Malcolm Jenkins: Eagles screwed up by protecting Carson's ego originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Malcolm Jenkins said the Eagles' coaching staff failed Carson Wentz by "trying to protect" his ego instead of making him accountable like other players on the roster.
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Jenkins spoke Friday on the Rich Eisen Show on the Peacock Network.
"As a teammate and friend of Carson, I think that it always starts with performance and he hasn't performed up to the expectations that everybody's had for him and I don't think he would say he's played up to his own expectations," Jenkins said.
"But some of the other issues I felt when I was in the locker room was that there was just too much leeway and it didn't make him a better player. I don't think they did him any favors by trying to protect his ego or trying to really protect him as a player as opposed to — just like every other player — keeping it performance-based and really being real about what he needed to improve on."
Jenkins spent this past year with the Saints but was with the Eagles from 2014 through 2019 and with Wentz the first four years of his career.
He saw Wentz play at an MVP level for most of 2017, and then at a lesser level but still effectively in 2018 and 2019 and then watched from afar as Wentz was the worst quarterback in the NFL this past year.
The way Jenkins sees it, the Eagles never made Wentz accountable when he didn't play up to expectations.
"Every player should go into every offseason evaluating what they did well, what they didn't do well, and you look to see improvement year after year," Jenkins told Eisen. "But if that's not the case and you don't see it and there are no changes and it's not being addressed, as a player you almost feel like, 'What are we doing?' To do the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is insanity. And unfortunately, I think that a little bit of that has taken place over the last two years and obviously this offseason shows that something had to change in a major way. And Carson is still there and regardless who they bring in to coach him and get him better, he's still going to have to improve as a player in order for that team to have success."
Wentz's future remains up in the air, but Jenkins said no matter who's coaching the Eagles, "There's a lot of work to be done."
The Eagles went 4-11-1 this past season and finished last in the NFC East. Pederson benched Wentz after 11½ games and then was fired two weeks ago and replaced by Nick Sirianni.
"They've got a situation where obviously with all that went down with Carson Wentz this year, a lot of money invested into him and then you have Jalen Hurts come in and really take command of the offense, ignite a little bit of juice into the team — and that's not the first time that that's happened from a backup quarterback obviously in Philly — so it's one of those things where something has to change," he said.
"Whether you put that onus on the coaching staff or you put that onus on the players that are there, but I mean there's obviously going to be a lot of work to be done there. But they've got great leadership, they've got players in that locker room that are a prideful group and what you hope to see is that at least as a fan — I even call myself an Eagles fan — you just hope that the competitiveness and the culture and the egos of what that team stands for at least stays in place."
For a guy who also told Eisen "I haven't really paid a ton of attention" to what's going on in Philly, Jenkins had some pretty pointed observations about his former team.
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