With a playoff-ready roster, the Indianapolis Colts are banking heavily on Carson Wentz returning to form after a disastrous 2020 season in Philadelphia.
Not only did the Colts ship a potential first-round pick for the embattled QB, but without a veteran presence on the roster, it's ride-or-die for Indy and Wentz.
General manager Chris Ballard told Colin Cowherd that the reason for the team's confidence that Wentz can quickly turn it around is the relationship between the QB and coach Frank Reich. According to the GM, that connection is already paying off.
"When it came to Carson, it was a little like Philip (Rivers) last year. Frank and Nick Sirianni had a really good relationship with Philip. He knew the offense, and it was almost a seamless transition when we brought him in," Ballard said, via Colts Wire. "I almost see the same thing with Carson here over the first month and a half where it's a pretty seamless transition for Carson just because of his relationship with Frank, who also happens to be the play-caller."
This is well-worn ground since the Colts swung a trade for Wentz earlier this offseason. The QB enjoyed an MVP-type season the last year Reich was in Philly in 2017. Since then, it's been a rollercoaster ride.
In life, there are safe gambles, and there are risky gambles. While watching Wentz's 2020 tape would make most believe the QB is a dangerous gamble, Ballard doesn't see it that way. He views getting Wentz's career back on track as less precarious because he has a play-caller the QB is comfortable with.
"I don't think you can ever minimize how important that is," Ballard said. "The quarterback has to feel comfortable with who's pulling the strings and who's pulling the trigger. And that made the trade for Carson a lot easier because I knew there was a trust level between the two of them, and trust is everything in this league and trust between the quarterback and the play-caller is everything."
Ballard added Sam Ehlinger to the QB room in the sixth round of the draft over the weekend. The Texas product and Jacob Eason are likely to duel over the backup role. At this point, neither is a threat to Wentz.
The Colts exited the draft with a hole at left tackle. Given his history, Ballard likely has a plan to fill that gap before the season. Assuming he does, the biggest question mark on the roster sits at QB, where the Colts are rolling the dice that Reich's magic can bring Wentz back from the abyss.
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