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Why Carson Wentz Should Want to Play in Chicago

One report says the Bears are favorites to land Carson Wentz while another says they've pulled out of the running and both agree he wants to go to the Colts and not the Bears but for what reason is anyone's guess.

Unsourced stories and rumors piling up out of Philadelphia keep suggesting Carson Wentz would rather go to the Indianapolis Colts than the Bears in a trade.

These all stemmed from Chris Simms' comment that he had been told by someone close to Wentz that Indianapolis would be the quarterback's preference.

Another sketchy report from Eytan Shander of the Philly Voice on Tuesday suggests the Bears are either out or pulling out of the Wentz sweepstakes.  So apparently Wentz will be elated.

Trades don't always send quarterbacks or any other player to "their preference."

Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer labeled the Bears the favorites on Tuesday while doing the podcast on The Herd with Colin Cowherd. 

"I think it has become pretty clear he'd rather go to Indianapolis," Breer said. "I think part of it now for the Eagles is if our best return right now is Chicago over Indy, then we need to convince Carson Wentz this is the only place you are going, and you need to buck up and accept this and realize the Bears are going to give you a good chance."

If Wentz wanted to go to the Colts because he thought the offensive line might be better, that's one thing. He just got beat up last year in Philadelphia. But many Eagles followers and writers have pointed out it happened at least as often because he held the ball too long as it did because he had poor pass blocking.


Whatever the reason, the Colts had a good pass-blocking line but won't have tackle Anthony Castonzo next year as he just retired last month. So the Indianapolis offensive line play will look a little different next year.

Regardless of the blocking, one of the key reasons Wentz would like Indianapolis has to do with the coaching. It's not just Frank Reich, the head coach who was Eagles offensive coordinator during 2017 when Wentz was on a Super Bowl winner.

Press Taylor is a Colts senior offensive assistant who was Wentz's quarterbacks coach and later served as Eagles passing game coordinator. This is important to Wentz because he developed a close relationship with Taylor. He also had no problems with Reich, as Eagles offensive coordinator in 2017.

There is one other reason why he might favor the Colts, although no one has actually expressed this as a reason. Still, it's an obvious one.

This is the uncertainty about the Bears coaching staff. 

For this, the Bears can thank their ownership. Board chairman George McCaskey and team CEO Ted Phillips came out at their postseason press conference and all but hung placards on Matt Nagy on Ryan Pace saying "one-and-done." They said the team had to win a playoff game, or at least Phillips said it. 

Both Nagy and Pace could be gone after next season.

Why would Wentz want to go to an uncertain situation when he has a more stable one available in Indianapolis where the ownership isn't threatening people?

This is all understandable, but there aremore compelling reasons why Wentz should actually favor going to the Bears over the Colts.

1. A low bar. A very, very low bar.

Colts fans are used to excellence at quarterback. They beat the Bears in the Super Bowl XLI with Peyton Manning. They had Andrew Luck. Last year Philip Rivers played at a high level for a 38/39-year-old.

Wentz could come to Chicago and if everything didn't go right, he'd still have far more leeway with fans. In fact, he'd find it takes very little success by a passer to win over the supposedly tough Chicago crowd.

That's because they're used to stumble bums at quarterback. That's what they've had since Jim McMahon was shipped to San Diego in 1989.

They haven't had a premium quarterback since George Halas was making the T-formation famous and employing Sid Luckman.

You want a place where just a little success could go a long way for a quarterback? It's the Windy City. They're just dying to call someone St. Carson or something like that and make him a statue.

Sure, there would be pressure if a player fails. That's why Rex Grossman's name gets mentioned right alongside hemorrhoids and Trubisky's name is as welcome to many as case of athlete's foot. Jay Cutler? Don't even go there.

The Bears haven't even had a 4,000-yard passer yet. There were 12 of those across the NFL last year alone, so simply bringing the Bears to the 21st century could get Wentz into the Chicago Sports Hall of Fame.

2. John DeFilippo

It's been reported in Philadelphia how Wentz and DeFilippo weren't exactly on buddy-buddy terms. In fact, it's said the relationship often seemed strained. But numerous reports have said it was more of a tough-love situation where DeFilippo was hard on Wentz to get the best out of him, and Wentz realized this.

Better yet, it worked. Wentz rose to be mentioned as a possible MVP candidate in 2017 when DeFilippo was quarterbacks coach.

Reich's past coaching Wentz has often been brought up as a reason why Indianapolis would be good. But Reich never was the coach primarily responsible for Wentz on a daily basis. He was the offensive coordinator.

In fact, Reich has never developed a quarterback as a quarterbacks coach in the NFL.

He was quarterbacks coach of the Colts back in 2009-10 but had a pretty fair quarterback who had already developed. His name was Manning.

Reich was quarterbacks coach in 2013 with the Chargers and Rivers was already in his 30s.

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That's it. That's the sum total of Reich's quarterback development experience as a quarterbacks coach.

DeFilippo already succeeded with Wentz. He has coached Derek Carr, Foles, Trubisky, Josh McCown and Mark Sanchez before the butt-fumble.

DeFilippo isn't going to be Wentz's buddy like Taylor would, but Taylor isn't the quarterbacks coach for the Colts, either. Scott Milanovich is. 

That's great if you're going to go to the CFL, because that's where Milanovich was just last season. He isn't someone with a past history with Wentz, and this is who Wentz would work with the most. 

Oh, Milanovich did work with Blake Bortles in Jacksonville, so he has that going for him. He did coach Foles. That was when he was coaching for the Jaguars—under DeFilippo.

3. Matt Nagy

Wentz doesn't know Nagy, but everyone speaks about the Bears coach as if he's the "quarterback whisperer." 

Or at least this was his reputation at one time.

Nagy was the one credited most with helping Alex Smith turn around his career.

It's easy to point to how Trubisky turned out and say Nagy failed with him. Actually, Nagy coached two passer ratings in the 90s out of Trubisky.

To do better, Nagy would have needed to turn water into wine.

Nagy is one of the most positive and energized coaches in the league. Nagy is also one of the most likeable coaches in the league, unless you're Kyle Long. 

If Wentz wanted to be coached, he'd come to DeFilippo and Nagy in Chicago rather than going to be coddled in Indianapolis.

4. Chicago

Indianapolis is fine and dandy and football writers have long loved the town from years of going there for the NFL Scouting Combine.

That's what it is though, a town.

Chicago is a city.

They've got St. Elmo's steakhouse in Indianapolis. There are a dozen like St. Elmo's within a few blocks of each other in Chicago. And that's just steak places and that's just downtown, not including the suburbs.

Their museums take up a wing in comparable museums here. 

There are forms of entertainment in Chicago people in Indianapolis don't even know exist yet and they might be viable again once this pandemic ends.

They don't even have an NHL team in Indianapolis and the one here won three Stanley Cups last decade. They don't have a baseball team and Chicago has two.

Sure, they had Reggie Miller and Larry Bird. The Bulls had Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson and six rings.

The only thing Indianapolis has which Chicago doesn't is the Indy 500, and IndyCar racing died when Rick Mears retired anyway.

Go on then ...

If Wentz likes blending in where he's not challenged in a secondary city with a team which could not really appreciate his skills, have at it.

If he wants to be hailed as the savior of a city, it's here for the taking.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven