Hailey: Carson Wentz's accuracy 'worse than I thought'


Carson Wentz has yet to take a meaningful snap in a game for the Commanders, true. Carson Wentz has struggled with accuracy in training camp, also true.

Both statements can and certainly appear to be true, but it's the latter that has people covering the team on a daily basis concerned that Wentz may not be adapting with his new team quickly enough to lend confidence about where this thing is headed.

One of those reporters, Pete Hailey of NBC Sports Washington, offered up this somewhat worrisome depiction of Wentz's accuracy in a Monday appearance with Grant Paulsen on 106.7 The Fan.

"It's just worse than I thought," Hailey said when prompted with a question about Wentz's accuracy. "And I was very aware of what all the Eagles reporters — I mean everybody's had an Eagles reporter on their show or podcast, everybody's had a Colts reporter on their show or podcast. So you're prepared for this to be a bumpy road, but the bumps are a little bit higher and they're a little bit more frequent than I would have liked them to be."

"And look, he didn't have Terry [McLaurin] for OTAs and minicamps," Hailey cautioned. "Those two both have spoken on how they need to get their reps down. They might try to do some things during practice, during some dead periods, to continue to hone their relationship. I'd imagine it's hard to get on the same page with Curtis Samuel when you don't know if he's going to be wearing a helmet from one day to the next."

Commanders reporter Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch echoed this sentiment, saying that McLaurin's absence from on-field activities has definitely complicated the receiver's ability to develop a rapport with Wentz. Phillips also noted "there's still a lot of time left before the first game" and that the two still have "plenty of time to get it fixed."

Hailey says the one target Wentz has been able to develop a reliable rapport with — which should give fans some measure of optimism about things to come — is first-round pick Jahan Dotson.

"So the one guy he does seem to really be in lockstep with is Jahan Dotson, who he loved during May and June activities and has certainly brought that into July and August," Hailey said. "When he's throwing with Dotson, that's when it's the smoothest, that's when the timing is the best, that's when the ball is there, as soon as he turns around and gives him plenty enough room to turn upfield.

"So if he gets to that level with the other guys, then you can see that there's a blueprint for a successful quarterback-receiver relationship, but the majority of guys, it still is just rusty and there's just some really ugly misses."

"And what worries me," Hailey continued. "Again, the on-air stuff doesn't affect the on-field results come Week 1, but if you're a receiver turning around enough and you don't know where the ball's coming, that's got to just be discouraging. You're like, 'I'm doing this against nobody and you're not hitting me. How am I gonna trust you to then do this against the Jaguars?' So I just hope that there isn't too much doubt already seeping into this unit's head.

"Because, again, some of these reps, Grant, are so disappointing that it's just like how do they then line up and do another one in five seconds without everybody just processing the ugliness that just occurred?"

Hailey went on to say that Wentz is still the best of the three quarterbacks in camp (the others being Taylor Heinicke and rookie Sam Howell).

"Wentz is definitely still the best," he said. "I still think Ron should give Wentz an incredibly long leash, because this is the only guy who could really hopefully, possibly elevate the team. The other two are gonna either just keep it afloat or be something of a long-term project. So Wentz needs to be the starter and he needs to be the starter for a long time. You give him every chance to hit the ground running, and if it doesn't start at the beginning, to hit the ground running in October. But he is not so much better that it's like, 'Okay, phew. This is exactly it.' It's just been closer all throughout than you'd like it to be."