Commander Ron Rivera – Carson Wentz trade ‘no regrets’

ASHBORN, Va. — Washington Commanders coach Ron Rivera said he has no regrets about trading quarterback Carson Wentz, adding that now they need to continue building around him.

Rivera said the difference between his 1-4 commanders and other NFC East teams that are 4-1 or better comes down to the quarterback.

“The truth is, this is a quarterback-driven league,” Rivera said. “If you look at the teams that have been able to stay successful, they’ve been able to build success around a specific quarterback.”

Washington traded two picks in the offseason to acquire Wentz, giving up a second-round pick in past drafts and a conditional 2023 pick that could become a second-rounder based on minutes played .

Meanwhile, Philadelphia (Jalen Hurts), New York (Daniel Jones) and Dallas (Dak Prescott) all entered the season with the same starting quarterbacks as they did in 2021. Washington has started six quarterbacks in more than two seasons under Rivera, who is 15-21.

Rivera said his point is that other teams in the division are built around their quarterbacks. Dallas has won four in a row, though, with Cooper Rush starting for the injured Prescott. Rivera said Rush, who has been with Dallas since 2020, is playing well within the range the Cowboys want to attack.

The Giants are 10-23 over the past two years, have a new coach in Brian Dabore and declined Jones’ fifth-year option. They’re also widely regarded as the worst team in the division entering the season — despite missing out on their top receiver, they beat Green Bay on Sunday.

The Eagles have gone from 6-10 in 2020 to 9-8 last season and 5-0 this year. Hurts has been a full-time starter for the past two seasons.

Wentz isn’t the main reason Washington is struggling. In the season opener, he threw four touchdown passes. Jacksonville and threw a 3-pointer in the second half the following week in a failed comeback in Detroit.

Wentz is tied for fifth in the NFL with 10 touchdown passes but tied for third with six interceptions. He ranks 24th with a 38.0 QBR — two ahead of Denver’s Russell Wilson and three ahead of Indianapolis’ Matt Ryan, two veterans who switched teams this offseason.

“I have no regrets about our quarterback,” Rivera said. “I think our quarterback did some good things. There were a few games where he struggled, but the way he played [Sunday] It just shows you what he’s capable of. We chose him because we believed in him. We chose him because we saw what we thought was pointing to him. “

Wentz threw for 359 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday’s 21-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans. He also intercepted a 3-pointer from the 2-yard line with 6 seconds left.

“We have someone we think we have a chance to build,” Rivera said. “We have a guy who has really grown in what we do. I think yesterday was a good indicator of his potential for us in that regard and we’ll keep working on it.”

Washington’s offensive line was bumped. The Commanders have started three centers, and they lost 60 percent of their original starters on Sunday. They did not adequately replace departing guards Ereck Flowers (cut) and Brandon Scherff (free agent).

But the Commanders do have a solid receiving team that includes Terry McLaughlin, Curtis Samuel and Jahan Dawson.

“We have some pretty good stuff,” Rivera said. “I want them all on the court at the same time. We don’t, we can’t, so it’s a lot of stuff we have, so we have to go out and play.”

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