Jonathan Allen blasts Carson Wentz locker room narrative after QB’s Week 1 heroics
By Jerry Trotta
The Washington Commanders’ Week 1 win over Jacksonville had a little bit of everything. Carson Wentz showed up, the receiving corps was unstoppable and Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and Montez Sweat wreaked havoc in high-leverage situations.
As one of the most polarizing quarterbacks in the league, Wentz was fittingly the lead talking point from the game. The first half praise was deserved, as was the second half criticism before he bounced back to play hero in the fourth quarter.
Before Wentz put on his cape, though, surely Commanders and football fans everywhere thought they were reliving a movie they’d seen 20 times before in Wentz’s career. But the quarterback proved he’s capable of rewriting the script from time to time, and the locker room’s raucous reaction after Ron Rivera handed him the game ball hammered home the notion that he’s formed a strong bond with his new teammates.
Much like his propensity to come up small in the clutch, the narrative that Wentz is a locker room virus and an unwilling leader has followed him throughout his career, but Jon Allen doesn’t understand how those rumors came to be.
After the Week 1 win, Allen likened the NFL to “high school” in dismissing the notion that Wentz struggles to earn the respect of teammates.
Commanders star Jonathan Allen flamed the rumors that Carson Wentz is a poor leader and teammate.
"“Yeah, I have absolutely no idea where that comes from. Sometimes I feel like the NFL can be like a high school,” Allen told Audacy’s 106.7 The Fan on Tuesday. “[It’s] Like a high school. There’s so much drama and just rumors and things that just quite frankly aren’t true. I mean, I have no idea where that could be coming from.”“After he throws those two interceptions, quick memory, positive on the sideline, no pouting. I mean, I think you can just look at the guys around him and see how they respond to him and that tells you everything you need to know about his character.”"
Allen now joins Ron Rivera and Commanders president Jason Wright as individuals who’ve endorsed Wentz’s character after the thrilling win. How many more folks have to come forward for these rumors to be fully debunked? While Washington fans haven’t bought in, Wentz’s former franchise (looking right at you, Jim Irsay) has done a great job deceiving the national media since the blockbuster trade.
As Allen’s comments suggest, the Commanders don’t care how folks outside the locker room regard Wentz’s quarterback play and character. Wentz might not command a firm grip of locker rooms like some QBs, but it speaks volumes Allen didn’t lose faith in the gunslinger after his back-to-back interceptions.
"“Shoot, it took me three years to finally beat him. Three—no, four years,” Allen said. “So I’ve seen firsthand what Carson can do, so I got the utmost faith in him. I like to mess around with the quarterbacks before practice. Sometimes I kinda just go through what they go through, like for warmups, and I can’t imagine doing their job.”"
Our advice? Listen to Allen. As one of the franchise’s main pillars and defensive captains, chances are he has a strong pulse of the locker room.