INDIANAPOLIS – The word makes Frank Reich wince.
But he understands where it’s coming from.
No quarterback in the NFL threw more interceptions last season than Carson Wentz. And that was with Wentz being benched for the final four games of the year.
Some called Wentz ‘broken’ in 2020, which led to him and the Eagles divorcing less than 2 years after the two parties agreed on a mega contract worth more than $130 million.
Yeah, Reich hears it, but he doesn’t like it.
“That’s a good question, a fair statement, but I just cringe when I hear stuff like that,” Reich says. “Not that a player shouldn’t be accountable for poor play on the field and Carson has to answer to that and he has answered to it, and until you get out there and prove otherwise that’s what you live with. I just know that playing the position of quarterback there are so many factors that go into it.
“We talk a lot about why the poor play last year. I’m just very confident that he (now) has a team around him and I think the culture fit – again, you guys know how I feel about the Eagles and how highly I think of that organization, but sometimes in sports, this is just one of those transitions that I think is going to end up being good for both organizations. I think it is going to be good for Carson. I think we have to be patient with it. I think it takes a little bit of time just like it took Philip (Rivers) a minute and Jacoby (Brissett) a minute. But I’m confident we got the right player.”
Another aspect to this Colts/Wentz marriage is the unwavering belief that Reich had in this trade actually happening.
Reich’s history with Wentz, and his continued conviction in him, had Chris Ballard and Jim Irsay agreeing to make this move.
Some have said such a move by the Colts has the 4th year head coach responsible for how this situation plays out.
Reich understands the ramifications.
“You stick your neck out for players as a head coach or a GM or a scout or a coach – we all do it,” Reich says. “Obviously, as a head coach sometimes you have a little bit more say in it than maybe a position coach. But that’s what you love about it. I love sticking my neck out for people I believe in.
“So yeah, I’m willing to put it on the line for players that you believe in and I believe in this team, I believe in Carson. So yeah, I feel good about it. I do know that his play will reflect the work that he does, it will reflect the work our team does, it will reflect the work that our staff does all in preparation. But I don’t mind being the point person on that.”
If this works out, Reich’s instincts will be instrumental in giving the Colts a longer-term answer at the most important position in sports.
If it doesn’t, and the Colts struggle, chatter will inevitably start to fizzle around the job security of the head coach.