For the first time since 2020, Carson Wentz is making a return to Lincoln Financial Field at some point this season. He'll also be playing at Lucas Oil Stadium.
All fans can be rowdy, but the Philadelphia Eagles' faithful have a more distinguished reputation than those of other teams. As someone who spent five seasons with the team, he's acutely aware of how energetic the fans can be.
The return has already crossed his mind. It'll be interesting, Wentz told senior vice president of media and content Julie Donaldson with a smile, and he has the right attitude for how to handle it.
"I'll be ready for it," Wentz said. "For me, I just try to not let it be about that. Just keep it between the lines and play good football."
Wentz, who was selected by the Eagles No. 2 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, said he has a lot of great memories at the Eagles' home stadium. The Eagles won the NFC East twice with him as their starting quarterback, and prior to his ACL injury in 2017, the team got off to an 11-2 start, which helped put it in position for the top spot in the NFC. The Eagles went on to win the Super Bowl that season against the New England Patriots.
He also had plenty of success in a division that has had a repeat winner in nearly two decades. He went 16-9 against NFC East opponents, including a 5-3 record against Washington, while playing in Philadelphia. In games hosted at Lincoln Financial Field, Wentz went 22-9-1.
"The NFC East feels right," Wentz said. "I've had a lot of fun competing in this division for a long time, and I look forward to getting back into it."
The Eagles' fanbase won't be cheering for him whenever he returns to the Linc this season, and during his introductory press conference Wentz speculated that he's going to "hear a little bit of everything." However, his strategy will be to embrace whatever comes his way in that situation.
"I try and keep all those things at bay and just, 'Hey…just go play ball,'" Wentz said. "And all the outside noise will take care of itself."
That's not to say that Wentz will be emotionless when he returns to Philadelphia or even to Indianapolis, where he spent the 2021 season after the Eagles traded him to the Colts. He built some strong relationships with his teammates during his tenure with those teams. He still has friends from when he was with the Eagles.
But to Wentz, it's because those games will carry some extra emotions that he doesn't want to make them a big deal.
"I know, from the outside looking in, there's a lot on those games," Wentz said. "And for me, I just try and keep it light, go play some good ball and hopefully get some W's."
In Indianapolis, Wentz finished the season with Top 10 numbers in passing touchdowns (27) and QBR (54.7).
"That'll be fun to no longer practice against them and start competing against them," Wentz said of his Colts teammates.
Scroll through some of the best moments from Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz's first time speaking to the local media. (Emilee Fails/Washington Commanders)
There's still some time between now and a reunion with both the Colts and the Eagles. The league has released its slate of 2022 home and away opponents each year, but there's still more than a month until the official schedule release.
For now, Wentz is focused on being the right fit for his current team. He believes it's a special roster, and he's excited to be wanted by the organization, which is dedicated to making him feel supported.
His expectation is to flourish in Washington.
"I think we got the right pieces in place, and I can tell the vision is there from the top," Wentz said. "And so that's exciting and I look forward to being a part of it."