There’s a growing number of Commanders fans who want to see Carson Wentz moved to the bench.
Robert Griffin III thinks that’s premature.
Wentz delivered another uninspiring performance Sunday as the Commanders fell to the Dallas Cowboys 25-10. While Sunday’s showing was probably more on the offensive line than Wentz, he’s fallen into the same pattern that has marred his career thus far. He’s had his moments, but poor play and decision-making have been too common an occurrence.
The Commanders have a capable backup in Taylor Heinicke, but Robert Griffin III cautioned against turning to him in his weekly appearance on “The Sports Junkies.”
“I’ve seen some people say 'Hey, maybe they should get Heinicke in or bring the young kid in from North Carolina, Sam Howell,'" Griffin said. "The thing that I look at when I see that is look, they’re paying Carson Wentz way too much money, and he’s had too many moments where you’re like ‘Oh wow, what a throw, what a play,’ for them to do that at this point.
“And protecting him – yes, Heincke might be a little more athletic, Sam Howell is definitely more athletic, we know that from what we saw in the preseason and from what I saw from him in college. But Carson’s got to tap into that athletic side of him again. Right now I think he’s trying to play quarterback and I just think he needs to play football."
Wentz has the skill set to be a quality option for the Commanders, we’ve seen it. But he simply hasn’t been consistent enough.
At this point, the only way Washington reasonably would let him keep his job for the entire season would be if he starts making some adjustments. Griffin has some suggestions.
“He’s trying to stay in the pocket, he’s trying to make his reads and his adjustments like a quote-unquote quarterback is supposed to from like the 1970s and 1980s,” Griffin said. “But when you look at the quarterbacks nowadays, the Josh Allens, the Lamar Jacksons, the Kyler Murrays, all guys who are more athletic than Carson, but Carson’s not a slouch as an athlete. He’s got to be willing to put his foot in the ground and go out there and make plays with his feet. I think that will also help this offense.”
Ultimately, the ceiling probably is highest for the Commanders with Wentz under center over Heinicke and Howell. However, the Commanders can’t give him too much runway to figure things out before making a switch, because the season might be well lost at that point.