People have been talking about what Paul DePodesta said earlier this offseason regarding Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. Earlier this week, I half-jokingly said that DePodesta should just come out, full-villain style, and proclaim that the Browns’ odds of winning went up tremendously with the No. 2 overall pick now under center.
That would never happen with regard to DePodesta, but as it turns out, someone else in the organization did throw a little more fuel into the fire when it comes to being critical of Wentz’ abilities. On Thursday, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer, rookie defensive end Carl Nassib said that “[Wentz’] release is a little slow” and that they planned to take advantage of that. Here is the full context of Nassib’s assessment:
"He can run, he has good mobility, and he's got a good arm. His release is a little slow, so we plan to take advantage of that. ... I think they're going to keep things basic for him, but I'm just going to go out there and play as fast as I can and pressure him as much as I can, make him uncomfortable.''
Nassib also stated that despite Wentz being a dual threat, he doesn’t think the quarterback will run very much, given the fact that he’s still recovering from a fractured rib.
Nassib’s comments were enough to piss off Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network, who has previously given Wentz a favorable scouting review:
Nassib sure is talking a lot for a rookie playing on a terrible team. https://t.co/SddVp2qzuq— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) September 9, 2016
Doug Pederson, the head coach of the Eagles, was asked about Nassib’s remark, and he responded calmly, believing that they’ve worked on improving some of Wentz’ flaws:
“We've worked on his feet. We've worked on a little bit of his upper-body mechanics. We don't feel like it's a slow release. It can be long at times. He's such a long guy, it can be like Colin Kaepernick-long at times.
But, anticipation, throwing the ball on time can help that process and get the ball out of his hand fast. The design of the play can get the ball out of his hand fast. It's nothing that we've really spent a lot of time addressing with him, more than just working on his feet, mechanics and his lower-body."
Nassib has a chance to be an enforcer on this team with his relentless motor, making Wentz vs. Nassib another fun storyline to pay attention to this Sunday.