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Wentz On Time With Bradford, Facing Vikings Defense

When Carson Wentz was drafted second overall by the Eagles in April, Philadelphia's plan was set in stone.

Sam Bradford was the incumbent starter at quarterback while free agent Chase Daniel was in the No. 2 spot. Wentz, a product of North Dakota State University, would be the third option.

At least, that was the plan until Teddy Bridgewater suffered a season-ending knee injury and Bradford was traded to Minnesota on Sept. 3. It was a move that surprised Wentz, who was out hunting when he learned of the deal from Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson.

"I was obviously pretty surprised, but I was super excited," Wentz said. "I had been waiting my time, just diving in and learning as much as I could, and I knew my time would come.

"Obviously it's been a little quicker than what a lot of people expected, but I was ready for it," he added. "Instantly, I was now the starter and it was time to roll. There was no waiting, and I just took it in stride."

Now as the Vikings and Eagles prep for Sunday's noon (CT) game in the City of Brotherly Love, Bradford and Wentz will be on opposite sides of the field as each team's starting quarterbacks.

As Wentz spoke to the Twin Cities media Wednesday, he recalled fond memories of his time with Bradford over the handful of months they were teammates.

"It was pretty cool coming in with him and Chase … to really just learn this offense, learn this system," Wentz said. "Sam has been exposed to a number of different systems and offenses, so he had a lot of good input with this offense and teaching points for me.

"It was really good to work with him, and I'm looking forward to seeing him again and playing against him," he added.

Bradford said he, too, enjoyed his time with a fellow first-round selection.

"He was a real pro, just the way he handled himself in the film room, on the practice field," Bradford said of Wentz. "I could tell early on that he wanted to be great, that he was committed to coming in every day and working really hard.

"I think the progress that he made from OTAs to training camp, it was phenomenal," he added. "You just watched him play, and I'm not surprised at all by the way that he has played this year, just because you could see it on the practice field. It seemed like he was always getting better each day he went out there."

Both quarterbacks have fared well after the trade.

Bradford is 4-0 as the Vikings starter and has thrown for 990 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions with a passer rating of 109.7.

Wentz and the Eagles are 3-2, as the rookie has thrown for 1,186 yards with seven touchdowns and an interception in five games.

"He gets the ball out quick," Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr said of Wentz. "He's efficient, and he's a good athlete back there.

"I didn't realize that about him, but he can move a little bit," he added. "It's going to be a challenge for us, but I think we're going to be up to it."

The rookie quarterback is well-aware of the stern test he faces against the Vikings defense, which ranks first in the league with just 12.6 points allowed per game.

"The first thing that sticks out is that they play fast," Wentz said. "They play very confident, and you can just tell on film that they're well-coached.

"They fly around, they like to make plays for really for us, we have to be sharp," he added.

Adding to the intrigue Sunday is that Wentz grew up a Vikings fan in North Dakota.

But don't expect Wentz to be nostalgic when he goes up against the lone unbeaten team in the league. He said that while he has fond memories of being a Vikings fan, he won't be rooting for the Purple in any way, shape or form.

"At this stage of my life, it's kind of part of the business," Wentz said. "You no longer have a favorite team or anything like that, but it will be cool at the same time.

"I grew up a Vikings fan without a doubt, and obviously I followed them for years. It will be a special one," he added. "But they present a great challenge, and that's the most exciting part. They're coming in to our place and obviously they're 5-0, and we're looking to change that."

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