New Commanders QB Carson Wentz says he was 'surprised' at how his time ended with Colts

Another offseason, and another introductory press conference for Carson Wentz.

This time, it takes place in Washington, where the club formerly known as the Football Team has a new name and a new quarterback. Oddly enough, Wentz wore an old jacket for the occasion.

The attention-grabbing gold jacket (no, not that one) paired perfectly with a burgundy shirt. Wentz saw the jacket in his closet and knew what needed to be done.

What he didn't know just days earlier was that he was about to be traded -- again.

"Got a call last week from (Colts general manager) Mr. (Chris) Ballard. Was in my backyard in Indy, and it was a beautiful day, and all right, change is coming," Wentz said of how he processed the news he was being traded by the Colts to the Commanders. "Change is coming. Time to go."

Change is becoming the norm for Wentz, who began as the future of the franchise in Philadelphia, was eventually shipped to Indianapolis for a nice haul of picks, and seemed to be in a good position playing under his former Eagles offensive coordinator in Frank Reich. For much of 2021, Wentz remained on that track, but a late-season collapse and failure to reach the playoffs caused the Colts to re-evaluate everything, including quarterback.

That -- and Commanders coach Ron Rivera's visible thirst for a better option under center -- led Wentz to Washington, where he was forced to answer the same question again: Why isn't he still a Colt?

"Definitely surprised," Wentz said. "Anytime you're in a new place, you want it to work out. You want to be there, you want to do the best you can for that team, that organization, that fanbase and God willing, it works out for a long time. It didn't. And God changes our plans. Here we are, and we're excited for it."

The new plan for Wentz includes a return to No. 11, something he said felt comfortable, felt right. It will also include learning a new scheme and building a rapport with his new teammates. And perhaps most importantly, it will require Wentz to prove he can ignore criticism, and take it constructively when needed.

"Reports are reports. There are truth in some things," Wentz said of criticism he received in Indianapolis, acknowledging there was plenty of it. "But if we try to combat every report, we run out of things to say. I just try to be myself."

He'll need to be a better version of himself to prove the Commanders wise in acquiring him, although it's also fair to acknowledge they didn't have a better option anyway. Both sides are hoping for the same thing: success in a new era.

"You see life through a different lens," Wentz said of joining Washington. "There's a lot of demand in this business. Stepping into something new, being a Commander, a new era. It's given me a clear vision on where this organization wants to go."

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