When you consider that Philip Rivers’ retirement decision was viewed as a shock within the Indianapolis Colts organization, they did extremely well to acquire Carson Wentz for as little as they did less than two months after that bombshell announcement.
Since then, it’s become abundantly clear that Frank Reich had just as much of a say in the matter as general manager Chris Ballard did.
After terms of the trade were completed, the fourth-year head coach admitted that his interest in Wentz started when he was benched by the Eagles in Week 12.
At this juncture, saying that Reich is sticking his neck out Wentz would be a colossal understatement. In fact, we’d go as far as to say the Colts HC is putting his job on the line by speaking as highly of the former No. 2 overall pick as he has in recent months.
To nobody’s surprise (we hope), this narrative continued during Reich’s latest media session on Monday when he proclaimed he “cringes” when he hears analysts and pundits try to make the case that Wentz is broken beyond repair.
Doesn’t it feel like Frank Reich’s Colts coaching fate is tied to Carson Wentz?
"“I just cringe when I hear stuff like that, not that a player shouldn’t be accountable for poor play on the field,” Reich told reporters. “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.”"
There’s no sugarcoating this anymore. It’s virtually impossible to picture a scenario where Reich isn’t canned if Wentz doesn’t live up to expectations with the Colts. Not only did he heavily campaign for the trade, but the fact he takes offense to those who (rightly) claim it’s in his hands to resurrect the 28-year-old quarterback’s career proves there’s no turning back for Reich.
Reich defending Wentz is nothing new, but isn’t it kind of getting redundant? At this point, everybody knows how much Reich’s believe in his talent. Can’t we just leave it at that and let the five-year pro’s play do the talking? We know he isn’t asking the questions, but nobody’s forcing him to go into great detail about what it takes for a QB to be successful.
"“I’m willing to put it on the line for players that you believe in. I believe in Carson, so I feel good about it. I do know that his play will reflect the work that he does, it’ll reflect the work that our team does, it’ll reflect the work that our staff does, all the preparation. But I don’t mind being the point person on that.”"
While we admire Reich’s confidence in Wentz, he’s only putting more pressure on himself by reiterating that the Colts are the perfect spot for him to bounce back. After all, if that doesn’t end up being the case, the finger will be pointed at Reich more so than anyone else, including Ballard and the rest of the front office.
Isn’t Reich’s conviction also a little unfair on Wentz? Though we’re firm believers in Wentz’s potential, there’s no hiding from the fact he was one of the worst QBs in the NFL last season.
Placing such enormous expectations on his shoulders fresh off a campaign in which he ranked near the bottom of the league in every major statistical category will only force fans to do the same, and that’s just not an ideal situation.
We have no reason not to trust Reich, as Wentz enjoyed the best season of his career when he was his offensive coordinator back in 2017. However, his consistent praise of the former Eagles star means his job is riding on him being right.