PHILADELPHIA - Frank Reich can’t formally talk about his new quarterback just yet.
That’s because Carson Wentz to Indianapolis will not be official until March 17, the first day of the new league year’s business.
The Colts’ head coach and former Philadelphia offensive coordinator met with the local Indianapolis media virtually Thursday, a session that would typically take place at the NFL Scouting Combine that was scrapped this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Reich danced around picking up his former star pupil at first but did open up a bit when asked about generalities of struggling players.
Wentz, of course, is coming off a disastrous 2020 season in Philadelphia before being benched for rookie Jalen Hurts and ultimately being dealt to the Colts for a 2021 third-round draft pick and a 2022 conditional second-round pick that will likely turn into a first-rounder if the QB stays healthy and productive for Indy next season.
“You guys know the rules,” Reich said at first. “I’m going to be unable to make any serious comments on some of that stuff.”
To circumvent those rules Reich was queried on what coaches can do when it comes to QBs who have lost their confidence, not exactly a secret as to who was being discussed.
“That’s a great question and a very relevant question always, the confidence level of players at every position, certainly not just the quarterback position,” Reich answered. “I think one of the great misnomers is that sometimes fans think the greatest players in the world – I’ve seen some of the best players in the world, everybody loses confidence for a moment.
“It may be brief, but it always goes back the same way.”
Reich, along with then-Eagles head coach Doug Pederson and then-QBs coach John DeFilippo, formed the somewhat-famed QB incubator in 2016 and 2017 when Wentz was just starting his career as the No. 2 overall pick out of North Dakota State.
With Reich the filter between the good cop (Pederson) and the bad cop (DeFilippo), the trio had Wentz up to speed and playing at an MVP level by his sophomore season.
When the band broke up after Super Bowl LII, with Reich getting the top job with the Colts, and DeFilippo joining Minnesota as OC, Wentz’s mechanics started to slide and his play soon followed with 2020 being the low point.
Reich seems to recognize what went wrong.
"One of the ways to build confidence back is you go back to the basics, you go back to the fundamentals and technique,” the coach explained. “You go back to your basic schemes and you build it one play at a time. That’s true for any of us. So that is the way we will handle every position.”
Reich’s first OC in Indianapolis is now the head coach of the Eagles, Nick Sirianni. He elevated QB coach Marcus Brady to OC and brought in Scott Milanovich to do the day-to-day work as the position coach. Reich also brought Press Taylor over to the Colts as a senior offensive assistant.
The goal is to finally get stable QB play post-Andrew Luck after bouncing from Jacoby Brissett to Philip Rivers and now Wentz.
“That has always been the goal, to have a longer-term answer at that position that you can build around and grow,” said Reich. “As you grow as an offense because the quarterback is so central in the offense going through him, being able to grow year-by-year is an important aspect of that.”
-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John every Monday and Friday on SIRIUSXM’s Tony Bruno Show with Harry Mayes, and every Tuesday and Thursday with Eytan Shander on SBNation Radio. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s EagleMaven. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze