The Philadelphia Eagles have been a team on the rise for years, and Frank Reich has led them to one of their best seasons in franchise history. They are currently 8-1 with Carson Wentz back under center after an injury forced him out last season. However, they were shocked by Andrew Luck’s Indianapolis Colts at home which is forcing many to question what will happen this season if they don’t win it all soon.
Carson Wentz has one more season to show he can be a starting quarterback in the NFL.
A few years ago, Wentz seemed to be a franchise quarterback. In 2017, he was an MVP contender for the Philadelphia Eagles, and he was selected to his only Pro Bowl. Following a trade from the Indianapolis Colts to the Washington Commanders, he will now play for his third club in as many seasons.
But Wentz isn’t the only one who suddenly needs to live up to expectations. A few of guys have been thrown into a make-or-break season as a result of his poor performance in Indianapolis. There’s also general manager Chris Ballard, who orchestrated the deal that brought Wentz here from the Eagles in 2021. However, head coach Frank Reich bears the most of the responsibility for the change. And he’ll have to utilize the 2022 season to show he’s the ideal guy to lead the Colts.
For the Colts, Frank Reich has shown to be a capable coach.
With some background on this Hard Knocks clip, Frank Reich says: There are no concerns about it being aired. (Reich and his staff are free to cut anything they want from the program.)
“Because of the players we have… I wanted to get this out there.” I want people to be able to see their passion.”
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) December 3, 2021
Let’s take a look at how Frank Reich has shown to be a good coach before we look at why he’s on the hot seat.
Reich has found a lot of success in Indy with very little to work with after playing a key part in the Eagles’ 2017 Super Bowl victory as the team’s offensive coordinator.
That isn’t a dig at the Indianapolis Colts’ roster. They truly have a fantastic lineup. Indy’s quarterback room has been a revolving door since Reich’s lone season with Andrew Luck in 2018.
In 2019, Jacoby Brissett took over as the starting quarterback and guided the team to a 7-9 record. In 2020, Philip Rivers joined the Colts and led them to the playoffs with an 11-5 season. However, after Rivers’ retirement last offseason, Carson Wentz stepped in and suffocated Indy’s season in 2021. The squad finished 9-8 and didn’t make the playoffs.
It’s difficult to perform your job when you have a different starting quarterback every season, but Reich has been outstanding considering his team’s unusual circumstances. He is 37-28 in his first four seasons with the Colts and has led them to the playoffs twice.
However, his friendship with Wentz became a problem for the team. They lost draft capital as well as a full season as a result.
The head coach of the Indianapolis Colts put his ‘neck out’ for Carson Wentz.
The Indianapolis Colts’ head coach Frank Reich with quarterback Carson Wentz during a game against the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 25, 2021. | Getty Images/Chris Coduto
When Frank Reich was the offensive coordinator for the Eagles, Carson Wentz had his greatest NFL season. Wents was named to the Pro Bowl after throwing for 3,296 yards, 33 touchdowns, and seven interceptions in 13 games.
As a result of Wentz’s performance with Reich, the Colts traded for him last summer.
“Stability is wonderful, continuity is ideal, and you want for it,” Reich told USA Today earlier this month. “I have faith in Carson.” Last year, I put my neck out for him. I was a significant part of the decision to get him here, and I think he’ll be a great quarterback whether he stays here or goes someplace else.”
Reich and Wentz basically believed they could run it back and repeat their Philly success. But that one year of success was an aberration, and he seems to have mostly disregarded Wentz’s 2020 campaign.
Carson threw an NFL-high 15 interceptions in 2020, prompting the Eagles to bench him in favor of Jalen Hurts. While that season may have been an aberration (Wentz only threw seven interceptions with the Colts in 2021), it was more realistic than his 2017 season.
Wentz isn’t a franchise quarterback, and Reich should’ve known better than to treat him as such.
Frank Reich is presently in the midst of a pivotal season.
Frank Reich, head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, during the NFL Scouting Combine on March 1, 2022. Getty Images/Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire
Carson Wentz sabotaged the Colts’ season after receiving Frank Reich’s support. They just needed one victory in the last two weeks to qualify for the playoffs, but they dropped both games, one to the NFL’s weakest club, the Jacksonville Jaguars. In the team’s last eight games, Wentz averaged just 170.6 yards per game and had six turnovers.
So, by dealing for Wentz last year, the Colts squandered a season and lost a first-round choice. They are jeopardizing their present and future.
All because Reich mistook himself for a Wentz acolyte.
And this isn’t the first time Reich has praised a mediocre quarterback. He once called Jacoby Brissett a top-20 QB, but, like Wentz, Brissett’s inconsistency kept Indy out of the playoffs.
Frank Reich has shown that he is a capable leader. During the team’s in-season version of Hard Knocks, his compassion leaped off the screen. That same trait, on the other hand, might cost the Colts a whole season and a portion of their future. He put his neck out for a failing quarterback in Carson Wentz, and now he’s in the midst of a make-or-break season.
Reich’s seat may become quite hot if Indy fails to show evidence of playoff/championship competitiveness sooner rather than later.
Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.
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