderSports Presents Bird Droppings Volume 2: Week One Preview...Carson When?!? Carson Now.
“Boy, that escalated quickly”-Ron Burgandy
The previously discussed “Carson When?!? Era” has already officially concluded.
The actual Carson Wentz Era has begun, with the Eagles #2 overall pick expecting to start this Sunday in Week One at Lincoln Financial Field against the Cleveland Browns.
This despite the fact that Carson Wentz hasn't taken a snap since the first preseason game we discussed in #WudderSports prior report.
Wentz was last seen flipping thru the air like a pregame coin toss after rolling to his left versus the Bucs but then upended like Jim Carrey kicked over the railing in Me, Myself & Irene.
It was that play, in the fourth quarter of a game he should have already removed, that resulted in our newly minted Red Rocket missing the rest of the preseason with a hairline fracture, the severity of which has been a matter of public Philadelphia debate ever since.
What cannot be debated is that any GM not named Chip Kelly had to make this weekend’s Sam Bradford trade.
It was an offer that the Eagles couldn’t refuse.
It might be the most lopsided return a team has made in a panic for a starting QB since Hue Jackson’s Raiders gave up a first and second-rounder for a retired Carson Palmer from Cincinnati back in mid-October of the 2011 season.
It’s probably actually more lopsided, considering what Bradford has done compared to Palmer in their careers when the respective deals were consummated.
In both cases it took a GM (Mike Brown in Cincy’s case) who had just drafted his QB of the future, plus a team with playoff hopes (yes, the Raiders were in the midst of their first winning season in a decade at 4-2) losing their starter to season-ending injury.
If the age-old aphorism “it’s better to be lucky than good” is true, Howie “Somehow Always Comes Out Smelling Like A” Roseman might just be the luckiest sumbitch in the history of the league.
He already dodged the slings and arrows of the Dream Team along with the absolute trainwreck of the first two draft classes (2010 & 2011) he presided over, largely by hiding behind Big Red’s considerably larger shadow until he was out the door in 2012.
Broad Street Howie Rose then was somehow able to survive Chip Kelly’s power-struggle victory which led to BSHR being banished to a dunce chair in the bowels of the Jetro parking lot in South Philly, needing a pair of binoculars to look up into the Novacare building, then quietly gleeful got to watch Chip asphyxiate himself with the shooting-star chemtrails of his own smug-sniffing, sport-scientist ego.
12 months later, Howie now gets to swoop in to take any credit available for getting absolutely anything in return for all of last year’s Shutter Island of Multi-Million-Dollar Misfit Toys, like NotFargo Murray and Byron Maxwell aka Nnamdi Too: Pathetic Boogaloo.
Thanks Again, Miami!
As for the promising second-year quarterback in Minnesota with the name that sounds like the lead character in a children’s novel, young Teddy Bridgewater?
Based on reports, Teddy is currently on the opposite end of the luck spectrum, yet we here at The Wudder wish him luck.
We also wish Sam Bradford luck as well, since his ability to perform at some respectable level of quality could help land Minnesota in the 2016 playoffs which enhances the haul from a first-round pick in 2017 and a fourth-rounder in 2018, up to potentially a first-rounder and a second-rounder.
Of course if the Vikings' ship sinks, the Birds may just rather have another Top 10 overall draft pick, sorta like the one they got from Miami this off-season.
It was that bump up from 12 to 8, a slot they'd have already been if the Eagles hadn’t won a meaningless final game for the second year in a row, that gave the Eagles package the sweetening necessary to snag Wentz at #2 in a second swap before Draft Day.
But the first week of a football season is far too early to start in with any schadenfreude not related to a divisional foe.
The Vikings have a better chance of being good than bad as currently constructed, in a division that looks to be fairly wide open, which realistically could be all theirs for the taking should Aaron Rodgers miss time in Green Bay.
That along with Sam Bradford staying upright, while not being asked to do too much could result in Bradford experiencing his first winning season as a starter since he was an Oklahoma Sooner.
So until things go off the rails in Minny, like their Hall of Fame running back with a switch in his hand disciplining a two-year-old, best for fans in the City of Brotherly Love to simply spread love and wish Saucer-Eyed Sam success this season for our own karma’s sake while praying to the Football Gods.
For a first-rounder and a mid-rounder while absorbing the full cost of his salary, I would've drove Bradford to Minneapolis in my VW Passat while letting him pick the music plus the places to stop to eat along the way, at least as long as I could swing by Paisley Park on the way home.
Back to Wentz.
As previously stated, he showed some nice signs in his first and only preseason game of live action four weeks ago.
Glad the Eagles' staff and brass is so high on him.
Never mind that none of those currently in charge have done anything to earn our trust.
At least they haven’t been exposed as certified crazy like that snake-eye-die-rolling, roly-poly, socially-awkward weirdo who's now coaching in San Francisco.
The fact that Now-Cleveland Brown Head Coach Hue Jackson, a man who on the day of the 2011 Palmer deal pronounced it “the greatest trade in football”, said non-ironically over the weekend that Wentz wasn’t even a Top 20 pick, while now calling shots for a more moribund franchise than the Raiders, who've burned first-rounders recently on Johnny Manziel & Brandon Weedon…is oddly more reassuring and/or comical than troubling.
So while at first it felt hasty to start the signal-calling future of the franchise in the inaugural week of his rookie campaign, upon further scrutiny it does makes some sense.
The Eagles received an offer they couldn’t refuse, from a team who just lost their starting QB, as they headed into their first season in their new permanent home.
Chase Daniel has looked absolutely abysmal all preseason, with his incredibly overpriced signing being simply a bone tossed Doug Pederson’s way so he could have a co-pilot in the film room.
The Eagles can’t forsee any future with him any more than Daniel himself can see over the line scrimmage.
Lane Johnson is eligible to play Sunday before eventually starting a ten game bid for steroids or whatever sorry excuse he's currently trotting out regarding his second substance-related violation in three seasons.
Ever pause to consider how a guy who was a quarterback early on during his collegiate career actually got big enough to be a Top 5 selected offensive tackle by the end of it?
So with him in the lineup along with aging Jason Peters being as fresh as his old body can get nowadays, Sunday is very likely the best o-line Wentz will have the privilege of playing behind all season.
The receiving corps remains garbage, perhaps even the league's worst, yet at least by grabbing Dorial Green-Beckham out of the bargain-bin it should help offset the horrid Agholar/Huff duo selected in last year's draft.
The Eagles are at home, playing in front of a Philly crowd who will be in the rare position of actually trying to display patience, meanwhile being absolutely starved for its first young franchise QB since Donovan McNabb relieved the new head coach of his disastrous starting quarterback duties midway thru the 1999 season.
They will also be playing against a defense that was in the bottom third of the league last year in points allowed, with no sample-size of Wentz in an NFL uniform to study on tape beforehand, nor apparently do the Browns hold him in high regard.
The combination of all these things tilts the risk: reward ratio heavily in the strapping North Dakotan’s favor….so as Willie D said on “Mind Is Playing Tricks On Me” back in 1991: “if it’s going down, let’s get this shit over with”
The past weekend has led to the most boring Philadelphia Eagles preseason of this century transforming into an improbably intriguing 2016 opener/blue-chip QB debut.
It’s gonna take 11 guys in all three phases of the football but truly all eyes will be on #11.
Short story long, the Carson When?!? Era’s reign in Philly was shorter than leprechauns.
Time to start seeing if Rose-Man sniffed out a Lucky Charm for the Gang in Green.