Colts owner Jim Irsay pulled no punches on Tuesday talking about Carson Wentz at NFL owners’ meetings.
A day after Frank Reich stated that Wentz should not be considered a scapegoat for the Colts’ late-season breakdown, Irsay went in the exact opposite direction.
He criticized the former midfielder in the strongest terms imaginable.
“I think the worst thing you can do is make a mistake and try to keep living with it,” Irsai said at the NFL owner’s meetings in Palm Beach, Florida, according to the Indianapolis Star.
“For us, that was something we had to walk away from as a privilege. It was very clear.”
A year after the Colts traded the first-round pick and the third-round pick to the Eagles for Wentz, they turned around and shipped it to Washington.
Wentz went from a perceived savior in Reich-ruled Indianapolis to disaster in just a few months. And the Eagles didn’t even use the first round pick they got from the ponies.
“In conversations with trusted team veterans, when you talk to them with confidence, a lot of times they really share, what’s going on,” Irsay said. “What I discovered was very disturbing.
“You are looking for the right chemistry with any team. In football, it is just as important as any sport that exists. If this chemistry is stopped, and if it is not there, it can be very harmful and underperform to an amazing and shocking degree.”
Wentz played well through the middle of the season. From Week 4 to Week 16, he threw 22 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions, the Colts went 9-3 and the passer’s rating of 99.8 was the third highest in the league.
Then disaster struck in the form of a season-ending 26-11 loss to Jaguar that knocked out the Molots from the playoffs.
“Your man should take you and carry you through Jacksonville,” said Irsay. “He has to do it. It’s not an option. He has to. No excuses, no explanations.”
The second largest lopsided loss by a team favored by 15 points or more dates back to the late 1970s, as far as historical point margins are available.
“No disrespect for Jacksonville, but I mean they are the worst team in the league,” Irsai said. “You play really well and hard in the first quarter or so, and they’re looking to go into their locker room and clean it up.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in my life. You’re saying, ‘Oh my God, there’s something wrong here. It needs to be corrected. I think we feel like we did.'”
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Irsay alluded to Wentz’s stubbornness and refusal to change the way he played the game as he got older, and his injury-ravaged body prevents him from doing the things he was doing from a mathematical standpoint.
“You can’t always convince people to do things differently if they don’t want to do it differently,” Irsai said.
“You always try to look, in all areas of your team, where the coaches can come in and strengthen and raise the situation and make things better, but in the end, the players are playing the game, and they are going to play their game.”
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