How the Colts plan to take pressure off of Carson Wentz

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The biggest question surrounding the Indianapolis Colts this offseason will be revolving around new quarterback Carson Wentz, who arrives to Indy looking for a fresh start after a tumultuous ending in Philadelphia.

Coming into a system he knows and a head coach he has a strong relationship with, there is a lot of pressure for Wentz to perform at a level that will help the Colts make a playoff run. That’s not going to be easy, especially with how much he struggled in 2020.

But alleviating some of that pressure is one of the main tasks for head coach Frank Reich, who detailed in part how the team will handle that.

“There’s been a lot of that discussion and it really has started around just be the quarterback of this team. Do your job, don’t try and do too much,” Reich told reporters Wednesday. “Believe me, I understand that when you have a quarterback that can escape and is mobile like Carson, we’re going to take advantage of that, and he’ll create some plays like that. But we’re concentrating on running the football, we’re concentrating on a good play-action game to keep the defenses off balance, we’re going to concentrate on a rhythm-passing game to get it out quick.”

The Colts will be able to take a bit of the pressure off of Wentz given the supporting cast he has. The run game led by Jonathan Taylor will help take some of the focus off of Wentz while the offensive line should be dominant yet again, especially when Eric Fisher fully returns from his Achilles rehab.

Wentz has to do his part, of course. He has to prove that 2020 isn’t the season that should define him, and he will have to do so by limiting the “hero ball” mentality he carried through the 2020 campaign.

Coming off that season, there will be pressure for Wentz to perform, but Reich has been impressed with the way the 28-year-old has carried himself throughout OTAs.

“Humble pie doesn’t taste good, but it’s good for you. It’s a chance for him to acknowledge that he has to hit the reset button and he has a fresh start here,” Reich said. “His attitude couldn’t be better. He’s a great team player coming in with the right attitude with wanting to do his part. I believe he’s going to do that. I believe he’s going to have an incredible year and be a great leader and a great player for this team.”

The 2021 season for the Colts will be defined by what type of player they get in Wentz, and part of that will come down to how much pressure Reich can take off of his new quarterback.

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