The Commanders officially kicked off their offseason program on Monday, which for many Washington players meant the first chance to meet the team's new quarterback.
And, just a few days it, Carson Wentz has already made a strong impression on some of his teammates, specifically veteran tight end and 2021 team captain Logan Thomas.
Thomas joined the Sports Junkies on Wednesday and described Wentz as "a really, really good dude" who's eager to win.
"The guy just wants to win. He wants to win now," Thomas said. "He's not young in the league anymore now, either. A guy that's coming in that's hungry who felt like he got pushed aside from his last team. I think he's [feels like he's] got something to prove."
The tight end did say Wentz has been a bit quiet so far, but attributed that to the QB being a player just getting used to his new squad. With over a month until on-field workouts begin, Wentz has plenty of time to learn about his new teammates.
Washington, a franchise that has been in search of a franchise passer for several years, acquired Wentz in March in a trade with the Colts in exchange for a pair of draft picks. Indianapolis chose to move on from Wentz after just one season after the team folded down the stretch of the 2021 campaign and ruined its postseason chances.
Since the trade happened, Thomas has watched film of multiple Wentz performances. For the most part, he's liked what he's seen from the Commanders' new signal-caller.
"He's got a lot of arm talent," Thomas said.
Although Washington will be Wentz's third team in as many years, Thomas believes the QB can elevate his game even more with the vast amount of talent the Commanders have at the offensive skill positions on the roster.
"Honestly, I think this might be the most talent he's had in the receiver room, tight end room, pass-catching running backs and such as well. I think this might be the most talent he's got in his receivers," Thomas said.
In Wentz's six NFL seasons, he's played with just one 1,000-yard wide receiver, Michael Pittman, who recorded 1,082 yards for the Colts last season. The only 1,000-yard pass-catcher Wentz ever had during his five years with the Eagles was tight end Zach Ertz, who accomplished the feat in 2018.
With the Commanders, Wentz will have the chance to throw to Terry McLaurin, a budding star in the NFL who's topped the 1,000-yard mark twice in three seasons despite playing with a laundry list of mediocre-at-best quarterbacks. Wentz will be the most talented passer McLaurin has played with at the professional level, while McLaurin will be the best wideout the QB has ever thrown to. Together, the two players should be able to elevate one another's games.
During his introductory press conference on March 17, Wentz specifically stated his excitement about getting the chance to throw to No. 17.
"Terry, I remember one of his first games when I played against him, I told him after the game, 'I'd love to throw the ball to you someday,'" Wentz said. "I think he took a slant, went 80 yards and I was like, 'this kid's different.' ... Never did I think it would all line up like this."
McLaurin isn't the only talented wideout Washington has, though. Curtis Samuel, who played in just five games in 2021, looks healthy and ready to contribute. Dyami Brown is poised for a Year 2 leap. Thomas himself was one of the league's better pass-catching tight ends before his injury. Plus, there's a realistic chance the Commanders use their first-round pick on a talented wideout next week.
After the Commanders acquired Wentz, Rivera made it clear the team believes he can be the franchise guy. Thomas believes Wentz has the ability to be a really good quarterback for the team moving forward, too.
"Just like a lot of people, he had his ups and downs. He was an MVP favorite one year when he messed up his knee," Thomas said. "Obviously, he has the capability of being really, really good."
In order for Wentz to be successful in Washington, Thomas says the quarterback must do his best to limit turnovers. Wentz threw just seven interceptions for the Colts last season, but almost every one of them seemed to occur when the game was in the balance. If the quarterback is able to take care of the football, Thomas feels Washington's offense has no ceiling for success.
"He actually played really good football last year up until the last couple of games where they just didn't get it done when they needed to get it done," Wentz said. "It comes down to turning the ball over. If he doesn't turn the ball over, this offense will roll, the defense will play good and there's no telling what we can do with that."