After I finished work today, I was watching a replay of the Friday episode of Good Morning Football, and right around the 38 minute mark of the program, former wide receiver Torrey Smith took the lead for a segment called, In defense of Carson Wentz. Of course, Smith and Wentz were teammates, and the former receiver took it upon himself to act as Wentz’s advocate.
The clip in the tweet below is 2:45, but actual segment on GMFB ran nearly 9 minutes as Smith fielded questions from the other three hosts of the show and used his answers to complete his portrait of Carson Wentz.
What was shocking was the 9 minutes spent on the Commanders’ new quarterback. Nine minutes is a huge amount of time in sports coverage. In that amount of time, we usually get a review of an entire division’s draft, a critique of the top 5 quarterbacks in the league, or an entire installment of Angry Runs. I’m fairly amazed that the NFL Network devoted so much time to a very positive segment on Wentz.
Torrey Smith used the first part of the segment (which is in the tweet below) to show four clips of Wentz; three from the ‘21 season in Indianapolis, and one clip from his time in Philly. Smith focused on three traits in this ‘on field’ portion of his ‘Wentz defense’: Carson’s arm strength, his unselfishness, and his mobility.
In the second part of the segment, Smith fielded questions from the other hosts that had to do with Wentz as a teammate and locker room leader. Smith offered 100% unconditional support for his former teammate, describing Wentz as a good teammate and friend, and added that he couldn’t think of anyone who would have reason to be critical of Wentz as a player, teammate or leader.
Here’s most of what Torrey Smith had to say in the clip above:
Carson Wentz is MY GUY. I had the opportunity to play with him in Philadelphia when he should have been the MVP that season (2017). Since then, he’s been traded from Philadelphia to the Colts, and now to Washington. Some of you may say that his best football is behind him, but not me!
I’m here to...prove to everyone sitting here...that Carson Wentz is still that guy, and there’s a lot of great football to go.
[Wentz is] a deep threat. All he needs is a guy with some speed, and he has a couple of them...3 of them...in Washington. He still has the ability to [throw] the ball down the field.... That arm strength is still there.
I’m excited to see what Scott Turner can do with him in that offense. There’s a huge vertical element that Carson’s gonna be able to take advantage of.
A lot of guys may question Carson, but you can never question his [selflessness]. Here’s a guy right in his face. [He has] athletic ability, showing that his feet are still there, throwing on the move. [He’s] able to make plays with his feet; he’s not a statue back there. Everyone can’t do that — Carson is the modern NFL quarterback.
Again, this was last year. This isn’t Philadelphia; this is last year.
The next play; the ability to duck under it — look at the speed; look at the wheels. Every quarterback in the league can’t do that, but guess what? [Wentz] can.
Carson Wentz is a big-time playmaker. There’s proof right here from last season that, hey, he’s still that guy.
If you don’t believe what you see with your own two eyes, look at the numbers: 3,500 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, 7 interceptions. If I put any other quarterback’s name next to it, you would say, ‘Okay, that’s a decent season”. Now, I say, “That’s Carson Wentz”, and you want to start a war. I’m here for it.
The entire segment was an impassioned defense from a guy who clearly is in Carson’s corner — the kind of thing we haven’t seen a great deal of recently. Clearly, Torrey Smith wanted to counter the noise about Carson Wentz that has come out of Indy of late, and even from Philly last year.
While his co-hosts on the show didn’t look as though they were completely sold by Smith’s advocacy, it was an impressive effort. As a fan of Washington football, I hope that something similar to Torrey Smith’s good experience with Carson Wentz is what we can expect in 2022 in Washington.