WASHINGTON — Something has been upsetting Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden for a long time and it finally came to light on Thursday.
How the heck did quarterback Carson Wentz end up in Philadelphia? Sure, he was drafted in 2016. Yes, he has already played the Redskins three times in his young career, with D.C. taking two of three.
But how does this happen? The disbelief came up as part of a discussion with members of the media on Thursday, in the leadup to the fourth game that Gruden’s Redskins will play against Wentz’s Eagles.
It all started as a typical list of compliments that coaches pay to opposing players through the media. This followed the approximate script of every other time a coach discusses an opponent.
“I think he’s progressed at a rate as fast as anybody I’ve seen really,” Gruden said. “His ability to make plays in the pocket, his ability to stay in the pocket in the face of a rush and still deliver balls accurately, his command of the offense.
“I think he’s already proven this short in his career that he’s one of the top quarterbacks in the league, quite frankly, and he’s going to be for a long time.”
That’s pretty typical accolades, as coaches try not to give opposing teams any bulletin board or motivational material. But then Gruden went a step further.
“And I don’t know how he got to Philadelphia,” he said. “And I’m very upset about that.”
The obvious answer is because Philly drafted him. That’s how 250-plus players make it to the NFL each year. You have to wonder how many of them make Gruden upset.
But the more complete answer is that Wentz was selected when the Eagles traded up to the No. 2 overall pick, becoming the highest FCS player ever drafted. But the Eagles, who were reportedly competing with other teams for the Browns’ No. 2 overall pick, gave up a king’s ransom for the selection: three top-100 picks in 2016, their 2017 first-round pick and a 2018 second-round pick.
That, Jay, is how Wentz got to Philadelphia. But I guess it’s OK to be upset about that.
“Every week it seems like we’re playing against an excellent quarterback and knowing that Wentz is going to be there for a long period of time just puts a few more gray hairs on my head,” Gruden said. “But love the competition and it’s our job to get after him and make him uncomfortable.”