The Browns traded out of the No. 2 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, in part because they didn’t think Carson Wentz “was the right fit.” And that’s fine — every year we see teams desperate for a franchise quarterback draft one way too early only to have it blow up in their face. Invariably, the team cuts ties with the player a few years later, no better off than they were before they drafted him.
But these are the Browns, perennial losers whose every move is just assumed to be the wrong one until they prove otherwise. And it probably doesn’t help that they passed on Wentz and later named Redskins retread Robert Griffin III the starter.
Of course, the Eagles, who traded up to the second-overall pick because they really liked Wentz, don’t share the Browns’ view.
“Well, yeah, we definitely had heard the comments and all that,” first-year Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Wednesday morning (via Cleveland.com) of the Browns’ comments that Wentz wasn’t a good fit in Cleveland. “But everybody has their opinions. And listen, we went to North Dakota, we worked him out, we spent a lot of time with him, like everybody that’s drafted quarterbacks in the National Football League. If you don’t spend time with those guys and come away feeling comfortable about your decisions, then you should probably look somewhere else.”
Shortly after Wentz was drafted, the Eagles made it seem like the young quarterback would spend his rookie season on the bench behind Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel. But Bradford was shipped to Minnesota last week, and Pederson thought enough of Wentz’s preseason to name him the Week 1 starter.
“We just felt so comfortable at the Eagles to make the moves to go get Carson Wentz and felt very strong about the way we evaluated [him], just looking at everything and exhausting everything. Just felt real comfortable. so everybody’s going to have their opinion obviously, that’s just the way this business is, but we’re very comfortable with Carson and the direction he’s headed.”
Fun fact: The Eagles host the Browns on Sunday in the regular-season opener, though Pederson doesn’t think Wentz will use the snub by Cleveland as extra motivation.
“No. I don’t think that’s a factor at all. In fact, I don’t even think that even factors into his thinking,” Pederson said. “What I’ve seen already from training camp and the way he studies and prepares the last couple of days in the film room and getting all the mental reps there, I just think there’s a bigger task at hand than that, and that’s obviously playing on Sunday in his first start.”
Source: CBS Sports / Eagles coach disagrees with the Browns’ opinion of Carson Wentz