By Joseph Santoliquito
PHILADELPHIA, PA (CBS) — Carson Wentz said he’s going to fight the urge to touch a football for about three or four weeks, but plans on getting right back to work and taking what he’s learned in 2016 and improve on them in 2017.
Wentz threw an NFL rookie record 379 completions, a mark that was previously set by Sam Bradford in 2010 (354). He finished his rookie campaign with the 4th-most passing yards (3,782) in Eagles single-season history, trailing only Donovan McNabb in 2008 (3,916) and 2004 (3,875) and Randall Cunningham in 1988 (3,808). That total also ranks 4th among all-time NFL rookies, behind Andrew Luck in 2012 (4,374), Cam Newton in 2011 (4,051) and Jameis Winston in 2015 (4,042).
He also became the first Eagles quarterback to start all 16 regular-season games since Donovan McNabb in 2008. Since the NFL moved to a 16-game schedule in 1978, only three quarterback have started every contest in a season for the Eagles: McNabb (2000-01, 2003, 2008), Randall Cunningham (1988-90) and Ron Jaworski (1978-81, 1983).
And addressing the media on Monday at the NovaCare Complex, Wentz said he wants to slow things down—though just for a blink. He said he feels healthy and will occupy his down time hunting and hanging out.
“I haven’t had a ton of time to think about the offseason, it’s about to start here, but I definitely have to take some time off, mentally and physically,” Wentz admitted. “It’s been a long haul, from my college season to the whole pre-draft process, to this whole on-season. It’s been a lot of fun. I’ve learned a lot, but definitely physically and mentally taxing, so I’m sure the exact timetables for everything.
“I’m excited to get back to work.”
Wentz also gave himself a self-evaluation grade of “OK.” He thought it wasn’t what needed to be to succeed, for finishing 7-9.
“That’s what it all boils down to,” Wentz said. “I thought I grew a lot as far as mentally and physically on the field. It was definitely nowhere near where I want to be, and where we want to be a team. But I thought we did some good things at times, too. With the time off, I definitely need to reflect. A year ago at this time, my life was definitely crazy different.
“Many things have changed and transpired this season.”
Wentz said he felt it was a long season, but it went fast. He felt he never experienced the “rookie wall,” and in fact, began to feel immersed in the NFL routine later in the season.
When asked about the toughest aspect of the NFL that he had to adjust to, Wentz said, “The speed of the game. Coming up, every single opponent in every single week can fly around and make plays. I thought I adjusted to it fairly quickly, but I thought it was one of the biggest things I had adjust to.
“It wasn’t a good [feeling packing early for the end of the season]. It was weird coming up this morning and that same locker room will never be the same. It’s kind of crappy feeling, but I want to use that now. I never want to experience that feeling again. I want to play into January the rest of my career, God willing.”
Wentz said he and head coach Doug Pederson spoke overall about the team improving—not specific about himself.
“I think we can all get better, and I think we all need to be better in situations,” Wentz said. “I thought we were a really good football team between the 20s. I think we did some good things, but situationally, I think we all need to be better, myself included. I thought [Pederson’s] play calling was very similar [throughout the season].
“One thing with coach Pederson is he valued my input. He valued my input on things, and that was awesome for me.”
Wentz didn’t rule out seeking out a Tom House-type of throwing guru. He admitted that he can see it happening.