Mitchell calls for Rivera to hold Del Rio more accountable originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Brian Mitchell is fed up with Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio’s political commentary.
The former return specialist who played 10 seasons for the franchise and earned a place in its Ring of Fame spoke Wednesday on his 106.7 The Fan radio show with NBC Sports Washington’s JP Finlay about Del Rio’s recent comments on Twitter, which included a tweet Monday in which he compared the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 to the 2020 George Floyd protests.
During a discussion with Finlay about how Ron Rivera yelled at his players because a safety hit a wide receiver during Wednesday’s non-padded OTAs practice, Mitchell called out the Commanders’ head coach for what he considers an inconsistent use of discipline.
“Listen, I see a lot of stuff going on with this team right now. And this is where I’m about to go the hell off. And I get so sick of it,” Mitchell said. “We have a coach (Rivera) who we sit up here and we try to put on a pedestal as he’s this disciplinarian. And he’s got a damn defensive coordinator who constantly pokes the [expletive] bear.
“You’ve got an undisciplined D-coordinator, but you want your football team to be disciplined? And I’m supposed to give a damn about somebody out there at practice in T-shirt and [shorts] and they had a collision. I’m supposed to care about that stuff? Hell with that,” Mitchell said.
Del Rio spoke with reporters Wednesday and defended his comments. He wondered aloud why the looting that occurred during some Floyd protests was ignored when the insurrection received so much media attention.
“I can look at images on the TV, people’s livelihoods are being destroyed, businesses are being burned down, no problem,” Del Rio said. “And then we have a dust-up at the Capitol, nothing burned down, and we’re going to make that a major deal.”
Del Rio later walked back his use of the term “dust-up” to describe what happened at the U.S. Capitol — though he stood by the rest of his comments.
The discourse over Del Rio’s tweets is just the latest in a series of off-the-field issues the Commanders have had to address over the last three years. In that time, Washington has undergone a rebrand forced by sponsorship pressure to drop the name “Redskins,” been investigated for accusations of a toxic office culture by the NFL and now by Congress that allowed sexual misconduct and been probed by multiple attorneys general over financial malfeasance allegations.
Rivera is entering his third season as Washington head coach. He’s coming off a season in which the team went 7-10 and missed the playoffs. The team did win the NFC East and make a playoff appearance in 2020, but it did so with a 7-9 record as the division struggled as a whole.
Despite having a new name, logo and starting quarterback, Rivera and the Commanders are still finding it difficult to keep the focus on what’s happening down on the field.
“I don’t give a damn about Ron Rivera getting mad at somebody having a collision until he gets off his [expletive] and address this damn idiot that he hired as a defensive coordinator,” Mitchell said. “That’s what I give a damn about. And if he can’t do it then he’s the wrong damn man to be leading this damn football team.”