Colts' Frank Reich: 'I Just Cringe' When I Hear People Say Carson Wentz is 'Broken'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 17, 2021

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 27: Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on before the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on December 27, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Carson Wentz had his worst season as a professional in 2020, leading to his eventual trade to the Indianapolis Colts this offseason. 

But as for whether Wentz is irrevocably broken as a quarterback, well, head coach Frank Reich pushed back against that notion while speaking to reporters Monday:

"I just cringe when I hear stuff like that, not that a player shouldn't be accountable for poor play on the field. 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. But I just know that playing the position of quarterback, there are so many factors that go into it. We talked about why the poor play last year, I'm just very confident that he has a team around him. It's just I think the culture fit. You guys know how I feel about the Eagles, how highly I feel about that organization. But sometimes in sports, this is one of those transitions I think it's going to end up being good for both organizations, I think it's going to be good for Carson. I think we got 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 that we got the right player."

Wentz, 28, threw for 2,620 yards, 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, completing just 57.4 percent of his passes and taking 50 sacks. He played in 12 games for the Eagles before being benched in favor of Jalen Hurts. 

There's no getting around it—Wentz was awful. It capped off a truly bizarre journey for him in Philadelphia.

He started as the golden child after the Eagles traded a bounty of draft picks to select him No. 2 overall in the 2016 NFL draft. By his second season he already looked like a superstar in the making and was the frontrunner for MVP in 2017 before tearing his ACL. 

The Eagles, of course, went on to win the Super Bowl with Nick Foles at quarterback, creating a shadow that Wentz never quite escaped. 

In 2018, a stress fracture in his back kept him out of the postseason, with Foles again taking over and leading the team to a playoff win. In 2019 Foles was no longer on the roster and Wentz stayed healthy in the regular season, only to suffer a concussion and fail to finish the team's Wild Card Loss to the Seattle Seahawks. 

Ahead of the 2020 season the team drafted Hurts in the second round, leading to plenty of speculation that the front office—despite signing Wentz to a massive four-year, $128 million extension in 2019—perhaps wasn't completely sold on him as the franchise quarterback. 

Or, at the very least, that his injury history had become such a concern they were willing to invest an important resource on a backup option. 

So by the time the 2020 season had concluded, a breakup seemed needed and a fresh start logical. Wentz has to prove he can halt his steadily declining play. Reich believes he will.