Ron Rivera Oct 2, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera watches the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Commanders during the second half at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Commanders coach Ron Rivera apologized Tuesday for inadvertently throwing quarterback Carson Wentz under the bus a day earlier.

A reporter asked Rivera how to explain the Commanders‘ 1-4 record, when all the other NFC East teams are 4-1. Rivera’s one-word response: “Quarterback.”

It would be easy to take that comment out of context and see it as a direct shot at Wentz but Rivera isn’t the type of coach to throw his players under the bus, and the veteran coach said that’s not what he meant. He had simply been addressing the fact that Wentz is still learning the offense while the other NFC East starting quarterbacks have been with their teams for multiple seasons.

But the NFL world ripped Rivera for his comment and Rivera cleared the air for his verbal gaffe, apologizing to his quarterback.

“Carson and I had a nice conversation, so I think we’re ready to roll,” Rivera said (via ESPN).

Rivera also addressed the team.

“I told them I said some things that were misconstrued; I didn’t present them properly. That’s on me,” Rivera said. “I took accountability, told the guys I should know better. S—, I had a bad day so I figured I was feeling better today, let’s move forward.”

ESPN NFL analyst Alex Smith, a former Washington quarterback, criticized Rivera Monday.

“I’m not here to defend Carson Wentz, he’s had, you know, a tumultuous career, and ups and downs,” Smith said (via “But this is a defensive head coach that is absolutely driving the bus over his quarterback.”

While everyone else had heard the comment, Wentz did not hear anything until informed by a team official. He shrugged the drama off.

“Coach addressed it, handled it, nothing for me that I’m overly concerned about,” Wentz said (via ESPN). “Coach is a very straightforward, upfront guy. He addressed it in the team meeting, which I thought was really cool, in what he meant by it all. I feel very confident in that.”

The Commanders face the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field Thursday night.


About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.