Michael Lombardi blasts Commanders HC Ron Rivera

Former NFL executive Michael Lombardi is not very impressed with Ron Rivera right now.

Lombardi, who was an NFL scout, player personnel director and general manager, offered sharp criticisms of Rivera when he was a guest on the “Grant and Danny Show” on Thursday.

Lombardi expressed that the Commanders really struggled in the 2022 season primarily because of the struggles of their quarterbacks Carson Wentz and then Taylor Heinicke.

As a result, Lombardi does not understand/agree with the Commanders over/ under on 2023 wins, only being at 6.5. He was adamant he believes Sam Howell will be a better quarterback than what they had in 2022.

“How much worse could Howell be than those two guys? He can’t be any worse.”

Lombardi pointed to three items that he thinks reflect poorly on Rivera. Not knowing they could be eliminated from the playoffs following the loss to the Browns, his statements regarding Eric Bieniemy during training camp and now admitting he didn’t realize in 2022 what Sam Howell could do.

“What it does is it shows he was seeing practice but was not observing practice. People that are only seeing don’t get anywhere.”

Lombardi pointed out that Rivera has all the authority, and can make any move he wants to make.

Lombardi feels this reveals there is not enough observation and interaction with Rivera’s assistants regarding the player personnel.

Rivera even became the butt of Lombardi’s jokes as Lombardi compared Rivera to Jedd Clampett of the old Beverly Hillbillies, luckily striking oil.

“The quarterback of the Washington Commanders was costing them games. That’s pretty clear. Lombardi pointed in particular to the 2022 loss to the Titans “because the quarterback couldn’t make a play.”

He was emphatic that Wentz was killing the Commanders in games last year. He also pointed to Heinicke struggling and that Rivera should have noticed what Howell was doing on the scout team last season.

“New Commanders owner Josh Harris should be concerned now,” expressed Lombardi. He asked, “Did the 2022 coaching staff have a meeting after the first quarter of the season to discuss everyone on the roster?”

Were the Commanders making notes of the players on the scout teams, observing their progression and or regression? “But if you are not paying attention to it, if you are not aware of it. You’re the general manager of the team. That is not a good look for you,” declared Lombardi referring to Rivera.

There was more, but the overall tone was that Lombardi feels Rivera has revealed he is not working hard enough and not communicating enough with his staff concerning their roster and player personnel.

Lombardi was quick to qualify his comments, stating Rivera is a good man; he was not attacking Rivera as a person. He did reassert he is questioning Rivera as a businessman.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire