NFL Fans Italia > NFL: Topics Ufficiali delle Squadre

The Indy Time

<< < (955/956) > >>

The Carson Wentz dilemma, Part 2: 10 reasons the Colts will bring him back

Yesterday, we dug into 10 reasons why the Colts will move on from the quarterback, Carson Wentz, they swapped a first- and third-round pick for just last spring.

There are plenty of reasons, starting with his dismal play down the stretch, why this team will want to look elsewhere for 2022. But it’s never that simple — moving Wentz would create another problem, one that doesn’t look very easy to solve.

While the team’s top decision-makers — owner Jim Irsay, general manager Chris Ballard and head coach Frank Reich — work through the Colts’ options, here are 10 reasons why Wentz returns in 2022.

1. Continuity

Moving on from Wentz would mean five different starting quarterbacks in Reich’s five seasons. It’s the type of turnover at the most critical position on the field that would bury most franchises. The Colts are no different.

Irsay, above all, knows this. He deeply values continuity, particularly within the three most important positions in his organization: general manager, head coach and starting quarterback. He’s had that with Ballard and Reich, who’ve been in Indianapolis now five and four seasons, respectively. The quarterback dilemma, more than anything, has been what’s held this franchise back.

Reich has tailored his offense each year to his new QB’s skill set — Andrew Luck in 2018, Jacoby Brissett in 2019, Philip Rivers in 2020 and Wentz last season. Landing a new quarterback this spring would mean starting fresh, again, in a league where consistency at that position is essential.

IND - QBCarson Wentz
At some point, it’d be nice to give the coach the same guy under center for two consecutive seasons (or longer) and see what Reich can do.

2. There’s no guarantee a lateral move makes you better, and replacing Wentz would likely require significant capital — either salary cap space or draft picks — and that would hurt your chances at addressing other, glaring needs.

Which of these names makes the Colts significantly better in 2022?

Free agent QBs, 2022
Teddy Bridgewater
Andy Dalton
Cam Newton
Jacoby Brissett
Ryan Fitzpatrick
Tyrod Taylor
Jameis Winston
Marcus Mariota
Mitch Trubisky
While Jimmy Garoppolo would require a trade, the rest will be free agents come March. With the possible exception of Jameis Winston, who’s always a gamble, and is coming off a torn ACL, it’s hard to make a case any of these quarterbacks would be a sizable step up from Wentz, his flaws being what they are.

As for the QBs rumored to be available in a potential trade, Derek Carr would be a step up, though new Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels seems intent on building around the 30-year-old passer. Kirk Cousins is 33 and due $35 million for 2022. Why give up draft picks for a player who’s not going to make you all that much better?

QBs requiring a trade
Aaron Rodgers
1 year, $46.6 million
Russell Wilson
2 years, $77 million
Jimmy Garoppolo
1 year, $26 million
Kirk Cousins
1 year, $45 million
Derek Carr
1 year, $20 million
Matt Ryan
2 years, $51 million
Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson would be massive upgrades, and absolutely worth the risk, but remember any potential trade would require a haul of picks — and the Colts don’t even have a first-rounder this year to sweeten the deal. It would also mean the Packers and Seahawks are willing to move their star quarterbacks, which still seems highly unlikely. And if Rodgers does become available, the Colts would have to compete against another potential landing spot in the Broncos, a team that just hired his former offensive coordinator as head coach, has a top-five defense and better young receivers in place.

The Colts’ best move might be sticking with Wentz for a year — problematic as that might be — then addressing the issue more aggressively after next season when there’s no dead money involved and they have a first-round pick at their disposal.

3. As many as nine teams could be active in the QB market this spring. Landing a coveted passer is going to be extremely difficult.

Teams presumably in the quarterback market this spring: the Colts, Steelers, Broncos, Texans, Bucs, Saints, Commanders and Panthers.

And possibly Green Bay, depending on what happens with Rodgers.

Teams potentially in the QB market
Carson Wentz
Teddy Bridgewater
Ben Roethlisberger
Tyrod Taylor
Tom Brady
Taylor Heinicke
Sam Darnold
Jameis Winston
The problem, as is often the case, is there aren’t enough starter-level quarterbacks to go around. Combine that with a thin class coming out in the draft, and it’s a bad year to be looking for a new QB. It’s one thing to want Wentz out in Indianapolis; it’s another to have a solution to replace him. The Colts have to consider the latter before deciding on the former.

4. There is ample opportunity to get better around Wentz this offseason if the Colts are willing to spend. No matter who’s at QB, the Colts need to improve at WR and TE.

A list of receivers who’ll be unrestricted free agents this spring, barring a franchise tag from their respective team: Davante Adams, Chris Godwin, Allen Robinson, Michael Gallup, Mike Williams, Juju Smith-Schuster, D.J. Chark, Christian Kirk, Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

A list of tight ends who’ll be unrestricted free agents this spring, barring a franchise tag from their respective team: Mike Gesicki, Dalton Schultz, David Njoku, O.J. Howard, Gerald Everett, Evan Engram and Zach Ertz, a close friend of Wentz’s from their days in Philadelphia.

While it’s not an appealing market for quarterbacks, it is for pass-catchers, an area the Colts desperately need to improve. It won’t be cheap, but the Colts need to stop skimping. Outside of Michael Pittman Jr., they have no one on the outside who scares defenses. That needs to change.

And adding one or two of these pieces would help Wentz — or whoever the quarterback is — immensely.

5. Wentz’s overall body of work in 2021 wasn’t nearly as bad as the way it ended.

No, the Irsay-Ballard-Reich triumvirate can’t excuse what happened in Jacksonville, and they can’t ignore it. What Wentz put on tape in Week 18 was a damning indictment of how poorly he’s capable of playing. Even the best quarterbacks have bad days, but this was something else.

Stats can be shaped to fit almost any argument, and they never tell the full story with a quarterback — certainly not with Wentz. But his body of work, through 15 games at least, was mostly encouraging. He’d made the best throw of his season, an against-the-body bullet to Dezmon Patmon in the end zone to seal a win over the Cardinals on Christmas night — and the Colts looked primed to lock up a playoff bid. Often overlooked is Wentz’s rushing ability. He picked up 215 yards and 21 first downs with his legs this season, plus a touchdown in a win in San Francisco.

Carson Wentz throws a 14-yard touchdown pass to Dezmon Patmon in the fourth quarter to beat the Cardinals. (Chris Coduto / Getty Images)
While Jonathan Taylor ascended into the league’s best running back, Wentz settled down at the beginning of the stretch run, helping the Colts to six wins in seven weeks. Even adding in his dismal finish, the QB improved his completion percentage by five points from 2020, which is no small jump. He threw for 27 touchdowns, tied for the second-most of his career (trailing only his sterling 2017 season in which Wentz finished third in MVP voting despite missing the season’s final three games). And perhaps most importantly, he cut his interceptions in half, furthering the belief that his disastrous 2020 season was more of an anomaly than the new norm.

The end of the season felt like a disaster, but the bulk of the season wasn’t. There certainly were things the Colts QB did that this team can build on for 2022 — if that team wants him back.

6. A full offseason will help.

I asked Reich after the season ended if he felt like he was running on a hamster wheel — four quarterbacks in four years, an uphill climb destined to hamper any team’s success— and the coach made an interesting point.

“I would love to have OTAs,” Reich said, referring to the team’s abbreviated offseason last year that ended before Memorial Day. “I’ll give up the 11-on-11 drills, but let us just have as many seven-on-seven reps as we can so we can fine-tune the passing game. There’s no shortcut for that stuff.”

It wasn’t just the injury-plagued preseason that hurt this team early in 2021. The Colts’ players and coaches agreed on a shortened OTA and minicamp schedule, which essentially amounted to a handful of non-padded practices. Reich and Ballard believe it set the team back ahead of training camp, where the Colts were hit with a rash of injuries early and didn’t recover until midway through the season.

“This falls on Frank and I, and the uncertainty of last year affected it, but we will have an offseason,” Ballard pledged in January. “You can bet on that. If they don’t want to show up, fine, but we’re going to be here, and guys that want to win are going to be here. We’re going to have an offseason.”

Reich knows that Wentz wasn’t just starting over in Indianapolis this past season, but doing so with hardly any spring workouts, then hardly any preseason (his ankle injury, plus a COVID-19 close contact, kept him off the field for all but six preseason practices).

An ankle injury limited the amount of work Carson Wentz could get done in training camp. (Justin Casterline / Getty Images)
This matters, especially in a timing-based offense built on the quarterback’s quick decision-making. It doesn’t excuse Wentz’s play later in the season when he’d had 15 games under his belt in Reich’s scheme, but a full offseason and training camp would set up Wentz and the Colts for a much better start in 2022.

7. Teammates respect him.

Wentz caught the locker room’s attention in early September when he stunned his teammates and made it on the field for the Colts’ Week 3 game in Tennessee, one week after suffering a pair of ankle sprains in a loss to the Rams.

“He couldn’t even walk until Thursday,” running back Nyheim Hines said at the time. “No chance I thought he’d play.”

“The way that thing was twisted?” tight end Mo Alie-Cox added. “I honestly thought he’d be out three or four weeks. To play through that? Warrior, man. The quarterback’s the face of the team, and that’s what you wanna see. Guys pay attention to that stuff.”

By every account, publicly and privately, Wentz was a good teammate, accountable and well-liked by those in the locker room. It’s an essential component to quarterbacking — earning the trust of those around you — and there were no hints in 2021 that Wentz fell short in that area.

“We’re just behind him, man, no matter what, good or bad,” T.Y. Hilton, perhaps as respected a voice in that building last season, said after it ended in Jacksonville. “We’re always going to have his back. I just appreciate him, man, appreciate his toughness, his hard work, the way he dedicates himself to his craft. He’s good in my book.”

8. A budding rapport with Michael Pittman Jr.

It was obvious from the outset of training camp, even before Wentz’s foot injury, that there was a connection with Michael Pittman Jr., who’d become the first 1,000-yard wide receiver Wentz has had in six NFL seasons. (Eagles tight end Zach Ertz topped 1,000 with him in 2018.)

For most of the year, the Colts had a legitimate third-down threat and some of the surest hands in the league. Pittman finished 10th in the AFC in yards and 11th in catches, and made 25 third-down catches, most on the team. His 21 catches of 16 yards or more speak to his big-play ability, something the Colts had missed at wide receiver for years.

It was a sizable step up for him in Year 2, an indication that Pittman could be — and likely will be — the Colts’ No. 1 receiver for years to come.

“Carson just puts it up there, and he just always puts it in a great spot,” Pittman said midseason. “I can just body guys up and run through arms, so credit to him.”

After the disappointing finish, Wentz closed his season-ending Instagram post with this: “So much to look forward to and lots of work still to do, but I promise, we will be back even better next year … and it can’t come soon enough.”

To that, Pittman replied: “LETS KEEP WORKIN 2. NEXT YEAR ABOUT TO BE CRAZY.”

Michael Pittman is congratulated by Carson Wentz after scoring a touchdown against the 49ers. (Kyle Terada / USA Today)
9. He has the physical tools to run the aggressive scheme Reich wants.

Reich made it clear in May, long before the season started: Wentz’s physical abilities were going to allow this offense to do some different things. “When he’s out there, you can feel his presence,” the coach said, calling his new QB “a dominant physical specimen for the position.”

Wentz’s big arm was supposed to unlock a portion of the playbook the Colts really couldn’t dig into with Rivers under center, and for stretches, it did. On top of those routine chunk plays to Pittman, Wentz took the top off the defense a few times with safety-beating heaves to Parris Campbell (in Week 6) and Ashton Dulin (in Week 12).

In 17 games, Wentz connected on nine plays of 40 yards or more, which is more than Rivers had last season and more than Josh Allen and Dak Prescott had this year.

Part of the reason the Colts couldn’t take more downfield shots was inconsistent pass protection, especially from the left tackle spot, where Eric Fisher had a lousy year (41 pressures, seven sacks allowed). That and the fact that the Colts’ line wasn’t fully healthy until the middle of the season hindered Wentz’s ability to take five- and seven-step drops and let it fly.

All of which led to the Colts’ passing game shrinking down the stretch. Wentz’s play wasn’t close to good enough, but this wasn’t all on the quarterback. The line crumbled and the team’s lack of depth at wide receiver and tight end were obvious hindrances.

“Defenses started playing us differently,” Hilton said after the loss in Jacksonville. “They started stacking the box. They started doing different things on the perimeter.”

He’s right. Once Taylor got rolling, defenses started keying in on the Colts’ run game, selling out to stop the run, and it worked. Wentz failed to meet the challenge. The Colts know they’ll see much of the same come 2022. They have an entire offseason to prepare.

10. It was a chaotic season, marred by an injury-plagued training camp and a COVID-19 outbreak late in the year. Without any better options available, giving Reich another shot to work with Wentz might be the team’s best play.

And if it backfires?

Here we go again.

Sbiri a Natale voglio un cesto

guarda che sono abbonato anche io a the athletic
ti voglio bene ma ho già letto anche questo  :ahahah:

 :ahahah: :ahahah: :ahahah:

Non lo sapevo. Postavo qs articoli per stimolare un po' la discussione.

Visto che entrambi siamo abbonati potremmo postare un po' di articoli anche negli altri team topic :si:

Mi ponevo una domanda. E' ormai chiaro che i Colts non avranno più Wentz come starter nel 2022 ma sono purtroppo privi della prima scelta e non credo nemmeno faranno un'altra trade per qualche nome importante.

A sto punto quali sono le realistiche opzioni:

A) Una trade di basso profilo per un giocatore come Minshew

B) Ehlinger o  Morgan

C) Altro


[0] Indice dei post

[#] Pagina successiva

[*] Pagina precedente

Vai alla versione completa