Sep 25, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera greets quarterback Carson Wentz (11) before the game between the Washington Commanders and the Philadelphia Eagles at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Commanders’ Ron Rivera apologizes to Carson Wentz for QB comment

Too late for an audible, Commanders coach Ron Rivera called a mea culpa instead.

In front of the entire team, Rivera said he needed to apologize for suggesting Washington quarterback Carson Wentz was the reason the franchise isn’t in the lead pack of the NFC East this season.

“I didn’t have to. I was fortunate enough that our media relations director contacted him and let him know,” Rivera said in a radio interview Tuesday morning. “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.”

On Monday, Rivera was asked why other NFC East teams are ahead in the division, and he responded: “Quarterback.”

Even the Dallas Cowboys (4-1), winners of four straight with backup Cooper Rush in for Dak Prescott, are in the upper tier along with the New York Giants (4-1) and Philadelphia Eagles (5-0).

But Rivera said Tuesday he meant the familiarity of those quarterbacks with the system the team employs was the reason for their early success.

“No, I got no regrets about that quarterback,” he said Monday of making the Wentz trade with the Indianapolis Colts in March. “I think our quarterback has done some good things. There’s been a couple games that he struggled, but you look at his numbers from yesterday and you would say, ‘OK, look, his numbers he’s had throughout the year, there times he was very solid.’ And then we had the unfortunate Philadelphia game, and he struggled a little bit in the Dallas game. But the way he performed yesterday, and it just shows you what he’s capable of and we chose him because we believe in him. We chose him because we looked at what we felt were things that pointed towards him.”

Wentz has been sacked 20 times this season. He had 359 yards passing and two TDs in the loss to the Titans last week. Rivera repeated the suggestion that time will only improve Washington’s product because of cohesion between players and the quarterback in a familiar system.

“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,” Rivera said. “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.”

–Field Level Media