Opposing players and coaches have been quick to shower Mitch Trubisky with praise this season, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Indeed, you can add Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson to the list, because he sees Trubisky as Carson Wentz 2.0.
“Oh, for sure, for sure,” Pederson said via ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson. “We knew last year with Carson as a rookie that there were going to be growing pains and we were going to take some lumps. And also, listen, we just weren’t very good as a football team last year, too, and didn’t have the surrounding pieces around Carson. You kind of see in Mitch, you see the arm talent, you see the athleticism, the strength. You see good decisions, the accuracy. You see things that flash on tape that you go, ‘OK, that’s exactly the way Carson was a year ago.'”
If anyone knows what it looks like for a rookie quarterback to fight through the rebuilding process, it’s Pederson. After coaching through Wentz’s rookie experience, Pederson’s words carry a little bit more weight than other on-lookers.
It was just a year ago when Wentz was a talented up-and-comer with arm strength and athleticism fighting through a bumpy rookie season. Like Trubisky in his first six starts, Wentz flashed early in his professional career before eventually succumbing to the reality he could only do so much with a depleted group of receivers. And since both were the first quarterbacks selected in their respective draft classes, comparisons between the two will probably pop up from time to time in the coming years.
Before we go off the deep end, realize that Wentz and Trubisky are 1) different types of quarterbacks and 2) Wentz had a leg up on Trubisky as far as the development curve is concerned.
Wentz played his college football at North Dakota State, an FCS school, where he learned some of the nuances of a pro style offense. He threw 612 passes in his college career, then the Eagles accelerated Wentz’s development by having him throw another 607 passes as a rookie.
Unfortunately, Trubisky wasn’t afforded that kind of opportunity while at North Carolina, where he started just one year in a spread-based offense before bolting to the NFL Draft. He also hasn’t been given the volume of throwing opportunities Wentz received as a rookie either, averaging 24.2 throws per game compared to Wentz’s 37.9 attempts as a rookie. Still, it isn’t hard to see how Pederson can see a lot of Wentz in the quarterback he’ll go up against on Sunday.