New Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz has become a pretty polarizing figure during his six-year NFL career. The 2016 No. 2 overall pick was on the fast track to NFL stardom. The former North Dakota State star was the front runner for NFL MVP in his second season until a late-season ACL tear cost him the award and the season. The Eagles still won the Super Bowl behind backup Nick Foles (Super Bowl MVP). Following the injury and the play of Foles in bringing the football-hungry city its first Lombardi Trophy, Wentz never seemed to regain his swagger. At every Wentz mistake, the fan base was calling for Foles.
After three more seasons in Philly and a lot of discord, tension between Wentz and then-head coach Doug Pederson things came to a head in 2020-21. Following the season, the team fired Pederson and traded Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts. Wentz played well during his one season in Indy, passing for over 3,500 yards along with 27 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. But the Colts lost their last two games, subsequently missing the playoffs, and Wentz became the fall guy for the team’s shortcomings and was traded to Washington Commanders.
Interview With Local Media Doesn’t Go Well
This is Wentz’s first season in a different system for the first time in his career. So a learning curve and struggles are to be expected. Reports are he’s struggled pretty often at times during training camp. During a midweek interview with Scott Abraham of ABC 7 DC, Wentz was asked about his play, amongst other things.
“There’s been kind of a narrative that you’ve been inaccurate in training camp. Is that a fair characterization?“
Abraham wasn’t done.
“Real talk here, Carson. It’s been well-documented. Philly didn’t want you. Indy didn’t want you. Do you think is your last chance to prove that you can be a starting QB in the NFL?”
— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) August 13, 2022
Wentz Deflects, Sort Of | Wright Defends His QB
Wentz went on to deflect the question and give the typical answer you’d expect, but the Commanders team president Jason Wright wasn’t for the shenanigans that Abraham was pulling.
“I don’t really think about stuff like that, Wentz said. For me I’m playing the game that I love and I have the most confidence of anybody in myself to deliver, and play at a high level, to be part of something special here with this team. I don’t put all that pressure on myself. People can feel that way, people can say what they want, and I have no issue with that. That is what it is, but for me, I don’t think in those terms.”
"I definitely think it is a work in progress. I feel like we are connecting more as the weeks go on."
— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) August 8, 2022
Wentz answered the question with that very relaxed and calm demeanor that he’s become known for. He shrugged it off and said he could not care less what folks think about him, but Wright took Abraham to task for his questions, unloading on the reporter in a Twitter post on Friday:
“Thankfully, Carson demonstrated grace and class in his response to this pompous and unprofessional mess. I recognize you have made a living on childlike provocation but it needs to be called out. Don’t expect special access, and good luck building rapport with the guys.”
It's a subjective question as to whether it's an appropriate tone. But it's definitely what people are saying. Your concern would have been better handled privately. Complaints like these could have a chilling effect on others who are inclined to ask tough but fair questions.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 12, 2022
Wright is defending his quarterback against what seemed to be below-the-belt questions. And then he threatened to halt Abraham’s unique access to the players. What Wright said about building rapport with the players has some absolute truth: they’ll want someone they can trust in the media when giving interviews. One has to wonder if Abraham hurt his chances of getting those special interviews.
No matter how you spin it, it’s not a good look for a franchise whose owner is under investigation for allowing a hostile work environment amidst sexual assault and sexual misconduct accusations. When it comes to the Washington football franchise, it’s never quiet in Ashburn, Virginia, and unfortunately, this reeks of the toxic culture that’s become synonymous with the franchise.