To call Carson Wentz’s 2017 season a roller coaster ride would be an understatement. The quarterback led the Philadelphia Eagles to an 11-2 start and was considered to be the front-runner for the MVP award after passing for 3,296 yards and 33 touchdowns. But after a season-ending ACL injury in Week 14, Wentz went from award contender to sideline supporter, missing out on a championship run for the Eagles.
The Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots was the first in franchise history, and while Wentz certainly set up the Eagles for that title with his stellar plan in the regular season, it was still a tough experience to be unable to play. Wentz used that experience to motivate himself while doing his rehab in the offseason.
“I was extremely proud and happy for my teammates out there, but it was bittersweet to have to watch from the sidelines,” Wentz told Men’s Journal. “I love the game of football, and you go through your whole life playing the sport just dreaming of winning that trophy, and I want to try and do that with the team again. Following my rehab, I’m excited to get back out on the field. There’s nothing quite like playing football on Sunday afternoon.”
Even though Wentz missed out on the playoffs and the Super Bowl, he feels that his hard work in the offseason and his experience has made him a better player. Wentz, who also enjoys hunting and getting out in the great outdoors, thinks the Eagles can make another run in 2018.
“I learned a lot about myself,” says Wentz. “I learned a lot about knowing that not everything is in your control, and ultimately, I think it’s going to make me stronger going forward. I’m excited to get out and see what we can do this year.”
Wentz spoke with Men’s Journal about how he rehabbed for his injury, what it was like watching his teammates win the Super Bowl, and why he loved playing football at North Dakota State.
When you’re healthy, what are your favorite types of training and workouts to do?
I like to do total-body workouts, those are big for me. I like to just knock them out. What I mean is, some guys take one or two hours to do a workout, but I’d rather it take 40 minutes and be drained after than spreading it out a bit more. I like to get in some cardio as I workout, so I’ll get that in and do it all together. During the week I’ll work on running and throwing, upper body and lower body lifts are big for me. I also try to keep it all functional. In college, you kind of develop that the base of overall strength, but now I feel like I’m a strong enough player where it’s mostly functional movements and not heavy stuff, like the heavy bench, it’s more range of motion and functional stuff to help take me to the next level as an athlete.
What was your injury rehab like, and how did you get yourself through it?
Rehabbing can be long, monotonous, physically painful, and mentally draining, and it can be a tough process. But I had a great support system, and something that really helped me overall was music. I think especially with this offseason with an injury like I had, it’s easy to be in your own thoughts and think of the negative things and questioning things. When I go through those times and have some music on that really motivates me and gives me a new perspective, it helps me push through what I’m going through and that was really important for me this offseason. Music played a major role for that. I really just love music, like sometimes I drive my friends and my wife crazy because I always have to play music in the background.
What type of gear do you use in your workouts? Anything you feel is essential to getting things done?
Music is really essential to me, and I feel I always need music when I’m training and when I’m in the gym working out. I use the SoundSport Free and SoundSport Wireless headphones from Bose when I train, and having that music was really a motivating factor for me. Music plays a big part in my life and in my training in the offseason.
What did you enjoy most about playing football in North Dakota for college? How does it compare to the NFL?
Playing at home at college and playing at home in the league are two of the best places to play football that I’ve ever seen. I have a ton of respect for the fans back home, and in our conference at North Dakota State, we had some of the best fans, and so did the teams out there. When we played in Montana, it would be so cool because they’re there in the mountains and you have all that roud you. They have quite the tradition there, and the fans were loud and great. Then with the NFL, it’s just the best. You’re playing the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, and Washington Redskins in our division in a hostile environment, it’s exciting to go in there and try and quiet the crowd or steal a victory. There’s nothing quite like it.
What’s your diet and nutrition like?
It’s a big part of what I do. I’m not one of those guys that has a strict plan or routine, but I’m always very cognizant of where my body is at and how I feel. If I’m feeling overweight or feeling heavy, or anything like that, I’ll really focus on scaling back on things and making sure I’m eating as clean and smart as possible. I mainly just keep things in moderation and it’s been a learning curve for sure. I started off as this scrawny kid in college, and now the last couple years I’ve been trying to maintain my strength and stay at the right size I need to be.
What’s one are you think it’s important for quarterbacks to work on?
As a rotational athlete, the core are is huge for me. I’m big on training my core during the season and out of the season, making sure I’m staying flexible and have range of motion. I think everything starts there with your core, so you want to keep that strong. As a thrower and a quarterback, you have to make sure your stabilization muscles and your shoulders are staying strong. You go through training camp and a long season, and the number of throws keeps adding up, so you need to have the proper stability and strength to last and stay healthy through the season.
Here’s a Playlist that Wentz uses to get motivated when he’s training:
Thomas Rhett – Life Changes
Tiesto, Startgate, Aloe Blacc – Carry You Home
Elevation Worship – Fullness
Imagine Dragons – Whatever it Takes
The Script – Hall of Fame
Rend Collective – Counting Every Blessing
Sigala, Bryn Christopher – Sweet Lovin’
Hillsong United – With Everything
Vertical Worship – Yes I Will
Walker Hayes – Craig