Former Eagles OC Frank Reich on Carson Wentz: ‘I stuck my neck out’

Frank Reich (L), Carson Wentz #2, Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Frank Reich (L), Carson Wentz #2, Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

As of this past February 11th, it’s been over four years since Frank Reich left the Philadelphia Eagles to take over as the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. He’s coached 65 regular-season games, winning 37 of them and constructing a winning percentage of .569.

Carson Wentz, a young signal-caller looking to repair the negative on-field and off-field perception some have of him after having been criticized by teammates and hitting rock bottom from a performance standpoint in 2020, officially left the City of Brotherly Love via trade on March 17th of last year to join his former O.C. in Indy.

Once that happened, our interest in what they were doing should have lessened, but it hasn’t. Why would it? There’s a reason Colts games get high numbers in Philly, and it’s the same reason that we paid attention to what Brian Dawkins was doing while he was in Denver and why we often took peaks at Raiders and Patriots games to see what Nelson Agholor was doing.

We tend to keep up with what former Birds are doing, and seeing as how many believe Philly’s offense nosedived after Reich left and some were sad to see Carson go, it’s been hard not to eavesdrop whenever there’s a conversation related to the fact that Indy might move on from Wentz after one season.

Frank Reich goes to bat for the former Eagles signal-caller.

Though it’s been less than five years since we witnessed it, there are days when it feels like Carson Wentz’s near-MVP season was ten years ago. You’re very aware of the fact that last year, there were split opinions on what his ceiling was. There’s no reason to visit any of that here.

What many of us agreed on, however, was that, if Wentz was to return to that near-elite form, his best chance to do so was by reuniting with Reich. Well, we now have a 17-game sample to dissect, and the film resembles much of the tape he provided as a member of the Eagles.

He’s uniquely talented. He’s able to do things physically that only five or six quarterbacks can do, but too often, he makes bad decisions that lead to self-destruction on offense and putting his defense in bad positions. There also seem to be issues with self-awareness.

Frank Reich has his back though, even if Carson’s future with the team can’t be guaranteed. Here’s a quote from a recent chat he had with the media at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine:

"I stuck my neck out for him, you know, I stuck my neck out for him last year. I was a big part of that decision to get him here, and so, you know, I believe he’s gonna continue to have a lot of success as a quarterback. That might be here. It might not be here. That decision has yet to be determined… I still believe in the person, I still believe in the player. I mean, we’re all in progress. You know, I’m in progress. He’s in progress. Every one of our players is in progress"

Immediately following the Colts’ collapse to end the 2021-2022 regular season, Colts G.M. Chris Ballard expressed some immediate frustration about the way things ended for his football team. Though reports that they’re thinking about moving on came quickly, nothing’s happened yet.

The Colts seem unwilling to make an emotional decision. That’s good because there’s plenty of blame that can be shared for Indy’s collapse. Yes, much of it falls on the shoulders of their QB1, but everyone’s being evaluated (even though we can assume that Jonathan Taylor and Darius Leonard are safe).

Here’s more from Reich.

"I think there’s a lot of things in the evaluation process, right? You know, how we played, how every dynamic right is complicated, or I should say it’s complex. Nobody is an island unto himself. It’s the whole picture… You just don’t want to get into that trap of taking a snapshot of any one week or one year. It’s a bigger story than that., so the storyline is much bigger than one season. We’ve always had that perspective, and we’ll always have that."

Here’s a thought, and it’s one that you can best believe the Colts have thought of. Who do you plan on moving on with?

Trending. Potential cap casualties Eagles can target at EDGE. light

No one’s ever really mentioned the Colts as a possible landing spot for Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson, and judging by what will be available in the draft or during free agency (Jacoby Brissett, Cam Newton, Marcus Mariota, and Joe Flacco are among the highlights), Indy might be tempted to run it back with Wentz for another year.