‘He’s got a cannon’: Wentz's first impression wows teammates originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Standing 6-foot-5 and donning the QBs-only yellow jersey, Carson Wentz was hard to miss at the start of Commanders OTAs. He’s been hard to miss ever since Washington acquired the quarterback in a trade with Indianapolis this past March.
With a new QB1 in town and a slew of fresh faces on offense, Wentz quickly became the talk of Ashburn on Tuesday. The rest of the Commanders’ roster was quick to note what Wentz brings to the squad.
“He’s everything you want from your starting quarterback,” Jonathan Allen said “He’s a leader—talks to every guy on the team, not just the receivers or the running backs or the offensive line. Talks to the defensive guys, and he wants to be here and he wants to win. Really not much more I could ask for.”
Allen’s endorsement is good as gold in D.C., having served as a leader on the roster for multiple seasons now. Even though he plays on the opposite side of the ball, Allen’s compliment on Wentz’s leadership bodes well for the 2022 season.
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But other players were also keen to share their excitement for their new QB. Specifically, Washington’s first-round pick took to the mic to laud his signal-caller.
“Catching passes with Carson, I said it was gonna be a dream come true, so honestly it’s a dream come true,” rookie wideout Jahan Dotson said. “I’m looking forward to each and every day.”
When asked what specifically about Wentz as a pass-thrower stood out, Dotson got specific.
“How precise he is. When he says he wants you to be somewhere at this exact time, he means that. I’ll try to do that every single day.”
Wentz’s connection with the rookie wideout will be a storyline to follow as the season approaches. The seven-year age gap between the two could prove a stable balance of veteran poise with young energy, coupled with the rest of Washington’s WR core.
“I’m excited,” Curtis Samuel said. “He’s a guy that’ll do his thing. I think my job is to make everything easier for him—get open fast, make sure I’m on the spot and doing what I’m supposed to do.”
Samuel’s health, which certainly looks to now be in good standing, could also be crucial for Wentz’s success in his first year in Burgundy & Gold. A wide receiver core of him, Dotson, Terry McLaurin (contract status notwithstanding), Dyami Brown and others should provide Wentz plenty of targets.
Defensively, the Commanders’ prospective play-caller knows how valuable a guy like Wentz can be.
“First thing I know, he’s got a cannon. Dude can sling the ball,” linebacker Cole Holcomb said. “We got a lot of fast guys, a lot of fast receivers. I think we got a lot of good weapons and he’s gonna extend our offense in terms of the length of the field. It’ll help open up a lot of opportunities in the pass game for that deep ball.”
Washington is already coming off a season in which two offensive players—Antonio Gibson and Terry McLaurin—put up 1,000-yard seasons at their respective position. With Wentz in the mix — coming off a 3,500-yard, 27 touchdown season himself — and the Commanders’ offensive ceiling has the potential to skyrocket.