Commanders head coach Ron Rivera pushed back at unfair narratives he felt were attached to Carson Wentz after the team traded for him this offseason and said he was spreading confidence to his teammates during offseason work, but he wasn’t nearly as warm toward the team’s quarterback on Monday.
Wentz’s interception at the goalline ended Sunday’s 21-17 loss to the Titans and he’s now thrown six of them during a 1-4 start to the season. The other NFC East teams all have at least four wins at this point, which led to a press conference question for Rivera about the biggest difference between those teams and the one he coaches.
“Quarterback,” Rivera said, via Ralph Vacchiano of Fox Sports.
Rivera went on to say that the other three teams in the division benefit from having continuity with their quarterbacks while Wentz is in his first season with the Commanders, but Daniel Jones is playing in a new Giants offense after three uneven seasons and the Cowboys have won four straight with Cooper Rush playing in place of the injured Dak Prescott. Rivera also said that he has “no regrets” about the decision to trade for Wentz.
“Our QB’s done some good things and he’s had a couple games where he’s struggled. . . . Most of the time he’s very solid. . . . But the way he performed yesterday? Just shows you what he’s capable of. We chose him because we believe in him,” Rivera said.
The Commanders are in their third season with Rivera and they did not draft a quarterback in either of the first two years to develop the kind of chemistry that Rivera believes is behind the success of the other clubs in the division. That’s left them to go with Wentz, Taylor Heinicke, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Alex Smith, Kyle Allen, and Dwayne Haskins as their starter and there’s not much to like about how that process has played out for them.