Colts GM will not commit fully to Wentz for 2022

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INDIANAPOLIS – Colts general manager Chris Ballard is not ready to fully commit to quarterback Carson Wentz as his starter for the 2022 season.

Ballard made those comments during his season-ending press conference just days after the Colts failed to reach the playoffs, and Wentz played two of his worst games to end the season. Ballard’s comments are startling considering the Colts gave up first- and third-round picks in the upcoming draft to acquire Wentz from the Philadelphia Eagles’ last offseason.

“When we made the decision, after Philip [Rivers] retired and we made the decision to take a step to Carson, at the time of the decision we were fine with it and I still do not regret the decision at that time, “Ballard said Thursday.” Sitting here today, just so y ‘Everyone knows I do not want to comment on who should be here next year and who should not be here next year. That’s not fair to any player. “

When they acquired Wentz, the overall No. 2 in the 2016 draft, the Colts were hoping to stop the revolving door at quarterback, who has turned since Andrew Luck retired in August 2019. Wentz replaced the retired Rivers, who replaced Jacoby Brissett after the 2019 season .

“I want to stop tying it,” Ballard said. “I want Carson to be the long-term answer or find someone who will be here for the next 10-12 years. Sometimes it doesn’t work that way. I can dream about it, desire it, do everything I can find the solution, but you’re doing the best you can at the moment. “

The goal was for head coach Frank Reich to get Wentz back to play, as he did when the two were together in Philadelphia when Reich was the quarterback’s offensive coordinator in 2017.

There was something good from Wentz this season, but the bad, unfortunately for the Colts, outweighed it. It was clear they were a run-first team with run-back Jonathan Taylor leading the NFL in rushing, but they also expected Wentz to play when the teams filled the box to stop the race. It did not always happen.

Wentz completed just 59% of his passes, threw only two touchdown passes and had two turnovers in the last two games of the regular season, as the Colts only needed to win one to reach the playoffs. Wentz, who continued his risk-taking ways, threw for at least 200 yards in just two of the last eight games of the season. In the dull loss to the Jaguars in the season finale, Wentz had a career-low 4.4 Total QBR.

“Make layups. Make layups. Make layups,” Ballard said. “Carson wants to win. He has a will to win. Sometimes when you carry the burden where you think you have to play a big game all the time. Sometimes let the team help you, make layups, make layups. “

“Make layups. Make layups. Make layups. Carson wants to win. He has a will to win. Sometimes when you carry the burden where you think you have to play a big game all the time, sometimes let the team help you, make the layouts, make the layouts. ”

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Colts GM Chris Ballard, on Carson Wentz

The Colts have some key pieces on the list in Taylor, linebacker Darius Leonard and most of the offensive line. But the chance of getting into the playoffs and making a run in the off-season will remain small until they find out who the answer is at quarterback.

“Ultimately, I think we have a lot of really good players and really good pieces,” Ballard said. “You have to get stability in the quarterback position. That position has to play up to his potential to help the team win. I’m not blaming it all on Carson. I’m not because everyone else has to do theirs too. occupation .

“But the hyper-importance of the position, it’s real. You have to get consistency there. The years we’ve got it, we’ve been pretty good, and we thought we had it until the end of the season. Something we have to keep working through. “

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