<
>

Carson Wentz to shut it down following 'taxing' rookie season

"It's been a lot of fun, learned a lot," Carson Wentz said of his first NFL season, "but definitely been physically and mentally taxing." Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Eagles rookie cornerback Jalen Mills came clean with reporters on Monday and said he hit the rookie wall in Week 5. From injury rehab to the pre-draft process and then right into the NFL grind, his energy was sapped by mid-October.

Carson Wentz insists he avoided the crash, and in fact felt more in the flow in the season's latter stages. But as he sat in front of the assembled media on Monday, he looked like a young man ready to hibernate.

"It's been a lot of fun, learned a lot," he said of his first season in the pros, "but definitely been physically and mentally taxing."

The 24-year old plans on shutting it down for a while. He says he'll "fight the urge to touch a football here for at least three to four weeks maybe -- at least." That right arm logged a lot of miles, as Wentz set a franchise record with 607 pass attempts. During that time, he intends to hunt, hang out and reflect on a first-year performance that he labeled as "OK."

"It definitely wasn't where it needs to be, for sure," he said. "Ultimately we were 7-9 and that's what it all boils down to. I thought I learned a lot, I thought I grew as far as mentally and physically on the field. Definitely nowhere near where I want to be or where I think we can be as a team, but I thought we did some good things at times, too."

When he comes off his hiatus, he'll find plenty of people eager to work with him. Wentz suggested he could very well end up calling on a quarterback tutor like Tom House as he tries to refine his mechanics.

Several of his teammates are looking to get some quality time in as well. Receiver Jordan Matthews, for one, is angling for some bonding time on Wentz's turf in Fargo, North Dakota.

"I'm like, 'Bro, we need to get a cabin out there. ... Let's get a cabin, we'll go throw and then we'll just look at each other the rest of the day because there is nothing else to do. Go somewhere where we have no other choice but to get closer.'"

Wentz, Matthews and tight end Zach Ertz are part of a core that will spend a good amount of time in the Philadelphia area as well so they can get in extra reps together.

Wentz didn't have all the details ironed out, but he'll try to find the right blend of rest and work to set himself up well for what he is expecting to be a more prosperous season in 2017.

"It was weird last night and this morning coming in like, we're not going to be back here. That same team, that same locker room will never be the same. It's kind of a crappy feeling. But we're going to use that now. I know I'm going to personally use that. I never want to have that feeling again. I want to be playing into January for the rest of my career, God willing, and we're going to see what happens."