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

Ron Rivera had some shocking things to say about Carson Wentz's play so far for the struggling Commanders, and Chris Simms wasn't thrilled with how Washington's coach chose to throw his player under the bus.

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?