Carson Wentz seems to be everyone’s favorite piñata these days, and that’s before even taking a snap in the regular season for the Commanders.
First, Hall-of-Famer and ESPN “Monday Night Football” analyst Troy Aikman said back in May that Washington represents “probably his last opportunity” to be a franchise NFL quarterback. Then, a 7News D.C. television reporter hit Wentz with a series of blunt questions that Commanders president Jason Wright called unprofessional.
Now it’s Colts owner Jim Irsay’s turn.
On Wednesday, Irsay, in assessing Indianapolis’ season a year ago — when the Colts’ playoff hopes were crushed in an embarrassing loss at lowly two-win Jacksonville in which Wentz completed just 58.6 percent of his passes and threw an interception — not-so-subtly shaded his former quarterback. He didn’t mention Wentz by name but didn’t have to.
“We went through the season with some inconsistency at quarterback that led to massive problems,” Irsay told reporters.
Irsay then went on to express his excitement for the upcoming season and his new quarterback, Matt Ryan. A former NFL MVP, the Colts traded for Ryan after shipping Wentz to Washington.
“We’re set up for excellence, now we just have to do it,” he said. “And Matt Ryan has that same feeling in his heart.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Irsay has taken a shot at Wentz. In March, he admitted that trading for the former Eagle was a mistake, that the quarterback had led the Colts into a “long, dark tunnel” and that it was “obvious” by the end of last season the team needed to move on from the former No. 2 overall pick.
Wentz, in responding to those initial comments from Irsay, took the high road, telling Colin Cowherd, “everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. I thought last year was a really fun year. I thought we did some incredible things, came up short at the end.”
Wentz finished last season with 3,563 yards, 27 touchdowns, seven interceptions and the ninth-best QBR in the league at 54.7.
Still, in the 26-11 loss to Jacksonville — a team that tied for the NFL’s worst record last season — Wentz managed just one touchdown.
Wentz will at least get his chance to make Irsay eat his words. The Commanders play at Indianapolis on Oct. 30.