The Indianapolis Colts have made some intriguing additions to the coaching staff this offseason, but they made one that may be critical, yet lowkey.
Press Taylor was hired as a senior offensive assistant with the Colts after serving in various roles with the Philadelphia Eagles since 2013.
What makes the hiring of Taylor so intriguing is his past work with Colts head coach Frank Reich and new quarterback Carson Wentz.
Taylor recently spoke with reporters for the first time since joining the Colts.
Here are the quick hits.
It takes more than just one player for a team to be successful. Likewise, it takes more than one for a team to struggle: Wentz had the worst season of his career in 2020 but had a terrific career trajectory in his earlier years. Through the successes and the failures, there's a lot that goes into both.
Speaking to last year first, there were a variety of things that went on last year that made it hard. We didn’t do anything well as an offense, as a team. When you win four games there is a lot to look back and say things didn’t go well for us. Certainly, everything around him didn’t go well and I think he would tell you that he didn’t play his best last season.
I think the four years before that, you saw what he is capable of as a quarterback. You saw overcoming adversity, you saw him playing with – when he had talented players around him, when maybe the pieces were lesser than at times and the way he can play and elevate those around him.
It’s like a lot of quarterbacks, when they are in a situation where a lot of things are going good around them, how do they play? How do you evaluate them in that situation when things aren’t so good? How do you evaluate him? Then obviously, 2020 was not our best year so I am excited to get back on the field with the Colts now and move forward.
You can't let recency bias affect your judgment: Although Wentz and the Eagles had a poor year in 2020, you have to evaluate what he did before then as well.
I think as these guys go in their careers, you kind of take their whole career into context and see the things around them and how they played to really build a true evaluation of a player and what they are capable of.
Wentz and Reich are two guys who try to challenge each other for the better, and elevate those around them: Taylor worked with Wentz from 2016-2020 and Reich from 2016-2017, so he's seen their relationship firsthand. It's been a few years since Wentz and Reich worked together, but Taylor expects them to pick up where they left off.
Well, I think it’s both guys that have a true passion for the game and developing, and then developing the players around them whether that’s as a quarterback or as a coach – pulling in the guys to help everybody kind of elevate their game for what’s best for the team.
Those two guys, there is a true passion for football. I mean when they get together in a meeting room, it’s going to be a lot of back and forth, a lot of conversation philosophically, the minute details of a certain play, footwork and things like that because they are so passionate about it. They both have personal philosophies on the things they like, they don’t like.
I think with their relationship, they are able to go a little deeper in those conversations as well, and that’s what helps with having a past with somebody. You come in here and they haven’t worked together for the last few years, but I think it’s going to be where they are able to pick up where they left off and keep moving forward in the relationship.
Taylor and Wentz have formed a tight relationship over the last five years and they look to take advantage of that moving forward in Indianapolis: Regardless of what role Taylor held in the Eagles coaching staff, he worked closely with Wentz and will likely continue to do so with the Colts.
I was there the day Carson came in for the pre-draft interview process so I was very familiar with him from that standpoint, and I was in the room the day he got there. So we have been in the room together for the last five years in that quarterback room.
Like you said, my role had changed over the years, but I think our – being the assistant quarterbacks coach early on, you’re kind of that go-between between the coaching staff and the players. So there may be something that he wasn’t comfortable at the time – he was a third-string quarterback when he started. Maybe something he wasn’t comfortable asking, through the install he would kind of slide up next to you and say, ‘What did they mean when they said this or what did they mean when they said that?’
So I think as a young coach you develop a relationship with guys that way. Then just as things moved forward in my career and I continued to be promoted, to move up the chain – within our offense we were always working side by side and I became the quarterback coach. We’re working side by side and we have a lot of history through the years. So as something would come up, as a play would come up, an install, an idea would come up – we had a lot of history to draw upon. So something would happen, we’d suggest a play and, ‘Hey, remember when this came up? This is why we did this.’ It kind of leads to that.
That’s just kind of the benefit of being together and having a lot of experience together – something that I hope we can draw upon here in our experiences in Indy as well. So, I’m looking forward to that.
Then our relationship, I feel very good about the relationship that we had as player (and) coach and look forward to developing and keeping that going as we move forward here.
Then when I got here and the conversation eventually came around to Carson may be available in a trade opportunity, I was maybe asked a question or two, ‘What do you think? What happened?’ If I could provide context to 2020, that season or his career before that – that’s something that I wanted to do to help the organization.
Then ultimately, Frank asked, ‘Do you believe in the player still and what he is capable of with everything that happened in his past?’ That was a no-brainer for me. I absolutely 100 percent believe in Carson Wentz as a player. I’m excited about the opportunity for him here in Indy.
Are you glad the Colts brought Taylor in to work with Wentz and Reich again? Drop your thoughts below in the comment section!