Torrey Smith knows how much of a difference a dominant quarterback can make on a football team.
Having won two Super Bowls and played with everyone from Cam Newton to Joe Flacco to Colin Kaepernick, Smith recently went on Good Morning Football with a segment on the newest Washington Commanders quarterback.
The segment was called ‘In defense of Carson Wentz.’
Though Wentz was shipped out of Indianapolis after a late-season collapse which saw the Colts miss out of the postseason, Smith says that his former signal-caller still has a lot left in the tank.
“Some of you might say that his best football is behind him, but not me,” Smith said. “I’m here to tell you guys and to prove to everyone sitting here, and all y’all watching at home, that Carson Wentz is still that guy and has a lot of great football to go.”
Washington fans will remember not so fondly that Wentz dominated the NFC East for much of his tenure in Philadelphia, receiving MVP votes during the Eagles’ 2017-18 Super Bowl run. That also happened to be the only season Smith played with Wentz, during which the Maryland product racked up 430 receiving yards in 16 games for 11.9 yards per reception.
Smith went on to analyze several plays from Wentz’ career, covering everything from booming downfield throws to miraculous escapes from the pocket.
“All he needs is a guy with some speed. He has a couple of them, three of them in Washington,” Smith said, presumably talking abut Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel and either Dyami Brown, Jahan Dotson or one of the Commanders’ running backs.
“He still has the ability to stretch the ball down the field, something that I was able to benefit from several times in Philadelphia. That arm strength is still there. I’m excited to see what Scott Turner can do with him in that offense.”
Wentz missed out on Philadelphia’s playoff run in 2017 after tearing his ACL in Week 14 of that season. He went on to rehab the knee, return to action and still be productive in Indianapolis in the air, and also on the ground.
“A lot of guys may question Carson, but you can never question his toughness,” Smith said. “Carson is the modern NFL quarterback…look at the speed, look at the wheels. Every quarterback in the league can’t do that, but No. 2 in Washington can.”
The Commanders now offer Wentz arguably the best supporting cast of his career. No, Antonio Gibson isn’t quite as dominant as Jonathan Taylor in Indy, but Wentz has never had a receiving core with as much potential as McLaurin, Samuel, Brown, Dotson, Cam Sims and the tight end Logan Thomas.
Wentz has targets to support his play style, both as a downfield passer and a rollout, shallow-route thrower. With new blockers on the offensive line, it’s possible he could build on the statistical prowess he showed last season with the Colts.
“If you don’t believe what you see with your own two eyes, look at the numbers: 3,500 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, seven interceptions,” Smith said. “If I put any other quarterback’s name next to it, you would say, ‘Okay, that’s a decent season.’ Now I say that’s Carson Wentz, and you want to start a war…my guy Carson’s gonna have a big year in Washington.”