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Iowa State start more nerve-wracking for Wentz's dad than NFL opener

PHILADELPHIA--So your son is making his first start at quarterback before one of the toughest fan bases in the NFL. Feeling a little nervous, Doug Wentz?...

Aug 11, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) throws a pass during pre game warmups against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 11, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) throws a pass during pre game warmups against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

PHILADELPHIA-So your son is making his first start at quarterback before one of the toughest fan bases in the NFL. Feeling a little nervous, Doug Wentz?

"I don't think it's going to be as bad as it was on his very first start with Iowa State a few years ago," said Carson Wentz's father. "I was a mess for weeks and months before that game."

Really? A college start for North Dakota State was more nerve-wracking than one in the country's most popular league? Why?

"It actually started right after Brock (Jensen) won his last championship that January. I knew it was Carson's turn and I wanted him to fit in and be part of the team and, of course, do well," Doug said. "It was tough. I'm sure this will be, too, but that was ... oof."

Jensen, the all-time winningest quarterback in FCS history, won three straight national titles with the Bison and so it's natural that your son trying to continue that legacy would cause butterflies. Turned out Carson did just fine against the Cyclones on that Saturday in August 2014. He completed 18 of 28 passing attempts for 204 yards and no interceptions-and added the famed hurdle over a fallen Iowa State defender-as the Bison rolled 34-14. Wentz finished with two FCS championships of his own.

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Doug Wentz and family flew into Philadelphia from Bismarck on Saturday, Sept. 9, one day ahead of Carson making his surprise and much-anticipated first start for the Eagles against the Cleveland Browns at Lincoln Financial Field.

Wearing a green polo shirt emblazoned with the Eagles' logo, Doug said he's ready for his son to begin his NFL career.

Since being drafted second overall by the Eagles in the NFL Draft, it was expected Carson would be Philadelphia's third-string quarterback and perhaps not play at all this season. He also suffered two broken ribs in his first preseason game, further adding to the belief Carson would not play much.

But when the Eagles traded starting quarterback Sam Bradford to the Minnesota Vikings over the Labor Day weekend, everything changed. Eagles coach Doug Pederson named Carson his team's starter-leapfrogging second-stringer Chase Daniel.

"It's been a big week. Not so much anxious like it was in the past," Doug Wentz said. "Very excited for the game to get going. Carson's excited. I'm very excited. The family is. And I think there will be 67-some thousand people who are going to be excited at the facility tomorrow."

Doug was goose hunting with Carson and his other son, Zach, when the team called with the news Carson would be the Week 1 starter. It's a story that was popular when it broke and appears to have made Carson even more popular with blue-collar Eagles fans.

Hunting is one of the Wentz family passions. Another is Bison football. That's what Doug, Carson and the rest of the Wentzes were going to be engrossed in one day before the most-anticipated NFL debut in North Dakota history.

"We're headed over to Carson's to watch the Bison," Doug said while standing in the baggage claim area of the Philadelphia airport. "What else is there to do?"

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