Nobody but owner Daniel Snyder, in His first public comments Since he re-baptized his franchise in the Leaders name, he said last month, “We finally have ourselves a quarterback.” Whether he knows what a caller looks like to a high-quality, stable, and privileged signal is up for debate because, up to this point, he’s only seen him in opposing T-shirts. But he definitely knows what it is no Apparently he saw Tim Hasselbeck, Kyle Allen, John Beck, and Kees Keenum – just to name a few – start his team.
There is a school of thought that Wentz will be neither a solution nor a savior here. He played last year at Indianapolis for a coach who once made him MVP-level Philadelphia offensive coordinator Frank Reich was Wentz’s impressive but injury cut short in 2017 – and the franchise decided to play on Wentz after one season. It is hard to marry this single failure the way the commanding officers described it.
“Stability,” General Manager Martin Mayhew said last week when asked what it means to have Wentz. “Look at the last two seasons – I mean, eight midfielders played over two seasons, that position has settled for us. We are excited about what he brings to the table in terms of his physical talent and also what he brings to the table as a person and as a leader.”
Will we view this assessment as insightful? Before you answer, let’s play another little game. Match the following quotes with the Washington coach or CEO who said them (and when):
1. “He has the charisma, he has the personality, he has everything you want in a quarterback. And that’s what they’re supposed to be: the face of the franchise.”
2. “You feel his experience. You feel his presence in the assembly. You feel his ability to retain information from the meeting and bring it into practice and apply it.”
3. “You are talking about a man who has no experience – I believe in men. I believe in them. And I have been doing this for a long time. And I put my reputation on those players who can play.”
4. “We feel confident and comfortable with the midfielders on our list now.”
This will be in order: Doug Williams on Alex Smith After Washington was traded to the Pro Bowl selection three times in 2018; attack coordinator Kevin O’Connell on Keenum Before the 2019 season, which Washington started 0-5; Mike Shanahan on Rex Grossman and Beck prior to the 2011 season, leading to Washington drafting Robert Griffin III; And the Mayhew before last season, which Washington entered with Ryan Fitzpatrick as a starter, a situation that didn’t even last half way before Taylor Hynek came to his senses. Heck, even Garrett Gilbert I started a game last year.
That’s a whole lot of names and expectations, and reviewing all those circumstances and characters from the past reinforces the idea that declaring premature settlement in the middle in Washington is pure folly. Since 2000, the franchise has drafted four first-round quarterbacks – Patrick Ramsey, Jason Campbell, Griffin and Dwayne Haskins. It was traded for Smith, Donovan McNabb, Mark Brunell and Wentz. When you consider that the team has had one play-off victory since the 2000 season, it’s fair to conclude that none of it really worked out.
Now Wentz is finished, and it would be unfair to call his tenure a failure before it even began. Of course, move with caution. But that team spent the holiday season preparing for the 29-year-old, who was the second pick for the 2016 draft, to be their new captain. What did the leaders learn?
“The only thing – I’ve heard it but to see it – he’s very resilient,” said coach Ron Rivera. “A lot of things kinda go off his back. He’s very hard on himself. He pushes himself, and you can see that. In meetings, you can see it. This is a guy who’s very serious about his profession. I think he’s a driven guy. It was fun to watch. Ben Every now and then, it’s cool watching him and seeing something positive and saying, ‘Okay, he got that.’ He takes a little pride in those things.”
It’s all nice to hear, and it could be very useful for this year’s team – the first to play as the captain. But it’s also hard to believe that these qualities would make him a quarterback here, for example, for the next four years because quarterbacks here aren’t usually four.
Since helping Mark Rypien win the most recent Super Bowl, after the 1991 season, Washington has hired only one player to lead the team through four straight years. This was Kirk Cousins, who endured yearly questions about the status of his contract and weekly polls about his play. It was stable for Washington. It was serpentine anyway.
Can Wentz settle everything? His performance during pre-season was decidedly flawless, but he went into the year saying all the right things about how he did offense with some of the other guns – Curtis Samuel’s healthiest wide receiver and Logan Thomas on tight end, not to mention his In the first round, choose Jahan Dotson as another petition – It might lead.
“I love mentality,” Wentz said last week. “I love makeup. It’s definitely not perfect and we’ll really build and grow as a team every week, every time we step on the pitch. But the body of work we’ve done from OTAs, summer, training camp and then the pre-season games, I really love where we are In it, I am optimistic.”
So are the people who brought him here in the first place. But they are entering their third season with this franchise. The rest of us, we lived this carousel. So, as promised, here’s Washington’s list of starting quarterbacks this century, in order from most to least number of starts:
Kirk Cousins, Jason Campbell, Robert Griffin III, Mark Brunel, Patrick Ramsay, Rex Grossman, Alex Smith, Taylor Hynek, Tony Banks, Donovan McNab, Dwayne Haskins, Brad Johnson, Case Keenum, Shane Matthews, Jeff George, Colt McCoy, Tim Hasselbeck, Kyle Allen, Danny Werville, John Beck, Todd Collins, Josh Johnson, Mark Sanchez, Garrett Gilbert and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Whew. How much did you get?
On Sunday, Carson Wentz became the 26th name on that list. Perhaps he will become the star of stability. If he did, he would break the three-decade trend.