NFC Notes: Wentz, Johnson, Palmer, Giants

Further illustrating the Eagles‘ belief in Carson Wentz and their motivation to make the seminal trade with the Browns in April, new Philadelphia OC Frank Reich offered some high-end comparisons for the No. 2 overall pick.

Physically, he reminds me a little bit of a combination of Andrew Luck — though, I’ve never played with him — just watching him play, but a guy that I did play with in Jim Kelly, the size, strength and just the toughness,” Reich said, via Matt Lombardo of

Wentz ran a tenth of a second slower in the 40-yard dash compared to Luck coming out of college (4.77 seconds to 4.67), but the quarterbacks are similar in size — both 6-foot-5 and around 235 pounds. The younger player will attempt to build on his breakthrough debut, one executed despite scant preseason reps and the anticipation he’d be the third-string passer.

Here’s more on Wentz’s potential rise and on some other NFC teams.

  • The Eagles trading Sam Bradford to the Vikings opened the door not only for Wentz to receive an early start on Sundays, but it cleared a path toward endless practice reps instead of a short-term future as Philly’s third-stringer, Jeff McLane of writes. Reich told media, including McLane, there was “no question” the additional practice work would accelerate Wentz’s development compared to a season spent behind Bradford and Chase Daniel. Per McLane, Wentz did not speak up much in quarterback meetings while he was the No. 3 quarterback, instead deferring to the veterans. Daniel functions as the scout-team quarterback, and the meetings are geared around a Wentz-conducted offense.
  • Doug Pederson expected to hear something on Lane Johnson‘s lingering suspension by now, Reuben Frank of notes, but the league has yet to announce the expected 10-game ban. “You would think you would have heard something by now,” Pederson said. “If it does happen down the road, it just pushes everything back. Me personally, I’d rather know now than later. But until then, [Johnson] is the guy.” Pederson said Stefen Wisniewski would play left guard after current starter Allen Barbre swings to right tackle in the event Johnson’s ruling comes down. Wisniewski usurped Isaac Seumalo as the next guard up since the Eagles initially announced their Johnson contingency plan.
  • Earlier today, a potential Panthers plot to select Blaine Gabbert No. 1 overall emerged in advance of Sunday’s Panthers-49ers game. The Buccaneers‘ Week 2 opponent, the Cardinals, also employ a quarterback who will face a team that pursued him years ago. The Bucs attempted to trade for Palmer in 2013, but refusing to push then-starter Josh Freeman to a backup role did not make it an enticing fit for the then-Raiders quarterback as he looked for a team and a long-term deal, Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times writes, analyzing what could have been in advance of Sunday’s tilt. The Bucs joined the Cardinals and Bills in making a push for a then-33-year-old Palmer’s services. Then-Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano wasn’t enamored with Freeman, but the organization did not want to give up on the former first-round pick by automatically making Palmer a starter. Freeman lasted just three games into the ’13 season before being released.
  • The Giants worked out four linebackers on Saturday after cutting Deontae Skinner from their practice squad. Cassanova McKinzy, Deiontrez Mount, Eric Pinkins and Myke Tavarres worked out for the team, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports.
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