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Browns keep focus on themselves as Eagles name Carson Wentz starting QB

The Eagles announced Carson Wentz as their starting quarterback against the Browns on Monday afternoon, thrusting the rookie and second-overall draft pick into the spotlight sooner than expected.

That was news to head coach Hue Jackson, who was busy preparing Cleveland for its season opener at Philadelphia. The first-year coach played down the development, saying the Browns will instead focus on what they must do to win Sunday.

"Honestly, it's not really about Philadelphia. It's about our football team," Jackson said after practice.

"They're going to do what they do and we have to do what we have to do. We're just trying to get better and get ready to play in a big game on Sunday."

Wentz, who missed most of the preseason after suffering a hairline fracture to his ribs last month, will make his debut following a trade that saw the Eagles deal veteran quarterback Sam Bradford to Minnesota in exchange for a first-round draft pick in 2017.

"Everybody feels like this kid is ready to go and we drafted him to take on the reins and it's something now we are prepared to do," Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson told reporters.

Against that backdrop, Pederson — who previously spoke of sitting Wentz this season to allow the former North Dakota State star to grow and develop — outlined the decision to play Wentz after all, saying "it's something that we believe in."

"This is why we drafted him," Pederson said. "Would the ideal situation be later than sooner? Sure. But right now, where we are, we got a good football team around him, great defense, special teams. So all the pieces are here for him to be successful and for us to win some games."

The Browns, who finalized their a 53-man roster this weekend, evaluated Wentz this past offseason prior to the draft. Asked if they need to watch Wentz's college game film as a means of preparation, Jackson reiterated it's about their process and plan.

"I don't look at it like that. I'm sure me and (defensive coordinator Ray Horton) will discuss what we need to do, but at the same time, I'm more worried about our football team," he said.

"I'm not so much worried about Philadelphia. They have a good team. They have a good defense. I know that for sure. They have a very good offense and Carson's a very talented young man, but at the same time, it's not going to be about them. It's going to be about us. It's about our focus and our preparation and how we go through our process during the week to get ready to play." 

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