Commanders’ Rivera on Wentz’s debut: ‘I thought he threw the ball well’

Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz made his preseason debut, and Washington made their debut as the Commanders Saturday against the Carolina Panthers.

Wentz, who played three series, led the Commanders on a touchdown scoring drive and finished the day 10/13 for 74 yards. Ultimately, the Panthers would defeat Washington 23-21 at FedEx Field. 

It was a solid day for Wentz, and for him, getting out of the field with his new team was exciting.

“Yeah, it was fun,” he said. “It was fun, no doubt. I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve played in a preseason game, so that was good to just get my feet wet, as well kind of get the first time out there jitters out of the way. Whatever you want to call them. I think that was important, and we’ll be ready once week one rolls around here.”

At this point, Wentz feels he’s settling in with the new offense.

“Absolutely, I think it did, and I think everyone is just settling in,” Wentz said. “That third drive just settling in, it’s just football. We’ve been doing this our whole lives, and again it was preseason, kind of good for us to get our feet wet, but I thought that third drive was good for us to settle in and feel good about that.”

On his third and final series, Wentz led the Commanders on a 14-play, 82-yard drive, which ended with a one-yard Brian Robinson touchdown run. On the drive, Wentz connected with five different Commanders.

“I thought it was good,” Wentz said about the scoring drive. “Just coming out and moving the ball, whether we were calling plays down the field, there’s a couple down the field that maybe I want back, but even though we were calling the plays down the field, we were finding guys underneath, and we were moving the chains. I thought that was important for us, and there’s a lot we can learn from it. I’m sure we’ll go back and watch the tape. I thought that third drive was important for us to sustain a drive and pick up some third downs.”

Overall, Commanders head coach Ron Rivera felt Wentz did his job against the Panthers.

“Well, I thought he threw the ball well,” Rivera said. “I thought he threw where he was supposed to. He threw a very catchable ball and delivered it on time. I thought he went through his progressions the way he needed to. I thought he handled the huddle well. I thought he got the calls out. And he did the things we hoped he would do.”

It was a solid day for Wentz, who reportedly has been inconsistent at camp. Fortunately for him, he has time to get better and get more comfortable in the offense.

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