After a pathetic 2020 season, the general feeling around the NFL was that Carson Wentz would be a recluse project and a long shot to return to his elite status from 2017. But if you ask Frank Reich – his new head coach with the Colts – he doesn’t need to return to be effective.
“All of you, for me, had to start the film in 2019, and with the four games needed to win the Eagles,” Reich told Sports Illustrated. “And not only did they need to win, but in all those games, as I remember, watching the film, Carson had to perform brilliantly in the second half, and play a big role in the team in which those games Won. Second half.
“Now, they were team victories, they were team efforts, it was not a one-man performance. But Carson made plays that needed to make quarterbacks when you needed to win four games in a row to make the playoffs. He did that, and it was not 2017. It was 2019. So in my mind, that I have just had this guy confirmed. “
In 2019 – Wentz’s only full season since his rookie year – the former Eagles quarterback threw for 4,039 yards, 27 touchdowns and just seven interceptions, leading the Eagles to the NFC East Championship by some accounts. That season, the Eagles’ top two receivers were Tate Ends (Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert), and their third major receiver was a running back (Miles Sanders).
In 2020, however, Wentz fell off a cliff after throwing for 16 TDS and 15 INTs in 12 games, before being drafted to second-round quarterback Jalan Hurts. There were rumors of a negative attitude and a dislike for tough coaching behind the scenes, and the Eagles traded him to Reich and the Colts for two draft picks.
Said that, Reich does not see Wentz as an experiment – he sees her as a “long-term answer”.
“Honestly, I think Chris and I were thinking, somehow we were going to figure out how we would be able to draft our future quarterback. And then this thing came with Carson and it came in our lap. And that’s the great thing about it, when it works that way, it almost makes you feel like it means more because you can’t make this stuff and you can’t build it. “
Reich was the Eagles’ offensive coordinator in 2017, when he won the Super Bowl, and reportedly wanted to play for Wentz, the sole coach. There is a lot of pressure on the quarterback to return to form in Indianapolis, and if he can’t do that there, it can’t be anywhere.