Carson Wentz Shouldn't Dial Down Aggressiveness

Even before Carson Wentz suffered a torn ACL and LCL in his left knee, there were fears the Eagles' signal caller was exposing himself to too many hits. This year, the handwringing over the need for Wentz to protect himself is only going to get louder.

It would be a mistake for Wentz to take those cries to heart.

Listen, of course the Eagles need Wentz to stay healthy, and that will require exercising some caution and restraint on occasion. But do you really want him staying out of harm's way to the point where it alters his style of play?

No. Running with the football, fighting off would-be tacklers, extending plays – these are the things that make him Carson Wentz. Size and athleticism are a big part of what makes him so special, and he shouldn't eliminate that aspect of his game just because it increases his risk of injury.

He probably couldn't quit ad-libbing with the ball in his hands if he tried. Wentz himself will tell you, most of that is pure instinct.

It doesn't sound as though Wentz plans on changing much, either. While the 25-year-old acknowledges his decision-making could stand to improve, he's not going to stop trying to force the issue.

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"I think there is always things I can learn from, ‘OK, maybe I shouldn't have been so aggressive there,'" Wentz told Sal Paolantonio for "There is a time and a place for it."

Wentz then alluded to the fact that his knee injury was not the result of a hit or collision in the first place. It was a non-contact injury, which often goes overlooked or forgotten because he took a shot to the legs on the play.

"Injuries happen," said Wentz. "I believe this one was kind of a freak incident and that is just part of the game.

"There is always a learning curve. But overall, as an aggressive player, I am not going to change in that sense, I am just going to keep learning. I'm going to be learning how to preserve myself, how to be smart, when to take those chances, when it's worthwhile, it's a constant learning throughout my career, but it's definitely something I am taking seriously at the same time."

Sure, Wentz has the potential to develop into a Peyton Manning- or Tom Brady-style passer – dissecting defenses pre-snap, standing in the pocket and delivering the football quickly. When he reaches that point, great.

And if there is one legitimate knock on Wentz, he will stay in the pocket too long at times when he could've thrown the ball away and avoided a hit. He needs to know when to live to fight another day.

But you don't hear too many people worrying about the Panthers using Cam Newton like a fullback anymore. Eagles fans didn't think Donovan McNabb took off and ran nearly enough by his sixth season in the league.

When you're 6-foot-5, 237 pounds with 4.7 speed, like Wentz, breaking tackles and scrambling are just things you do. It's second nature.

It's expected of him to a degree. Wentz is an NFL quarterback. He's going to do whatever it takes to win.

There are always going to be people who worry about Wentz getting hurt. It's a legitimate fear.

It also comes with the territory.

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