The (former) Eagle has landed.
Carson Wentz arrived in Indianapolis on Thursday and spent the day touring the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. As part of his introduction, Wentz spoke to the media for the first time as a member of the Colts.
Here are four big takeaways from Wentz's introductory press conference in Indianapolis:
There's a good story behind Wentz's new number: How did Wentz land on wearing No. 2? It all starts with a number he couldn't actually wear in the NFL.
Wentz wore No. 20 when he was in high school and always felt drawn to the number two. But when he arrived at North Dakota State, another player was already wearing No. 2, so he settled on No. 11 — which he became attached to through his time in Fargo and then Philadelphia. But No. 11 is taken here in Indianapolis.
"When the trade went down, I obviously reached out to (Michael) Pittman Jr.) right away and I said hey, no pressure, are you married to No. 11? And he said yeah, I think so," Wentz said. "And I'm like cool, no worries."
But with 11 taken, Wentz had an opportunity to switch to a number he's wanted to wear for years.
"I'm excited for a fresh start, No. 2 is really in the back of my mind, back of my heart what I always wanted to be so we're excited," Wentz said. "Hopefully people think I look good in 2, if not, who cares, my wife does. So that's all that matters."
Wentz had an "instant" connection with Frank Reich five years ago: Wentz was asked a few times about his relationship with Reich, who was his offensive coordinator with the Eagles in 2016 and 2017. We'll dive deeper into that relationship and what it means for 2021 tomorrow, but it began before Wentz was even drafted by the Eagles.
"I'll never forget when I was working out up in Fargo, North Dakota before the draft and he and coach (Doug) Pederson and everyone came out — it was just instant," Wentz said. "It was just an instant that we had this connection. We're both men of faith and were able to talk about our values and different things, it was natural."
Wentz discussed his exit from Philadelphia: The new Colts' quarterback struck a balance between delving into how his time with the Eagles ended and how excited he is for the opportunity in Indianapolis.
"It is bittersweet," Wentz said. "When you're drafted by a team, everyone desires — I'm going to play 20 years and I'm going to do X, Y and Z and win all these games, all that stuff. That's what you desire. That's what you have in the back of your mind. But things unfold, they go differently, it's a different day and age and we're excited for a new start."
And here's how Wentz described his 2020 season, in which he started 12 games before being replaced by rookie Jalen Hurts:
"I'm not going to sugarcoat it. It wasn't fun. It's not fun when things were going so well for years and all those things. Obviously the Super Bowl and all those things that happened and not being out there on the field having injuries. A lot of things that just don't know why things happen or why they went the way they did. As a man, you have to look yourself in the mirror and learn from it. Learn from it, become a better man, better player, all those things.
"So yeah. I'm not going to lie. It wasn't fun, it was difficult. But I did everything I could to still be supported of Jalen and my teammates. I have a lot of really strong relationships with a lot of people in that building — teammates, staff, everything that I wanted to be the best I could be to help them. So I was going out there every day for scout team, even though it was weird, it was new, it was different, but I was going to give the best look I could, and I was going to compete and do everything I could to help the team. It wasn't the ending I desired but this is the path that we're on and we're excited for this new opportunity."
Wentz is already working to earn the respect of his new teammates: We know Wentz worked out with Pittman Jr. and Dezmon Patmon earlier this year, and he said he's already been in contact with a number of Colts players.
"It's been pretty cool to see the support and how welcoming they've been," Wentz said. "Not a single one has said a bad things about this organization and this area and this community. So for me, that's exciting, both for me and my family. Guys seem awesome, guys seem great, it was really cool to get down there in California and throw with Dez and with Pitt and get some work in.
"I look forward to getting some more work in with those guys and the rest of the guys really all over the country. We'll see how this offseason pans out but I'm really looking forward to meeting everybody in person and getting to work as soon as we can."
Go behind the scenes to see Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz arrive in Indianapolis and spend his first day inside the team facility.