Ron Rivera says quarterbacks make a difference in the NFC East

Before the 2021 season ends, Ron Rivera made it clear that Washington is in the market for a new quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick was there He was injured in the season opener.And backup Taylor Heinicke, a fan favorite, was particularly disappointing in an offense in which coordinator Scott Turner depended on the run.

“The third season is when you go one step further”, Rivera said in january. “And hopefully we’ve done things in other positions that prepare us to ride… That’s the biggest thing we have to decide.

Plug and play was Washington’s approach. general Traded for Carson Wentz In March, they created a list that could protect you and hoped to provide many playmakers. They don’t think the transition will be smooth, but Wentz believes he can succeed as a veteran and that he won’t need any more time to adjust to the NFL as a rookie.

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But now, five games The Carson Wentz Experience, the Chiefs are 1-4 and on the brink of a breakout as the NFC East passes them. The blame doesn’t entirely fall on Wentz’s shoulders, but solutions to the generals’ problems seem more elusive than ever.

“Be more consistent,” Rivera offered Monday. “One thing we can’t do is take penalties, silly penalties… We have to keep working on that. It’s interesting because when you put together all the pieces you want and get them for that period, it starts to happen. So we have to keep working hard.”

Washington’s fourth straight loss A buzz 21-17 A two-yard touchdown against the Tennessee Titans in the final 19 seconds was a window into the Commanders’ conundrum. On starts, Wentz is the quarterback they need, with his deep passing ability. big plays. But he and the team around him have found new ways to lose each of the last four weeks: self-inflicted ways.

“The frustrating part is, ‘Okay, that’s what we did last week; we can not do that’. And when it’s new, it’s frustrating,” Rivera said. “We fixed it and now we have something. That contradiction is what traps you.

Rivera’s frustration after the loss to the Titans was palpable and seemed to intensify Monday when he raised questions about the status of his team.

“We played well enough to win,” he said. “We don’t play consistently. … You give up two big plays and then you miss two chances. I know I’ve said it before, but it’s the truth.

Rivera, who describes himself as optimistic, rarely shows his anger in public. But finally at the beginning of 2020, the first season in charge of him, he became very upset with the performance of his team. Washington started 1-3 before Rivera decided to bench young quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

He said at the time that the move was necessary for the development of the rest of the team, and it worked. The NFC East was the scum of the NFL that year, and two things helped Washington’s late run to the playoffs: Alex Smith’s terrible leg injury and poor division play. Washington (7-9) became the fifth team to reach the playoffs with an undefeated record.

But the Generals find themselves in the same situation two years later, with no clear answer at quarterback and a roster overwhelmed by its own mistakes. At the moment, the NFC East is one of the toughest divisions in the NFL, putting Washington in an even bigger hole. The Giants and Cowboys are 4-1, and the Eagles are 5-0 as the only undefeated teams in the NFL.

“The quarterback,” Rivera said when asked why Washington’s divisional rivals are winning.

“The truth is, it’s a quarterback-driven league,” he added. “And if you look at the teams that have been able to sustain success, they’ve been able to build it around a certain quarter.”

Eagles fit the bill. They benched Wentz and then traded him to build around Jalen Hurts, now one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.

However, the Cowboys have won four straight with Cooper Rush, an undrafted player they signed in 2017. Cut In 2020 – Replacing the injured Dak Prescott.

“But they started with Dak, they built around Dak, and the offense was built around Dak,” Rivera argued. “Their endorsement is a guy who is very committed to what they do.”

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In New York, the Giants worked for years to build around Daniel Jones. Last season, they were the worst team in the NFC East. Now, despite various injuries, they are enjoying success under first-year coach Brian Dabol. On Sunday, they defeated the Green Bay Packers in London.

“I don’t regret our quarterback,” Rivera said of Wentz. that appeared on the injury report Monday with problem in the right shoulder. “I think our quarterback has done some good things. He has had a couple of days where he has had problems… [But] the way you acted [Sunday]which shows what he is capable of. We choose him because we trust him.

In March, Rivera said several times that Wentz was needed, but the latest report refers to the commanders. At first he tried to trade To Jimmy Garoppolo from San Francisco. He said Wentz fits what the team is trying to do and could be the long-term answer at quarterback.

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“You have to work with those pieces. It’s like walking into a new job,” Rivera said Monday. “The work is already there. … You walk in, you’re the new guy. You have to learn them all, right? You have to learn to work with everyone, learn to do your job with everyone.

But as the generals soar, Rivera’s rebuilding time is running out. The Year 3 jump hasn’t happened yet, and if Washington suffers another loss in Chicago on Thursday night, any hope of it could be good.

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Ron Rivera says quarterbacks make a difference in the NFC East