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INDIANAPOLIS – The bold move was made with the belief Carson Wentz could be the long-term answer.

Now, it appears he might be – probably will be? – the latest one-and-done starting quarterback with the Indianapolis Colts.

Yet Frank Reich’s support of Wentz remains steadfast.

“I know I believe in Carson. I believe in him,’’ he said Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine. “I stuck my neck out for him last year. I was a big part of that decision to get him here.”

“I believe he’s going to continue to have a lot of success at quarterback. That might be here, it might not be here. That decision has yet to be made. But I still believe in the person and I still believe in the player.’’

The bold move was finalized Feb. 18, 2021. In need of a quarterback to replace the retiring Philip Rivers, the Colts – and with Reich offering the loudest voice of approval in the discussion based on their time together in Philadelphia – Indy sent third- and first-round draft picks to the Eagles.

The team’s braintrust of owner Jim Irsay, general manager Chris Ballard and Reich realized their roster was playoff-ready, perhaps solid enough to challenge for more than simply reaching the postseason. But to maximize that blend of youth and veterans, it needed a proven QB.

“It doesn’t last forever and we do have a window here and we do have a mature team coming into its prime,’’ Reich said. “We’re doing our best to take advantage of that.”

“We made the move we thought was the right move at that time.’’

Yet here they are, staring face-to-face with another season of uncertainty hovering over their most influential position.

“That’s just the way it played out,’’ Reich said. “We didn’t finish the season the way we should have – all of us, every one of us, players and coaches. So, if we finished the season the way we’re supposed to, probably not having this discussion.”

“But we have to take ownership of that. I do as the coach. Every player has to. I always say the coach and quarterback are under the most scrutiny, we so live with that and move forward.’’

Reich has talked with Wentz on several occasions since the Colts imploded and lost their last two games to miss the playoffs. Remember, they were 9-6 and had a 98% chance of reaching the postseason with two weeks remaining.

Then, losses to the Las Vegas Raiders and Jacksonville.

Does Reich believe Wentz is surprised the uncertainty that hounded him after the 2020 season in Philly once again is circling him?

“I would think so,’’ he said. “He hasn’t expressed that to me so I probably shouldn’t speak for him.”

“But I think we’re all surprised we’re here. I think we’re all surprised we’re here, especially with where we were at three-quarters or the way through the season.’’

If Wentz is cut or traded – one more than likely will occur when the new league year begins March 16 – Reich will work with a fifth different starting quarterback in his fifth season.

“You play the hand you’re dealt,’’ he said. “We’ve got a lot of good cards in the hand, so we’ve just gotta play them right.’’

However, it’s hardly ideal to ride a quarterback carousel.

“Yes, stability is ideal. Continuity is ideal,’’ Reich said. “You can grow together.”

“But that’s just the hand we’ve been dealt so far.’’

The recent playoffs were a reminder the importance of quality play at quarterback. The Colts hope to build a defense capable of taking over a game and believe they have a Jonathan Taylor-led run game more than capable of pounding a team into submission.


“If you’re going to win a championship, you need great quarterback play,’’ Reich said. “That’s the ultimate price and that’s what we’re building towards.’’

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You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.