PHILADELPHIA — Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is hungry.
So is tight end Zach Ertz.
Both crave success this season for the Eagles, who are expected to be among the NFC’s top teams this season. Their pangs don’t have as much to do with food, though both went through some culinary challenges before reporting to training camp.
Wentz showed up looking thinner than in past years. He’s still listed as carrying 237 pounds on his 6-foot-5 frame but appears closer to 225.
“I’m really not that much lighter,” Wentz said Thursday at the NovaCare Complex. “I’m just leaned out. I feel overall healthier, just from nutrition, from workouts, from just the way I approached my offseason. I’m just trying to eat healthier and live a healthier lifestyle.”
Ertz’s dietary regimen changed a tad during a trip to France while watching wife Julie help lead the U.S. team to the Women’s World Cup championship.
While France is known for its cuisine, Ertz found it to be tough to stomach after visiting a restaurant recommended by former Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews.
“The specials were beef tongue and pig’s ear,” Ertz told the Delaware County Times on Friday. “I tried it, and I had the worst stomach ache the next day. I was like, ‘Oh, this is a mistake.’ I love the French people, and the French food was cool. But snails and beef tongue and pig’s ears on the menu? I was kind of shying away from that.”
Ertz wound up subscribing to a food service during his month in Paris and stayed in shape by working out at France’s Olympic Training Center every day.
Wentz’s offseason workouts took place primarily in Philadelphia and North Dakota, though he did get together with some of the wide receivers, tight ends and running backs in Texas for their annual buddies trip.
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They picked Texas because of the heat, though it’s hard to imagine the temperatures were any higher than they were in Philadelphia/South Jersey over the last month.
“It was good,” Wentz said. “We got some good work in, but it was also about bonding as a team, building that chemistry on and off the field. That’s very important for this team. We’ve got a chance to do something special this year.”
Their onfield chemistry is off to an encouraging start. Wentz looked good in the offseason minicamps and first practice of training camp. He’s surrounded by talent at the skill positions.
New/old wide receiver DeSean Jackson joined a group that also includes Ertz, wide receivers Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, tight end Dallas Goedert and running backs Jordan Howard, Darren Sproles and rookie Miles Sanders.
“They’re very talented,” Wentz said. “There’s no denying it. My job is to distribute the ball to them.”
To do that, he has to avoid the injuries that have hampered him the last two seasons.
Wentz’s offseason diet and training was designed in hopes of playing the entire season. He missed the final three regular-season games and both playoff contests last season with a stress fracture in his back. In 2017, he watched Nick Foles lead the team to a Super Bowl victory after tearing the anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments in his left knee.
“Every day, you just try to get better,” Wentz said. “I’ve never been complacent with one win, one championship, none of that. And obviously, there is a bit of a personal side. I was not on the field back then in the Super Bowl.”
The Eagles added depth in the secondary by signing former Dallas and Kansas City cornerback Orlando Scandrick on Saturday.
Scandrick spent 10 seasons with the Cowboys (2008-17) and played last season for the Chiefs.
The Eagles were looking for a corner while dealing with a few injuries at that position. Jalen Mills is on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list with a foot injury. Ronald Darby is still recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee suffered last season, and Cre’Von LeBlanc sprained his foot Thursday.