It’s been some time since Colts owner Jim Irsay let the world know how he felt about the Carson Wentz experiment in Indianapolis, allowing the quarterback to marinate on his former boss’ comments.
Even now, Wentz is still surprised by how his time with Irsay’s Colts ended.
“I didn’t expect things to unfold the way they did,” Wentz said during an appearance on the Colin Cowherd Podcast, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I thought things were in a pretty good place there. I had awesome relationships with every single person in that building. I can’t say enough good things about the people over there. It kinda came out of left field.”
Indianapolis acquired Wentz with the belief he’d be a minor reclamation project for coach Frank Reich, who had worked as Wentz’s offensive coordinator in Philadelphia before moving to Indianapolis to become the Colts’ head coach. There was an established rapport and proof Reich knew how to put Wentz in positions to succeed. And for a decent portion of the 2021 season, their gamble appeared in line to pay off.
Then the Colts collapsed in the final few weeks of the season, and a loss to the NFL’s worst team in Week 18 — the Jacksonville Jaguars — sealed their fate as a squad that would be spending the postseason at home. Wentz was dreadful in the game, failing to lead the superior Colts past a team that was expected to have an eye on offseason vacations, not an upset win over a division rival. Irsay was so upset by the outcome, he recorded a video from a tarmac promising Colts fans he’d do whatever was necessary to make sure such a collapse didn’t happen again.
Apparently, moving on from Wentz was a necessity.
“I think the worst thing you can do is have a mistake and try to keep living with it going forward,” Irsay later explained in late March. “For us, it was something 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 a proven veteran quarterback was all the Colts needed to make a serious run at a Super Bowl. They’ve found that in Ryan, while Wentz is at his next stop with a bit of added fuel for his fire.
“It is what it is. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion,” Wentz said. “I thought last year was a really fun year. I thought we did some incredible things, but we came up short at the end — obviously. I struggled down the stretch there and timing was poor.”
Wentz had his moments with the Colts, including a stunning set of throws completed to power Indianapolis to a statement win over Arizona on the road on Christmas. The Colts appeared to be legitimate — until they weren’t.
Washington welcomes Wentz to his new home, where we will see how the former second-overall pick will get another chance to prove his worth. If things pan out as they did in Indianapolis, it could be his last. Wentz appears focused on avoiding such worry.