Ron Rivera acknowledges difficulty in finding ‘QB1’

It’s been a tough couple of days for Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera. First, the decision to bench Taylor Heinicke in favor of Carson Wentz failed miserably. Then, after Sunday’s loss to the Cleveland Browns, there was him admitting that he didn’t know the Commanders could be eliminated from postseason contention that day.

Washington was eliminated later Sunday, which meant looking ahead to the next season — again.

On Monday, Rivera met with the media and was asked about his decision to start Wentz. Rivera said he didn’t regret starting Wentz.

“No, because to me, it was always about winning and that it was in our hands,” Rivera said. “I mean, we controlled our destiny basically, and that’s the truth of the matter. Being 0-2-1 in the last three games was probably a thing that really pushed me more than anything else.”

Rivera isn’t wrong to stand by his decision. It wasn’t like Taylor Heinicke was lighting things up in the previous three games. He had issues with turnovers. Rivera’s biggest regret should be not pulling Wentz early in the game when it was clear he didn’t have it.

Later, Rivera was asked about the coach-centric model, where he is the head coach of the Commanders and, essentially, the general manager. After all, it was Rivera who hired the current GM, Martin Mayhew.

Rivera’s answer highlighted the franchise’s biggest problem.

“I think the biggest thing that’s been the toughest thing right now is really being able to solidify the QB1 spot,” Rivera said. “I mean, that’s something that we’re continuing working [on]. I believe Ben [Standig of The Athletic] said that this offseason, he’ll be helping us to look for the QB1. And that’s the thing that we gotta do. I was asked that question about eight, nine weeks ago; what’s the difference? Well, that’s the one position that we’ve gotta solidify going forward more so than anything else.”

Rivera’s answer tells you what we already know: That QB1 is not on Washington’s roster. He didn’t say it, but he saw everything he needed to see from Wentz on Sunday.

Rookie Sam Howell remains the most intriguing passer on Washington’s roster, and it would be wise to see him with an opportunity to start in Week 18.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire