Commanders coach Ron Rivera apologized for his comments about QB Carson Wentz, but what did he say?
While it’s clear that the Commanders need to do something different, their head coach definitely took an unusual approach. At least he apologized.
It’s never a good sign, when you have a coach criticizing his player publicly. Given what was said by the Commanders’ head, one has to wonder whether his apology will be enough to repair the damage.
Commanders’ Ron Rivera apologizes for Carson Wentz criticism
On Monday, Ron Rivera didn’t hold back when asked about what separates his Commanders team from the rest of the NFC East. Blunt and unforgiving, Rivera said one word in principle: “Quarterback.” Indeed, Washington’s coach essentially laid the blame squarely on the franchise’s inability to identify and sign a top tier signal caller in what he called a “quarterback-driven league.” Needless to say, just one day later and it now appears that Rivera has reconsidered his words. As per reports, the coach has actually apologized to both Carson Wentz - his QB - and the rest of the team for centering in on Wentz as the reason for the team’s shortcomings.
“I had a mea culpa moment,” Rivera said on Tuesday. “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 (for you) to explain yourself. So, hey, that’s on me. I should know better.” Rivera was then asked, if he appreciated that his comments could have directly affected Wentz and the rest of the team and he didn’t deny it. “I do,” he said, “but you know, at the end of the day, I spoke to my team this morning. I basically told them I said some things that were misconstrued, I didn’t present it properly, and that’s on me. So, I took accountability, told the guys that I should know better. And s---, I had a bad day. So, I figured...let’s move forward.”
What has the reaction been to Ron Rivera’s comments?
To be frank, nobody took kindly to Rivera’s initial criticism of Wentz. Former Washington QB Alex Smith laid into the coach, saying that he was “absolutely driving a bus over his quarterback,” even more so when considering the team’s obvious needs in defense and the offensive line. Where Rivera himself is concerned, the coach disclosed that where the players are concerned, they “have been really positive about it,” before adding that he and Wentz actually “had a nice conversation, so I think we’re ready to roll.”
What did Carson Wentz have to say?
Regardless of what theories may exist, what we can say is that Wentz doesn’t seem bothered by the whole episode. When asked about the situation, the Commanders QB appeared to downplay the entire scenario saying, “Coach addressed it, handled it,” he said. “(It’s) nothing, for me, that I’m overly concerned about it. Coach is a very straightforward, upfront guy, and he addressed it in the team meeting, which I thought was really cool, and what he meant by it all.”
Ultimately, while it’s encouraging to see that the coach and his player have seemingly made up, the reality is the Commanders are in desperate need of a turn around. To date, the team has given up 20 sacks across five games and is currently among the bottom 10 in defense. Where Wentz is concerned, he has definitely turned heads with a few big plays. Indeed, he currently has the fifth most passing yards in the league, but his six interceptions have done little to help the team avoid a 1-4 start. Can the Commanders and their QB get it right? Watch this space.