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Between the Indy media and Philly media, Wentz spent roughly 30 minutes answering questions about his previous play and what he looks forward to proving now that he has a clean slate with the Colts.
Here are some of the takeaways from Wentz’s introductory press conference on Thursday:
Excited for the new opportunity
Wentz started his presser by thanking the Colts and the Eagles organizations. When it came to the deal that brought him to Indy, Wentz kept reiterating how excited he was to join the team and create a new beginning for himself. "Yeah, I mean after the season obviously a lot of conversations with my agent and back and forth and those types of things," Wentz said. "It wasn’t the ending that everyone envisioned – not 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’re at. We’re excited for this fresh start and to be in such a great place as this. Yeah, that’s really all I have to say on that one.”
Always looking to improve
Wentz was asked the question of whether his issues are fixable and if he knows what attributed to his struggles in 2020. Those struggles saw him lead the league in intercpetions while suffering through a career-low 57.4% completion rate and 72.8 passer rating. "Yeah, I think over the course of any year – I go back at the end of every season and watch tape and say, ‘What can I improve on? What can get better?’ There’s always little things, there’s some bigger things. "There are a lot of things every year where you’re like, ‘Okay, this is what I want to focus on this offseason.’ So not to dive into details of that, but there are definitely things that you watch and say, ‘Okay, this is where I can improve,’ and I am going to dive head first this offseason into improving those things, those areas of my game and keep trying to become the best player I can be. Last year 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 all of those things. Hopefully we can be better next year.”
Instant connection with Frank Reich
One thing Wentz mentioned was the instant connection he had with his new head coach. Reich was the offensive coordinator when the Colts drafted Wents in the 2016 NFL draft and they instantly kicked it off. That connection should serve him well with his new team. "“Coach (Frank) Reich, I’ll never forget when I was working out up in Fargo, North Dakota before the draft and he, Coach (Doug) Pederson and everyone kind of came out and it was just instant. It was instant that we had this connection. We are both obviously men of faith and we were able to talk about our values and different things. It was natural. "It was natural and 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 have healthy discussions and disagreements, but really challenge each other and ultimately make each other better. It was a lot of fun. I look forward – that is something I’m super excited about, getting to work with him because I have the utmost respect for the man that he is, the friend that he’s been to me as well, but also the coach that he is as well."
What he attributes his struggles to
Wentz was asked whether he thought the struggles he endured in 2020 were due more to mental or physical issues. The 28-year-old believes it is a culmination of both, without delving too deep into what he thinks needs to be fixed on his side of the ball. " “That’s a great question, and I would say it was a culmination of everything. There’s a lot of things I wish I could have back or could’ve done differently, but at the end of the day last year came and went, and it is behind us. It was a tough year. I mean think about the whole world – tough year for everybody. "Here we are, you all are not in the same room as me, still can’t have normal life. It was tough just for personal relationships and getting to know people and all of those things. Then on the field didn’t go the way we wanted as well. There’s 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 it behind you and you get better from it.”
On handling not being the starter in Philly
Wentz started 12 games for the Eagles in 2020 before rookie Jalen Hurts took over the offense to close out the season. How Wentz handled that would wind up being a huge talking point whenever he was discussed this offseason. He admitted it wasn't easy for him to go through that change. "Well I’m going to be honest, I didn’t know I had been called washed up yet. I don’t read a lot of the newspapers or listen to a lot of the media stuff. I often find things out from people like y’all, family, friends sending me stuff. I tried everything I could – once the offseason hit, to just get away and spend a lot of time with my family and workout, get some hunting in, all of those things – just kind of refresh my mind. "At the end of the day, I can’t please everybody, and people are entitled to their own opinion and I’m not going to sit and argue and dispute what people say, write, think, feel. I can’t please. I will never win that game. Obviously, you want everyone to view you in this awesome light and through this perfect lens, but that’s not going to be the case. You take everything with a grain of salt, and you learn from it and try and be better next time.”