Philadelphia Eagles fans already had a reason to be invested in whatever Carson Wentz does for the Indianapolis Colts.
After five years in the City of Brotherly Love, the former second overall pick is now trying to revive his career in Peyton Manning’s old stomping grounds. In a recent interview, Wentz made comments that should have Eagles fans ready to explode in anger at their ex-quarterback and the franchise as a whole.
Wentz says he has a ‘new passion’ for football
Make no mistake, Wentz is trying to show himself off as someone eager to start fresh and be the best new version of himself.
The former Pro Bowl quarterback has erred on the optimistic side throughout the offseason, often mentioning how excited he is to play under Colts head coach Frank Reich. The two previously worked together in Philadelphia when Reich served as the Eagles’ offensive coordinator from 2016-17.
The change of scenery has also positively impacted Wentz’s mental health. According to the Indianapolis Star, the veteran quarterback shared his enthusiasm about the season ahead and how comfortable he feels with his new team.
“I really feel like I have a new passion for the game. I’ve been high, I’ve been injured, I’ve been, now, benched, I’ve been traded, I’ve kinda seen a lot in five years, so whatever the game throws at me, I’m ready.”Carson Wentz
Changes of scenery often are best for everyone, and Tom Brady will fully attest to how things worked out when he left the New England Patriots to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But don’t expect Eagles fans to be smiling and wanting the best for Wentz when they read those comments.
Eagles fans should be furious upon seeing those comments
As cliche as the idea of a player and team being married might sound, that euphemism is used for a reason. For better or worse, they’re tied together in hopes of building something special until death, retirement, free agency, or trade does them part.
When Wentz talks about having a ‘new passion,’ it’s hard not to view parts of that sentiment as a shot against the Eagles organization. He acknowledged why he felt that way — the injuries, last year’s benching, and plenty of other factors — but the comments should sting nonetheless. Would he have found that changed comfort level and love of the game if he stayed in Philadelphia slightly longer?
Although the Eagles won a Super Bowl in Wentz’s five seasons, they did so with Nick Foles at the helm in the postseason. It is fair, then, to argue the Eagles underachieved when Wentz served as the starting quarterback.
However, what should really have Eagles fans angry is the idea that Doug Pederson and the previous regime botched the end of the Wentz era. If Wentz resumes where he left off under Reich and becomes an MVP candidate again, those who support the Birds may argue the team gave up on him too early or didn’t set him up to succeed.
And yes, some may argue the Eagles should have hired Reich instead of Pederson or even tried to hire him away from the Colts earlier this year. However, the first idea relies on hindsight and the second borders on the ridiculous. Reich likely would not have left a good situation in Indianapolis, even after Philip Rivers retired, to take over a rebuilding Eagles team.
The duo of Reich and Wentz could turn heads in 2021
With respect to the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars, the AFC South is a two-horse division. The Colts and Tennessee Titans are understandably the favorites to win the South; for the Colts, it’d potentially be their first division title since 2014.
It will be fascinating to see how Wentz and his improved mental health fare on the Colts. He already has a history with Reich, and the Colts return several talented offensive players. Second-year running back Jonathan Taylor caught fire down the stretch in his rookie season, and veteran receiver T.Y. Hilton opted to re-sign for a 10th campaign in Indianapolis.
If Reich works his magic with Wentz again, it doesn’t sound unrealistic to think the Colts can easily win the AFC South. Can they make the Super Bowl? Defeating Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen sounds tricky, but Wentz has shocked the world before.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, they’ll have to wait until 2022 for a reunion with Wentz. Unless, of course, the Colts and Eagles square off in Super Bowl 56…but that won’t happen, right?