It’s been some time since Colts owner Jim Irsay let the world know how he felt about Carson Wentz’s experience in Indianapolis, allowing the quarterback to marinate on comments from his former boss.
Even now, Wentz is still surprised by the end of his time with the Irsay Colts.
“I didn’t expect things to turn out the way they did,” Wentz said during an appearance on the Colin Cowherd Podcast, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I thought things were going pretty well there. I had a great relationship with every single person in that building. I can’t say enough good things about the people there. left.”
Indianapolis acquired Wentz with the belief that he would be a minor salvage project for coach Frank Reich, who had worked as Wentz’s offensive coordinator in Philadelphia before moving to Indianapolis to become head coach of the Colts. There was established rapport and proof that Reich knew how to position Wentz to succeed. And for much of the 2021 season, their bet looked set to pay off.
Then the Colts slumped in the final weeks of the season and a loss to the NFL’s worst team in Week 18 – the Jacksonville Jaguars – sealed their fate as the team that would advance to the playoffs at residence. Wentz was abysmal in the game, failing to lead the senior Colts past a team that needed to have their eye on an offseason vacation, not an upset win over a division rival. Irsay was so upset with the result that he recorded a video of a tarmac promising Colts fans that he would do whatever it took to make sure such a meltdown never happened again.
Apparently leaving Wentz was a necessity.
“I think the worst thing you can do is make a mistake and try to live with it,” Irsay explained later in late March. “For us, it was something that we had to move away from as a franchise. It was very obvious.”
After shipping Wentz to Washington, Indianapolis acquired Matt Ryan with the belief that a proven veteran quarterback was all the Colts needed to make a serious run at a Super Bowl. They found this in Ryan, as Wentz is at his next stop with some extra fuel for his fire.
“It is what it is. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion,” Wentz said. “I think last year was a really fun year. I think we did some amazing things, but we fell short in the end – obviously. I struggled the whole stretch there and the timing was bad.”
Wentz had his moments with the Colts, including a series of stunning pitches to propel Indianapolis to a decisive victory over Arizona on the road on Christmas. The Colts seemed legit – until they weren’t.
Washington welcomes Wentz to his new home, where we’ll see how the former second overall pick gets another chance to prove his worth. If things go the way they did in Indianapolis, this could be his last. Wentz seems focused on avoiding such concern.