Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera appeared incensed over an ESPN report regarding the team’s quarterback situation that came out shortly before their game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
According to the report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Commanders previously had a deal in place to acquire Jimmy Garoppolo from the San Francisco 49ers. Schefter reported that that move fell through when Garoppolo decided to undergo shoulder surgery. Instead, the Commanders shifted their offseason focus and acquired Carson Wentz from the Indianapolis Colts.
Following their Sunday afternoon loss to Philadelphia, Rivera met with the media and expressed his displeasure with ESPN. During his press conference, Rivera questioned both the validity and the timing of Schefter’s report as he attempted to reaffirm the team’s belief in Wentz.
“That was a bull crap report!" pic.twitter.com/9PZeaeiA1k
— Darren M. Haynes (@DarrenMHaynes) September 25, 2022
“That was a bullcrap report, OK? Just so everybody understands that,” Rivera said emphatically. “I didn’t talk to anybody about that. I’m not sure where that all came from. I’m disappointed that came out like that, especially in today’s game, I really am, because I didn’t talk to anybody about Jimmy Garoppolo…The timing is what really upsets me.”
In defense of the Worldwide Leader’s timing, ESPN’s Tim Keown and Nick Wagoner published a story about the Commanders interest in Garoppolo last Monday. Schefter, however, shared his own version of the report hours before the Commanders kicked off against the Eagles, and made no mention of being scooped by his ESPN colleagues nearly a week earlier.
The 49ers had the parameters of a trade agreement in place that would have sent Jimmy Garoppolo to the Commanders at this year's scouting combine, but the deal fell apart once the QB decided to have shoulder surgery, per source.https://t.co/DOWvPgZ41c
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 25, 2022
But as Schefter attempted to align with the recent trend of NFL Insiders holding an eye-catching story for Sunday morning, it was his report on Garoppolo that caught the most attention and drew the ire of Washington’s head coach.
Rivera’s gripe was the second time in the last two months that a high-ranking member of the Commanders felt obligated to defend the franchise from the media. Prior to the start of the regular season, Commanders team president Jason Wright slammed an interview with Wentz conducted by Scott Abraham of ABC 7 (WJLA) as a “pompous, unprofessional mess,” and warned the reporter against seeking special access with the organization.
Despite earning the support of his head coach and team president, Wentz hasn’t looked great in his first three games with Washington, committing a lot of the same mistakes that led Indianapolis to give up on him after just one season. The slow start will only continue to fuel media speculation as to whether Wentz is long for the Commanders starting quarterback job.