It's safe to say that Jim Irsay wasn't a fan of the Carson Wentz era in Indy. After staying relatively quiet following Wentz's trade to Washington, Irsay is becoming vocal about his displeasure with how things turned out, calling the whole thing "a mistake."
During the NFL owner's meeting in Palm Beach, Fla, Colts head coach Frank Reich told reporters that Wentz should not be considered a scapegoat for last season's collapse. Only a day later, Irsay did blame Wentz for missing out on the playoffs and pulled no punches when talking about his former quarterback.
"I think the worst thing you can do is have a mistake and try to keep living with it going forward,” Irsay said Tuesday via to the Indianapolis Star.
“For us, it was something we had to move away from as a franchise. It was very obvious.”
The franchise gave up on the former Pro Bowl quarterback after he started off being billed as the savior in Indy, before crashing and burning only a few months later. As a result of trading for Wentz, the Colts sent a 1st and a 3rd-round pick to the Eagles before they shipped him to the Commanders after only one season.
From Week 4 to 16, Wentz played great, throwing for 22 touchdowns and just 5 interceptions. The Colts were 9-3 and his 99.8 passer rating was 3rd-highest in the league.
The collapse came during their 26-11 defeat to the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars, which was the final straw for Irsay.
“Your guy’s gotta pick you up and carry you through Jacksonville,” Irsay said. "He has to do it. Not an option. Has to. No excuses, no explanations.”
Irsay may have a point. Indy's Week 18 loss was the 2nd-most lopsided defeat by a team that was favored by 15 or more points, dating back to the late 1970s.
“No disrespect to Jacksonville, but I mean, they’re the worst team in the league,” Irsay said. “You play well and hard for the first quarter or so, and they’re looking to go to their locker room and clean it out.
“I’ve never seen anything like that in my life. You say, ‘My God, there’s something wrong here. It needs to be corrected.’ I think that we feel like we did.”
The 62-year-old owner said he took the temperature around the locker room, speaking to "trusted veterans" who according to Irsay, shared some things that were very concerning.
“In having conversations with trusted veterans on the team, when you speak to them in confidence, oftentimes they share really, what’s happening,” Irsay said. “What I found out was very concerning.
“You search for the right chemistry with any team. In football, it’s as important as any sport that there is. If that chemistry is off, if it isn’t there, it can be extremely detrimental and lower performance to a degree that is stunning and shocking.”
Wentz being unpopular in the Colts' locker room should come as no surprise. There are widespread rumors that Wentz was just as unpopular in Philly as he was in Indianapolis, especially during the Eagles' legendary Super Bowl run where he was injured, sitting on the sideline while Nick Foles steered the ship.
Whether Wentz can win over his new team, and revitalize his career in Washington back in the division he started his career in remains to be seen, but I'm sure Eagles fans will let him hear it during his return to the Linc.