When Press Taylor arrived in Indianapolis, Carson Wentz was still an Eagle.
Before Taylor even unpacked his bags, Frank Reich began asking him about Wentz and what the heck happened in Philly.
“The conversation eventually came around to Carson may be available in a trade opportunity, I was maybe asked a question or two, ‘What do you think? What happened?’ If I could provide context to 2020, that season or his career before that, that’s something that I wanted to do to help the organization,” Taylor said. “Then ultimately, Frank asked, ‘Do you believe in the player still and what he’s capable of with everything that happened in his past?’
“That was a no-brainer for me. I absolutely 100 percent believe in Carson Wentz as a player. I’m excited about the opportunity for him here in Indy.”
Taylor, Reich and Wentz were together in Philly in 2016 and 2017, but Taylor and Wentz remained together here the last three years after Reich took over the Colts.
Nobody is closer to Wentz than Taylor, who had several titles with the Eagles but was always involved in Wentz’s development.
And now they’re all back together with the Colts.
Safe to say if Taylor hadn’t given Wentz a huge vote of confidence the trade probably would never have happened.
Taylor met with the Indianapolis media on Tuesday and was asked what went wrong for Wentz last year.
“There were a variety of things that went on last year that made it hard,” he said. “We didn’t do anything well as an offense, as a team. When you win four games there is a lot to look back and say things didn’t go well for us. Certainly, everything around him didn’t go well and I think he would tell you that he didn’t play his best last season. I think the four years before that, you saw what he is capable of as a quarterback. You saw him overcoming adversity, you saw … when he had talented players around him (and also) when maybe the pieces were lesser than at times and the way he can play and elevate those around him.
“It’s like a lot of quarterbacks, when they are in a situation where a lot of things are going good around them, how do they play? How do you evaluate them in that situation when things aren’t so good? How do you evaluate him? Then obviously, 2020 was not our best year so I am excited to get back on the field with the Colts now and move forward.”
Wentz, Taylor and Reich were all together four years ago on a Super Bowl champion.
Now they’re trying to make it work together in a different city while Reich’s own offensive coordinator is trying to get the Eagles back on track.
Taylor said any evaluation of Wentz has to include 2017 through 2019 – when he went 25-15 with 81 touchdowns and 21 interceptions – as much as 2020, when he won 3 of 12 starts with 16 TDs and 15 INTs.
“I think as these guys go in their careers, you kind of take their whole career into context and see the things around them and how they played to really build a true evaluation of a player and what they are capable of,” Taylor said.
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