PHILADELPHIA-Tight end Brent Celek is the elder statesman on the Philadelphia Eagles, a 10-year veteran who has seen pretty much everything in his tenure with the team. So, Celek knows better than to get overly excited or caught up in the hype surrounding another young phenom.
Until now, that is.
Rookie quarterback Carson Wentz has taken the NFL by storm, and that storm blew the Pittsburgh Steelers out of Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, Sept. 25. Wentz-whose No. 11 jersey is already the leading seller in the NFL-continued his remarkable rookie season by outplaying Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who has played in four Pro Bowls and three Super Bowls, winning two.
On Sunday, the former North Dakota State star completed almost 75 percent of his passes for 301 yards and two touchdowns in the 34-3 blowout, and once again he didn't turn the ball over.
To put his season into perspective, Wentz is the first player in NFL history with 100-plus passing attempts, 60-plus completions with five touchdown passes and no interceptions in his first three career games.
After the game, Wentz deflected all the praise toward his coaches and teammates.
"As a quarterback, you've got to bring energy and elevate the play of everyone around you," Wentz said. "Coach (Doug) Pederson instills a lot of confidence in me and the coaches and the offensive line make my job easy."
However, his coaches and teammates know better.
"I told (Pederson) that I'm in my 10th year and this kid is inspiring me," Celek said. "He's adding youth to my game just by the way he's acting, being in the huddle, taking command. It's beyond impressive-it's great."
Before the game, Roethlisberger praised Wentz's poise and maturity and, of course, nothing happened on Sunday to change that opinion.
"I thought he played great. He won the game," Roethlisberger said. "He managed the game; he makes throws; he does the checks and audibles. I'm not sure how much freedom he has, but just look at the score."
Jordan Matthews, the Eagles' second-year wide receiver, has already bonded with Wentz and the two have even listened to each other's music (Matthews likes hip-hop and Wentz likes country) in order to understand each other better. And he said Wentz doesn't just rely on the physical or the mental-he also leans on the spiritual.
"He doesn't play for you," Matthews said. "He doesn't play for his parents. He doesn't play for me-he plays for God, straight up. So, when you do that, there's no pressure."
Actually, there is pressure-on the other team.
"Carson can put the ball anywhere on the field and you have to defend the whole field," Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. "And when you have to defend the whole field, it brings a different dynamic. He's fearless like that, yet he's doing it without forcing anything. That's probably what's most exciting."