Carson Wentz Eager for a Fresh Start with Indianapolis Colts

INDIANAPOLIS – The new Colts quarterback landed in Indianapolis on Thursday morning carrying his baby in a car seat and prepared to meet the people that helped make this trade possible.

While Carson Wentz didn’t go too deep into details on his surprisingly exit from Philadelphia, it’s clear he is quite eager for this fresh start with Frank Reich and the Colts.

Here are some of the highlights from Wentz meeting the media for the first time since the 2020 season ended:

On thinking he would be with a different team just a year ago: “There’s a lot of things in this life that we can’t just predict. There’s a lot of crazy circumstances, not how you expect things to unfold. When you are drafted in a place like Philly, there’s a lot of high expectations and obviously the year didn’t go as we planned/I planned, and everything that kind of shook out. But I believe God has a perfect plan and here we are. We are excited for this new opportunity and hopefully build something special here in Indy and be a part of something special that’s already been created here.”

On Eagles GM Howie Roseman saying Wentz told him he wanted a fresh start: “After the season, obviously a lot of conversations with my agent and back and forth and those types of things. It wasn’t the ending that everyone envisioned. Now how I envisioned it, all of those things. I’m not going to delve too much into those conversations, but obviously this is where we are at. We are excited for this fresh start to be in such a great place as this.”

On being a better teammate here in Indy: “Ever since the trade announcement a month ago, I’ve been in a lot of communication with a lot of my teammates. For me, it’s been pretty cool. It’s been cool to see the support and how welcoming they’ve been. Not a single one has said a bad thing about this organization, this area and this community. For me, that’s exciting, both for me and for my family. Guys seem awesome. Guys seem great. It was great to get down there in California and throw with Dez (Dezmon Patmon) and Pitt (Michael Pittman) and get some work on in. I look forward to getting some more work in with those guys and the rest of the guys really all over the country. We’ll see how this offseason kind of pans out. I’m looking forward to meeting everybody in person and getting to work as soon as a I can.”

On what he needs to be fixed from his own game last year: “Yeah, over the course of any year, I go back at the end of any season and watch tape and, ‘What can I improve on? What can I get better?’ There’s always little things. There’s bigger things. There’s a lot of things every year that is, ‘This is what I want to focus on this offseason.’ Not to dive into details on that, but there’s definitely things that you watch and you say, ‘Ok, this is where I want to improve.’ And I’m going to dive headfirst this offseason into improving those things and keep trying to become the best player I can be. Last season didn’t go personally the way I envisioned it, the way the team wanted it to go, all of those things. But you live and you learn from those things. Hopefully we can be better next year.”

On if the Eagles drafting Jalen Hurts in 2020 affected the confidence of Wentz: “I don’t. Jalen and I had a good relationship. I wish the kid nothing but the best. I think he’s got a lot of ability. I was impressed how quickly he kind of grasped the offense and really understood things and how well he did. Obviously, I would have loved to be the guy playing the year out. There’s no mistaking that. But that’s not how it unfolded. I have a lot of respect for him. It’s just the way it unfolded. There are a lot of things that had to fall in place for this thing to happen and for me to be here. But I said it earlier, and I’m going to beat it to death, God has a plan. He’s got a perfect plan. I can argue with it sometimes but it ain’t going to get me anywhere. I’m here and I’m excited for this one.”

On the pain of getting benched late last season: “I’m not going to sugarcoat it. It wasn’t fun. It’s not fun when things are going so well for years and the Super Bowl and all those things, and not being out there on the field, having injuries. You don’t know why things happened or why they went the way it did. As a man, you have to look yourself in the mirror and learn from it. Become a better man, a better player, all those things. I’m not going to lie. It wasn’t fun. It was difficult but I did everything I could to still be supportive of Jalen and my teammates. I have really strong relationships with a lot people in that (Eagles) building, teammates, staff. I wanted to be the best I could be to help them. So I was going out there every day for scout team, even though it was weird. It was new. It was different. But I was going to give the best look I could and I was going to compete and do everything I could to help the team. It wasn’t the ending that I desired but this is the path that we are on and we are excited for this new opportunity.”

On hearing the negative criticism that has come up surrounding his game: “I don’t read a lot of the newspaper or listen to a lot of the media stuff. I often find out things from people like ya’ll, family friends sending me stuff. I tried everything I could, once the offseason hit, to just get away. Get away and spend a lot of time with my family, work out, get some hunting in, all of those things to just refresh my mind. At the end of the day, I can’t please everybody. People are entitled to their own opinion. I’m not going to sit and argue or dispute what people write or say, think, feel. I can’t please. I’ll never win that game. Obviously, you want everyone to be in this awesome light through this perfect lens, but that’s not going to be the case. Take everything with a grain of salt and you learn from it and you try to be better next time.”

On where Wentz thinks the notion came that he doesn’t connect well with teammates: “Great question. It’s something that anytime you hear those things, you want to play detective. ‘Alright, who said it. Who did what?’ All those things. But it doesn’t matter. Whether someone feels that way or not, that’s what is out there. So how can I learn from it? At the end of the day, I think I’ve learned in this business and in life that you just aren’t going to make everyone happy. As much as you want to, you can’t. It’s unfortunate people have those opinions, but I’m going to learn from it and try to be the best person that I can be. If my teammates out there don’t think that I was the best teammate, I apologize. I wish I could be better. Last year was tough for everybody building those relationships. It’s something that given the environment that this world is in, it takes being very intentional. So I look forward to doing that. Like I said, you want to play detective. But at the end of the day, people have their opinion. You do everything you can to be the best you can be. When I lay my head on the pillow, I know I’ve given everything I can.”

On why he wanted out of Philly: “For starters, there’s a lot of conversations that happened at the end of the year with my agent, with everybody. I’m not going to dive into the specifics on that. As far as being a competitor, I’ve never once questioned my competitiveness. But at the end of the day, this was outside of my control. I’m appreciative of everything that happened in Philly, all the opportunities. I know where I’m at today that for 5 years I gave everything I had both on and off the field. Like I said earlier, when I lay my head on that pillow at night, I know I gave everything that I had. I didn’t go the way I wanted and desired to go but I can sleep well at night knowing that I poured my heart and poured into everything that I had in that city, on and off the field. And we are excited for a new start, a new opportunity.”

On if he demanded a trade from the Eagles: “I’m not saying one way or the other. There were a lot of conversations, a lot of things that kind of shook out and played out. This is what went down. And I’m excited about it. I’ll tell you that much.”

On last year’s struggles being more mental or physical, or both: “That’s a great question. I would say it’s a culmination of everything. A lot of things that I wish I could have back or would have done differently. But at the end of day, last year came and went and it’s behind us. It was a tough year. Think about the whole world, tough year for everybody. Here we are and you all aren’t in the same room as me, still can’t have normal life here. It was tough just for personal relationships, getting to know people and all those things. Then on the field it didn’t go the way we wanted as well. There were a lot of things that just didn’t fall into place. It’s frustrating. It’s disappointing. But at the end of the day, like I said, you learn from it. You leave them behind you and you get better from them.”

On telling his new teammates who he is and how he’ll fit in: “I look forward to showing that to my teammates and being part of something special here. For one, I’m a competitor. I’m a competitor and I want nothing but to win. I know that’s the culture that’s been established here and I hope guys know that whenever our careers end or our paths go in separate ways that I care about them and that I’m going to be there for them. As a leader, as a friend, as a quarterback, as a teammate, all those things, I look forward to building those relationships. I’m not a perfect human being. I’m going to make mistakes. I’ve made mistakes in the past. And I’m going to learn from all those things in trying to be the best man, the best husband, father, quarterback, all of those things that I can be. I won’t be perfect. I’ll tell everyone right now. I won’t be perfect. I’m going to make mistakes. I have flaws, but I’m going to do everything I can to be the best that I can be.”

On the reasons for wanting to be in Indianapolis: “Anytime there’s a trade, obviously you know I have no control, so to speak. But working with Frank, first and foremost, and what he’s able to do here and what the culture that has already been established here over the years, gets be excited, obviously the O-line, the skill players, all of that, what they were able to do last year in being right on the verge of something special, how close they came, trying to be a part of that, the area and the community, we’ve heard some amazing things so I’m excited for my family to be a part of this community. There are a lot of things we are super excited about and looking forward to diving headfirst in Indianapolis.”

On why he picked jersey number 2: “When the trade went down, I reached out to Pittman right away and said, ‘Hey, no pressure, are you married to No. 11?’ He said, ‘Yeah, I think so.’ So I was like, ‘Alright, cool, no worries.’ I was actually No. 20, believe it or not, in high school. Always loved No. 20, but naturally numbers 1-19 are the options at quarterback. Going into college, I actually wanted No. 2 but it was taken, so for 3 years I was No. 11 and by then I was kind of married to it. I’m excited for a fresh start. No. 2, I think is really in the back of my mind, the back of my heart, what I always wanted to be. Hopefully people think I look good in 2. If not, who cares? My wife does, so that’s all that matters.”

On his relationship with Frank Reich: “I’ll never forget when I was working out up in Fargo, North Dakota before the draft and he, and coach (Doug) Pederson came out. It was an instant connection. We are both, obviously, men of faith, and we were able to talk about our values and different things. It was natural. Then finally getting to work with him for two years. Not just the personal side of things, which we knew we had a great relationship with that but the Xs and Os of football and how we see the game, and how we can kind of have healthy discussions and disagreements but really challenge each other and make each other better. It was a lot of fun. That’s something I’m super excited about, getting to work with him again because I have the utmost respect for the man that he is, the friend that he’s been of me as well but also the coach that he is.”

On the 2017 season with Frank Reich: “Working with Frank, going from Year 1, as a rookie, trying to learn everything, I was thrown into the fire pretty quick. To Year 2, we could have an offseason where we could really put our minds together and figure out what I like best, what he likes best, how we can maximize what our offense is able to do, seeing that gain through his mind and him seeing it through my eyes, I thought was really cool. Obviously, I don’t know how many years he played, but for however long he played the position, he gets it. He understands it as a player. He understands the quarterback’s perspective more than anything. And that always helps. That always helps when you are building those relationships.”

 

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