To say Carson Wentz's tenure with the Colts ended unsuccessfully would be like claiming The Batman, with a duration of two hours and 56 minutes, is a movie that requires a bit of a time investment.
Indianapolis lost its final two contests of the 2021 season to miss the playoffs, and in the team's last game against the dilapidated, woeful Jacksonville Jaguars, Wentz committed a pair of inexcusable turnovers and was unable to lift his faltering squad like the sport's best quarterbacks often do.
So, in a Thursday press conference that was meant to preview Wentz's future with the Commanders, Washington's newest top option at the position spent a decent amount of time reviewing his past with Indy. To Wentz's credit, he was pretty welcoming of the scrutiny.
"The way we finished, the way I finished was poor," he said. "And I think that definitely was tough to swallow and tough to finish like that. Especially when we thought we had a chance to really do something special and make a run. We just kind of collapsed and I didn't play good enough, well enough at the end there."
Though those remarks certainly won't calm Colts players, staff members and fans who were disappointed by the lack of postseason appearance or contribute to the record of his new employer, it was promising to hear Wentz assume accountability for the late collapse. He hasn't always shown that trait, according to past reports, and it's crucial that he does so with Washington.
In a separate session with the media on Thursday, Ron Rivera had his first opportunity to publicly discuss the acquisition of Wentz, which came together last week.
During that scrum, Rivera was pushed on why he feels confident investing in Wentz after Wentz's stint with Indianapolis concluded in such a frustrating manner. The Commanders' leader explained that he, obviously, did plenty of his own research into Wentz's background and came away pleased with what he learned.
"When you talk to certain people, you talk to some of the coaches he's had in the past that I know very well and listen to what they have to say, it was contradictory to what was happening," Rivera told reporters.
He also took note of how multiple ex-teammates of Wentz's displayed their appreciation for the passer once the deal was announced.
"The players know exactly who people are," Rivera said. "You can't fool them, I can tell you that much."
Wentz was candid when describing his initial reaction to the trade — "Definitely surprised," he admitted — and passed along that he sometimes reflects on the speed of his exit from the AFC East franchise. Even so, he's set on learning from the experience as a whole in order to ensure the upcoming one is more fruitful.
"I always believe things happen for a reason," Wentz said. "[I've] still got an opportunity to come out and prove myself and play the game that I love. I look forward to doing that."
Quarterbacks get more blame than anyone else on a football team, and that's extremely true on this particular football team. When Wentz throws a costly interception or loses a fumble in the pocket in 2022, he will get crushed for it in a fashion that'll remind him of his Philadelphia career.
However, if Wentz handles that attention as ably as he did on Thursday, then the odds of him earning the respect of his fellow Commanders and, in turn, leading them to more victories will only increase. The preference is for him to avoid having much to be accountable for, but at least he indicated a willingness to shoulder that responsibility when needed.