Carson Wentz received a complement from Peter King in this week’s “Monday Morning Quarterback” column, with King comparing the second-year Philadelphia Eagles quarterback to Eli Manning of the New York Giants.
King wasn’t comparing the on-field abilities of the 2016 second overall pick and the two-time Super Bowl MVP. He was talking about their temperament.
Here is what King wrote about Wentz as a rookie:
Wentz didn’t have a crisis of confidence. If anything, he had a crisis of decision-making.
“The thing is, I never pressed last year,” Wentz said. “I learned a lot. Windows are smaller, I have to make decisions faster … athletes, obviously, are better. But my motto was, ‘It’s just football.’ I didn’t make anything bigger than it was. I made some mistakes, but I didn’t get shaken by them.”
“Did anything last year, making that jump from North Dakota to the NFL, bug you?” I wondered.
“Never,” he said. “Definitely never.”
That’s where the Eli comparison is appropriate. I’ll always remember after the February 2012 Super Bowl win over New England, an emotionless Manning was being shuttled through the Giants’ locker room to a media obligation by a phalanx of yellow-coated security people. Looking at the scene, Justin Tuck of the Giants said, “That’s Eli—he’d look the same whether we just won or lost this game.” Manning felt if he left everything in preparation and performance on the field, no sense crying about a bad loss. And he never got very high after his biggest wins.
It’s early, but that’s Wentz’s way.
There are really two defining characteristics of Manning’s career, and neither is the talent he possesses in his right arm. One of those characteristics is the durability that has seen him never miss a start since getting the job mid-way through his rookie season in 2004. The other is the unflappable demeanor King and Tuck referenced. It has allowed him to handle all sorts of ups and downs throughout his career while remaining the rock of the franchise, and to stay out of the headlines for any of the wrong reasons.
Wentz, and Eagles fans, should feel good about the comparison.