Commanders HC Ron Rivera Issues Mea Culpa for Carson Wentz Comment

by Nick Geddes
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(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Washington Commanders (1-4) head coach Ron Rivera was blunt when asked Monday why his team is falling behind in the NFC East, in which the other teams own records of 4-1 or better.

“Quarterback,” said Rivera, pointing out that Carson Wentz is still getting comfortable in the offense in his first season in Washington.

The initial one-word comment, however, caused a stir, leading Rivera to issue a mea culpa the following day. Rivera appeared on the “Don Geronimo Show” Tuesday and said that his previous comments were misconstrued by many.

“I didn’t have to. I was fortunate enough that our media relations director contacted him and let him know,” Rivera said, via NFL.com. “And I actually talked to Carson this morning. In fact I talked to the whole team. I had a mea culpa moment and that I should know better. I created a little bit of a distraction and that’s one thing that I try not to do and it’s one thing that I’m very aware of.

“Again, it’s one of those things that when you misstep, people can’t wait to dive onto it and jump onto it and hold onto it without an opportunity to explain yourself. So, hey, that’s on me. I should know better.” 

Commanders QB Carson Wentz Unbothered By Ron Rivera’s Comments

Wentz, 29, has thrown for 1,390 yards with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions on 62.9% passing through five games this season. He has been sacked 20 times — third-most in the NFL. As Rivera pointed out, the trio of the Philadelphia Eagles’ Jalen Hurts, the New York Giants’ Daniel Jones and the Dallas Cowboys’ Cooper Rush, are a combined 13-1 this season, while Wentz and the Commanders are falling well below that mark.

Rivera noted that Wentz has had some good moments and will be even better the more he gets acclimated to the system.

“My whole point being is when you have a quarterback that’s been around and been around your building for a specific period of time, the players know the guy,” Rivera said. “They develop this cohesiveness and this bond. We have a quarterback, he’s been here for his first season, and as he continues to work and develop with our guys and assimilate to what we do, I think we will be progressively better.

“I thought he played very well this past week. He had some really good moments. He had a couple that I know he wished he had back, but the guy played, for the most part, a pretty doggone good football game.”

Wentz, meanwhile, told reporters Tuesday that he appreciated how Rivera handled the situation.

“Coach [Rivera] addressed it, handled it. Nothing for me that I’m overly concerned about,” Wentz said. “Coach is very straightforward, up front guy. He addressed it in a team meeting, which I thought was really cool and what he meant by all of it. I feel very confident.”

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