The reason Carson Wentz is now with the Indianapolis Colts is Frank Reich, who convinced the Colts front office to trade for the former Pro Bowl quarterback and give him a chance to revitalize his career. Reich has been sticking up for Wentz throughout the offseason as the quarterback is coming off the worst season of his career with the Philadelphia Eagles, pointing to the presence Wentz brought to the locker room.
DeForest Buckner has envisioned that already, knowing Wentz just needed a fresh start after a rough season in Philadelphia.
"I knew the front office was going to do the right thing for the organization, for the team. Once they landed Carson (Wentz), I was excited," Buckner said on a conference call at Colts minicamp Monday. "I just think he needed a fresh start and the freshest start was out here in Indy for him. For Frank (Reich) and Chris (Ballard) to bring him here, to see him interact with all the guys, and having those interactions over text with him has been great. So having him in the building around the other guys and stuff like that, that's just going to build that chemistry.
"He's going to throw with the receivers, the O-line is going to be able to get that cadence with him. It's fun being able to see some of the new faces on the team and how we are going to build this chemistry to move forward."
There have been plenty of questions about Wentz heading into the season after a disastrous 2020 campaign, one in which Wentz completed just 57.4% of his passes for 2,620 yards with 16 touchdowns to just 15 interceptions in 12 games. Among the 35 qualifying quarterbacks, Wentz was 34th in completion percentage, 24th in touchdown percentage (3.7), 34th in interception percentage (3.4), 34th in yards per attempt (6.0), and 34th in passer rating (72.8).
Wentz was one of the worst quarterbacks in football in 2020, with his accuracy the biggest question mark. Still, T.Y. Hilton doesn't see any problem.
"His throws were on the money. He has a big arm," Hilton said. "It's exciting. It's going to be special."
Colts players have been excited that Wentz is in the building, banking on him to become the next franchise quarterback in Indianapolis. Reich has more than enough faith Wentz will live up to the expectations. There's no pressure on Wentz to succeed immediately, despite the outside noise.
"He's like a lot of players, he's a hard worker. I mean the guy works really, really hard," Reich said. "I've been really thankful. The quarterbacks I've worked with – I mean some of the hardest workers on the teams, so Carson is no exception to that. Then just his natural leadership ability, taking over to, 'Hey guys, let's get together and throw.' That's our team, that's our guys. They want to work. They want to get to know – I credit our skill guys, they want to get to know Carson, right?
"They want Carson to feel comfortable throwing to them and Carson wants to learn their body language and talk through stuff. As you get to know Carson, you'll see he's very opinionated in a good way. He's got a loud voice -- he's got a very strong conviction about what he believes and why he believes it from everything from pass concepts to the way you run routes like most quarterbacks, like most good ones I've been around. He's no exception to that so I think it has been good for him and the receivers."