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Indianapolis Colts’ Frank Reich says Carson Wentz can still be top 10 QB for Washington COs

PALM BEACH, Fla. — Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich has left Carson Wentz, but he’s not changing what he thinks the quarterback can still become in the NFL now that he’s in Washington. .

“I really believe he can be a top-10 quarterback,” Reich said.

The Colts traded Wentz to Washington Commanders earlier this month, a year after acquiring him from the Philadelphia Eagles. Washington traded second-round picks with the Colts and sent them a third-round pick as well as a conditional third. Washington also received a seventh-round pick.

Although Reich said the decision to trade him was unanimous, he remains convinced of Wentz’s potential. He was the offensive coordinator for Wentz’s first two seasons in Philadelphia, including in 2017 when the quarterback was considered as an MVP candidate before tearing his ACL.

“I love the guy, really. And I think he’s a really good quarterback,” Reich said. organization, we thought very appreciated by Carson in many ways. Obviously, we traded for him. But secondly, sometimes you can’t explain everything. You want to, but you just have to make a move that you think is right.

Last season, Wentz threw 27 touchdown passes to seven interceptions and ranked ninth overall QBR. But the Colts decided to trade him anyway, a decision that sent red flags to others about by Wentz.

“At the end of the day, there was a consensus. You don’t want to have seller’s remorse. We had already determined that wasn’t going to happen. It was well thought out. It wasn’t a quick decision.”

But that doesn’t mean he’s changed his mind about Wentz. Washington coach Ron Rivera spoke to Reich about Wentz and said the Colts coach called him after the trade to congratulate him and tell him he would love to coach him.

“They have a player who, first and foremost, is a very intelligent player, who can process a lot of information quickly. They have a guy who, physically, is a prototype NFL quarterback,” Reich said.

For Wentz to get back into the top 10, Reich said it was all about playing consistent, winning football. With a chance to clinch a playoff berth by winning one of the final two games of last season, the Colts lost both. losses to the Las Vegas Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars, Wentz posted a combined total QBR of 13.0, after completing 58.9% of his passes with two touchdowns and one interception.

“He was one of the top 10 quarterbacks in this league,” Reich said. “I think in 2017 he obviously was. I think in 1919 you could probably argue, the way he finished that year was. He put the Eagles team on the back in the last four games of the 2019 season and made all the plays necessary to qualify for the playoffs.This year we had some good times too.

Within a week, the Colts had traded for Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan — who Reich said wasn’t on their radar when they traded Wentz to Washington.

“Lucky, blessed, whatever you want to call it, we’re grateful that Matt became available,” Reich said.

Reich expressed similar sentiments about Wentz a year ago. The meeting did not go as planned. “It’s 2022. It’s not all a storybook ending,” Reich said. “These are the decisions that an organization has to make, that the leaders of an organization have to make. It was just the decision that we felt was best for our team at this point.

Jacksonville coach Doug Pederson, who coached Wentz for five seasons in Philadelphia, also spoke with Rivera ahead of the trade. Wentz, the No. 2 pick in the 2016 draft, led the Eagles to an 11-2 record before suffering an injury in 2017. Philadelphia won the Super Bowl with backup quarterback Nick Foles. missed five games and the Eagles went 4-1, winning the last three to make the playoffs.

But in 2019, Wentz finished strong. In the last four games, all wins, he threw seven touchdowns and no interceptions as the Eagles made the playoffs again.

Pederson refuted rumors about Wentz’s leadership style, saying among other things that he would involve young players in his off-season training. He highlighted Wentz’s work ethic.

“They have a terrific leader,” Pederson said. “They’ve got a guy who’s going to run this football team and he’s going to run this locker room. … I’ve only known him for a few years and it’s hard to talk about what he did last year in Indy and what he can do in Washington, but the guys told him.”

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