While Carson Wentz quickly got to work with some of his new teammates after being traded from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Colts earlier this year, the last two weeks have been an opportunity for the quarterback to really get to know his team. And vice versa.
And it's clear Wentz made a strong impression during the Colts' work at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center this month.
"Especially these last two weeks, I know and I can feel it, Carson has made his presence known on this team," coach Frank Reich said. "And this team has embraced his leadership."
Multiple players over the last few days have described Wentz as a "great guy" — Quenton Nelson, Jack Doyle, Zach Pascal and Parris Campbell all described him that way — while center Ryan Kelly used a different laudatory adjective, saying his new quarterback is an "awesome guy."
This is a team that's used to change under center, with Wentz in line to be the Colts' fourth different starting quarterback in four years. But the way he's carried himself on and off the field, and in and away from the facility, has quickly ingratiated him to Colts players and coaches.
"He's a guy that likes to work, so that just blends in perfectly with everybody on the team who loves to make the changes to get their work in so we can be great," Pascal said. "I'm looking forward to it."
Wentz's natural leadership and fit with the Colts has been noticeable, certainly. But his physical traits — his athleticism, his strong arm, his size — have all stood out too.
Pascal estimated Wentz could throw the ball "80, 100 yards for sure" while Michael Pittman Jr. recalled his new quarterback unleashing a 65-yard heave on a post route during one of their early throwing sessions.
"I was like, oh my gosh, I really gotta dig down and run," Pittman said.
As Reich put it: "I think when he's out there on the field, you can just feel his presence. Physically on the field, he's a dominant physical specimen for the position. And you feel that when he's out there."
Wentz is working to get to know his teammates, too, on both a personal and professional level to build trust, and he expects there to be more informal throwing sessions away from Colts HQ between now and training camp.
All this points to a successful two weeks for Wentz and the Colts in Indianapolis — the kind of thing that builds a foundation ahead of training camp and then the regular season. And so far, building that foundation has gone well.
"The way he works, he's so dialed in," Pittman said. "He is on a mission."
The Indianapolis Colts took the field for Day 3 of 2021 OTAs.