As the Colts were evaluating Carson Wentz earlier this year, coach Frank Reich approached Press Taylor — Wentz's quarterbacks coach the last few years in Philadelphia and now a Colts senior offensive assistant — with a simple question.
Do you still believe in him and what he's capable of given everything that's happened in his past?
"That was a no-brainer for me," Taylor said. "I absolutely believe in Carson Wentz as a player."
Reich and Wentz built a strong relationship during their time together with the Eagles in 2016 and 2017 — but that does mean it's been four years since coach and quarterback last were paired. Taylor was Wentz's quarterbacks coach from 2018-2020 and was with the Eagles from the day Wentz was drafted, giving him a wide scope to evaluate the quarterback's career — specifically, what went right and wrong over the last few years.
Wentz threw 48 touchdowns against 14 interceptions with a 96.7 passer rating in 2018-2019, with the Eagles making the playoffs both years. He led the NFL in interceptions in 2020, though, and saw his passer rating dip to 72.8.
"There were a variety of things that went on last year that made it hard," Taylor said. "We didn't do anything well as an offense, as a team. You win four games, there's a lot to look back and say things didn't go well for us. Certainly everything around him didn't go well and I think he would tell you he didn't play his best last season.
"The four years before that you saw what he's capable of as a quarterback. You saw overcoming adversity, you saw when he had talented players around him, when maybe the pieces were lesser than at times and the way he could play and elevate those around him."
So with that up-close knowledge of not only Wentz, but everything around him the last few years, Taylor was able to confidently answer Reich's question.
"I just told Frank I 100 percent believe in Carson as a quarterback," Taylor said.
Go behind the scenes as quarterback Carson Wentz dons his Indianapolis Colts uniform for the first time.