The Indianapolis Colts kicked off training camp at Grand Park Sports Complex on Wednesday morning, officially marking the end of the offseason.
After an eventful offseason where we saw one quarterback retire and another join the team via a blockbuster trade, new quarterback Carson Wentz’s debut was far and away the most anticipated moment at Colts camp.
After spending the first five years of his career with the Philadelphia Eagles, Wentz was more than excited to get out on the field with his new team.
“I was telling Coach (Marcus) Brady coming out here before that I was a little amped up and I needed to tone it down,” Wentz said. “It felt like the first day of school again coming out here. A beautiful setting for training camp, you’ve got farmland all around you – my type of place. So it was a lot of fun out there today and like I said, early on I just had to tone it down a little bit. I was a little amped up.”
Wentz got off to a shaky start but ended up finishing 12-of-20 during 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 periods. As he gets more familiar with the offense and his teammates, as well as playing against a live defense once again, we should start to see better days from him.
One of the many reasons Wentz struggled last year in Philly was the quality of weapons he was throwing the ball to. He will have a significant upgrade in that regard with the Colts, and it seems like he is noticing it right away.
“A lot of talent and a lot of versatility,” he said. “That’s what I’ve seen – a lot of explosiveness from receivers, running backs, tight ends. (They’re) great dudes that really understand football and I think that allows us to be able to do something special because talent takes you so far, but understanding the game and the ins and outs of plays, being on time, where you’re supposed to be, understanding zone coverages – all that stuff. (They’re) a lot of smart football players out here.”
The chemistry Wentz has with his teammates, especially those he is throwing the ball to, will be crucial to his and the team’s success. Not only did Wentz want to get as much work in as possible with his new weapons over the summer, but they were ready to work with him every chance they could.
“Well, we had some (workouts) before our little OTA couple of weeks, had a handful, and then there were two weeks in the summer that I had a bunch of the guys down, a couple of the rookies down in Texas down there," Wentz said. "It was probably almost every other week I was getting some work in with teammates. It’s been good. I’ve been in California with a couple of them, Texas, I’ve been here a handful of times. It’s the thing I love about this group, is they want to work. So, the whole offseason they were bothering me, ‘Hey, where are you going to be?’ It’s been really good.”
The fact that his new teammates wanted to get together with him as much as they could this summer spoke volumes to Wentz. He realized very quickly that the culture was different in Indy.
Not only do the players want to work and win, but they truly care about one another and want to see everyone have success.
“It’s a family. It truly feels like a family,” Wentz remarked when asked about the locker room culture. “Football, it’s always talked about in a locker room, it’s always talked about it’s a family, it’s a family, but something feels different here – and even in the community, even with you guys. It just feels like a big family with everyone supporting and encouraging each other. But the expectations are there.”
The expectations for this Colts team are very high, as the roster and culture have been built in a way for sustained success. From the sound of things, Wentz is fired up and ready to prove the Colts were right in believing he can lead them to the top of the mountain.
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