Ron Rivera on Carson Wentz comments: “I had a mea culpa moment”

Washington Commanders  and Kansas City Chiefs
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Commanders coach Ron Rivera made waves on Monday when he blamed the team’s 1-4 mark in a division with three teams at 4-1 or better on one player. On Tuesday, Rivera put the bus in reverse and rolled it back from his quarterback.

Appearing on the Don Geronimo Show on WBIG radio, Rivera acknowledged that his comments criticizing Carson Wentz were out of line.

“I actually talked to Carson this morning,” Rivera said, via Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post. “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 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.”

But it wasn’t an offhand remark with no follow up. Rivera had a full and complete chance to explain himself during Monday’s press conference. And if he wasn’t happy with whatever he said at the time, he could have called another press conference. Or he should have issued a statement.

Via Jhabvala, the day-after explanation is that Rivera meant to say the other quarterbacks in the NFC East have familiarity with their systems and teams, and that Wentz is in his first year in Washington.

That’s fine, but how hard would it have been to say that yesterday? Besides, it’s not as if the other quarterbacks in the division are Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Aaron Rodgers. Sure, Jalen Hurt, Daniel Jones, and Cooper Rush know their teams and their systems better than Wentz does. But they’ve got plenty of talent who are helping them win games.

There’s the difference. There’s more around the quarterbacks with the other teams.

It’s an uncharacteristic gaffe from Rivera. An unforced error that has created a short-week mess for a team that is trying desperately to get ready to beat the Bears on Thursday night. Another example of a dysfunctional team doing dysfunctional things.

Spinning it forward, how will Wentz react? How will the players react? And how deep will the hole get in Washington before someone decides that big changes need to be made?

27 responses to “Ron Rivera on Carson Wentz comments: “I had a mea culpa moment”

  1. I don’t agree at all that the other NFC East teams have better offensive supporting casts than Washington.

    Last year, Pro Football Focus rated Washington’s offensive line #6 in the league. Terry McLauren is a legit #1 receiver. Curtis Samuel was a big free-agent signing who was out last year, is healthy now and is looking like the guy they wanted him to be. Dyami Brown was a high draft pick in 2021 who was raw, had a lot of speed and had an offseason to tighten up his game. They added another first-round receiver in Jahan Dotson who looks like he can play. Logan Thomas has developed into a strong tight end. They have a good running back depth chart.

    Just on offensive talent alone, I think that squad stacks up favorably against the entire rest of the NFC East if you consider every position except quarterback. That team went from middle-of-the-pack with Heineke and an inferior supporting cast to basement dweller with Wentz. Hmm, I wonder what the problem could be.

  2. At the end of the day, only one of them has a chance of being there next year.

    You can’t lead an NFL team when your top priority is someone’s feelings.

    Rivera has proved you can be successful and be a nice guy, but there are limits.

    This is one of those limits.

  3. Good of Ron to take ownership of those comments (and last week’s blunder too, I presume, if he’s talking to the whole team).

    But his first mistake was accepting the first offer he received, the Washington job. Fresh off of his overall success in Carolina, he could’ve coached in other places where he wouldn’t have been surrounded by incompetence. Now, he’s unwittingly become a product of the culture.

    At least he was able to step outside of it this time, and model what good leaders do after making a mistake. That is something his boss doesn’t seem willing to do.

  4. Spinning it forward, how will Wentz react? How will the players react?

    ======================

    Who cares? Neither of them will be on the team next year and are you suggesting the locker room could fracture and the WFT season could spiral out of control?

    That ship has sailed. Carolina may end up with a better record than Washington.

  5. A golden rule for all people in management: don’t throw a subordinate under the bus, because the rest will just mail it in and go through the motions just to cash their check and go home. It’s going to be a long, long season in DC.

  6. The Mea Culpa moment should have come for trading a third and a second round pick for a twice failed $28 million quarterback who everyone knew was about to be released and could have been acquired for no draft picks and at a fraction of the cap space.

  7. i mean, he should be fired but this is Wentz 3rd team in what, 3 years? I cant fault Rivera for saying what he said.

  8. It may be time for the Commanders to move on from Ron Rivera when he throws his QB under the bus. Fire him and move on and he is used to it anyway. Ask the Carolina Panthers…lol!

  9. Carson Wentz isn’t ready to play in this offense. It shows in his decision making and his overall body language. It is obvious to me that Carson Wentz is uncomfortable behind the center. He needs to be treated as a new QB to the system opposed to being thrown to the wolves and try to figure it out. We have all witnessed Taylor Heinicke run this offense pretty effectively over the past two seasons. Heinicke does not have all of the athletic gifts of Carson Wentz, but it is known that Taylor Heinicke will give it his all to win football games. Carson Wentz needs to be on the bench and watch Taylor Heinicke run the offense. I have not given up on coach Ron Rivera and Carson Wentz as most have.

  10. How does this dude have a job exactly? He had one good year and is 91 and 86 in his career. He is another Jeff Fisher.

  11. Lost in all of this is the fact that Wentz isn’t a good QB.

    I don’t understand what happened to him. I remember watching him in his rookie year thinking, “Holy crap! This kid is going to be unstoppable!”

  12. Apology or not, he can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. Wentz and the rest of the team know what he thinks of them. He probably lost the locker room.

  13. It has been said already – but this offense moved the ball with Heinicke and there was never a doubt about him playing for all the marbles. He might have half the “talent” of Carson Yutz, but Heinicke has 1000% more IQ.

  14. Also hard to win when you have 17 away games in a row (look at the colors worn in the stands).

  15. Dan Jones “knows” his system? He’s in a brand new system (again) under Daboll/Kafka… they just figured out how to develop a game plan to Jones’ strengths.

  16. this is a little unfair to rivera. he was asked why his team lagged behind the others. he said qb but then elaborated on the difference in time with the team to differentiate between wentz and the other teams. he also said he supports wentz but the media spin was too much and he is now apologizing for injuring poor carson’s fragile ego (a recent american trend which sucks).

    and to those saying he will be fired, my guess is that he won’t be sorry to not be working for napoleon and tanya snyder and always bringing out the dustpan to clean up their messes.

  17. Well, that’s throwing your keystone player under the bus. Good job Riverboat Rivera. Let’s hamstring the offense by villifying the QB. It’s a team game. Put some good players around him and give him a decent offensive line.

  18. Dan Jones is in a brand new system..and you can’t tell me Wentz doesn’t have more talent at the skill position. Last week Giants payed with an undrafted free agent Sills, a 6ht rounder Slayton , a rookie 4th round tight end Bellinger, and another undrafted free agent at WR Marcus Jones.and free agent pick up Ricky James.They went 90+ yards with Barkley in the tent. Wentz has less talent at skill positions than that??

  19. Who signed him? Ron did. Who hired the pathetic “offensive coordinator”? Ron did. Who signed/drafted the offensive line? Ron did? Who has screwed up the most important position for 3 years? Ron did. It all adds up to zero credibility .

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