When rumors began to circulate that the Eagles could trade quarterback Carson Wentz, the Colts were always considered the natural landing spot because of Wentz’s relationship with head coach Frank Reich.
Before the deal went down, Reich reviewed Wentz’s tape to see what went so wrong for the quarterback in 2020. And while Reich served as Philadelphia’s offensive coordinator for the QB’s first two seasons, what convinced the head coach that Wentz can round back into form were some more recent performances.
“All you had to do, for me, was turn on the film in 2019, and with four games to go the Eagles needed to win out,” Reich told Albert Breer of SI.com. “And not only did they need to win out, but in each of those games, as I recall, looking at the film, Carson had to play great in the second half, and play a major role in that team winning those games in the second half.
“Now, they were team wins, they were team efforts, it wasn’t a one-man show. But Carson made the plays that a quarterback needs to make when you need to win four games in a row to make the playoffs. He did that, and that wasn’t 2017. That was 2019. So in my mind, that just confirmed to me this guy still has it.”
Reich went on to say that Wentz can do a better job of playing in rhythm, getting rid of the ball instead of trying to make something out of nothing. But the head coach also said that Wentz’s protection last year was not as good as it was in 2017, which required him to do more with less.
“But it’s not all Carson’s fault either,” Reich said. “It’s everybody’s fault.”
Still, Wentz was the most-sacked quarterback in football in 2020, being taken down 50 times. Houston’s Deshaun Watson was second at 49 sacks — but he played four more games than Wentz.
Wentz has plenty to prove as he begins his Colts tenure. But he’ll at least be with a head coach who believes he can turn things around.