In an appearance on the Colts Official Podcast this week, general manager Chris Ballard spent plenty of time highlighting Carson Wentz's existing relationship with head coach Frank Reich. And with good reason: The last time Wentz and Reich worked together, Wentz was an MVP candidate and the Philadelphia Eagles went on to win the Super Bowl.
But Reich is not the only Colts coach with a connection to Wentz. Press Taylor, who the Colts hired as a senior offensive assistant earlier this year, spent the last eight seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles — including the last three as Wentz's quarterbacks coach.
Taylor was also the Eagles' assistant quarterbacks coach/quality control in 2016 and 2017. Reich, famously, went to Taylor before the 2017 playoffs to ask for his five best trick plays — which ultimately led to the Eagles scoring a touchdown on the "Philly Special" in Super Bowl LII.
So while it's been four years since Reich and Wentz last worked together, Taylor arrived in Indianapolis with a keen knowledge of where the new Colts quarterback stands in 2021.
"I go back to the last time we were all together, it ended in a Super Bowl year," Taylor told Colts.com. "Carson was on track to having an MVP season before an injury. So that's an extremely positive past together that you kind of lean on. But I know the trust and support and belief that those guys have in each other. And it's a two-way street for sure. I know that Frank thinks that of Carson as a player and Carson thinks that of Frank as a coach."
Taylor said he considers Reich, who was the Eagles' offensive coordinator in 2016 and 2017, a mentor. He admires Reich's collaborative approach to coaching lauded and the brain trust assembled in Indianapolis — including Reich, offensive coordinator Marcus Brady, quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich and assistant quarterbacks coach Parks Frazier — and is excited to see how Wentz's play "takes off" in it.
But since Taylor worked so closely with Wentz through his ups and downs between 2018-2020, his voice can provide an important perspective as part of that brain trust.
"I think I can be a sounding board for both sides, really," Taylor said. "For the coaching staff to Carson and on Carson's behalf to the coaching staff — hey, here's some of the questions he's going to ask on a concept like this that maybe we can dig into ahead of time, have answers, have evidence, things like that.
"Or I can kind of break down the language barrier sometimes because I'm a month, two, three ahead of Carson in terms of learning this offense and the terminology and verbiage and things like that. So from that standpoint I can help but there's also things I can — hey, Carson's going to ask this about this because in 2018 we had a game where this happened on this play, and you can kind of dig into those scars a little bit and preview some things or maybe even bring some things to the table. Like my experience with him, he's been very good at this play or this type of play and maybe we have this in the bottom of our playbook or maybe this is something we consider."
"If that's something I can bring to the table then that's something I'd like to do."
Milanovich said he's already talked with Taylor to get some information that'll give him a "higher baseline" of knowledge in starting to coach Wentz.
But while Taylor knows what kind of player the Colts are getting in Wentz, he also knows what kind of person Indianapolis is getting, too.
"He's a great person," Taylor said. "He's very passionate about building relationships. He's extremely dedicated to his craft. There's not a lot of people who are going to put in more time whether it's in the building or away from the building to getting better and doing what it takes to help the team.
"He's a very smart player, a very smart person, he's very tough mentally and physically and you'll see that in the way he plays the game and I think that a lot of people can respect the toughness he shows at the quarterback position. But he's a great person, has a great family, there's a lot of people that'll be involved I'm sure in helping him make his imprint on the community, because I know that's something that's important to him and something I'm sure he's going to be willing to do."
Look back at some of the best images of Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich and new QB Carson Wentz.