The Washington Commanders are once again going to look very different in 2022. Not just because of the new name and the new uniforms, but because of their new quarterback Carson Wentz as well. Washington targeted Wentz this offseason and swung a deal to take him from the Indianapolis Colts, and he’s been impressed by one wideout in particular early on.
Last offseason, Washington signed former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel to a three-year, $34.5 million deal. However, a groin injury forced him to miss the majority of the 2021 season, as the Ohio State product played in just five games, catching six passes for 27 yards, and rushing for 11 yards on four carries. Washington has high expectations for the 25-year-old moving forward, and Wentz now knows why.
“He’s explosive,” Wentz said, via Washington’s official website. “When you see the ball in his hands and how quickly he’s making a guy miss or he’s getting down the field, it’s impressive.
“I’ve only played with a handful of guys who have that kind of quick-twitch ability that he has. It’s been fun to build that chemistry and see what he does well.”
In 2020 with Carolina, Samuel racked up 1,051 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns. He scored seven touchdowns apiece in 2018 and 2019 as well. Samuel is a versatile player who can line up in many different spots on offense, and former Panthers head coach Ron Rivera clearly targeted him as someone he wanted to bring to Washington when he had the opportunity.
“When you see him with the ball in his hands, he’s electric,” Wentz said.
While Wentz wasn’t able to establish himself as the Colts’ franchise quarterback last year, Washington is another situation where he has the opportunity to find success. The Commanders have a solid offensive line, a trio of running backs in Antonio Gibson, J.D. McKissic and rookie Brian Robinson and then some weapons to work with in Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, Samuel and tight end Logan Thomas. Offensive coordinator Scott Turner has the freedom to spread the wealth in play-calling, which is something that should make Wentz’s life easier as well.