How does Ron Rivera expect the Commanders defense to play disciplined football when the person leading them is tweeting with reckless abandon?
That was the thrust of an impassioned rant from 106.7 The Fan's Brian Mitchell, who took aim at Washington defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio for constantly poking the "racial bear" on Twitter, and at Rivera for refusing to reprimand Del Rio for those actions.
"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 began Wednesday on 'BMitch & Finlay.' "Where we have a coach 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 goddamn 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 in practice, t-shirt and pants and they had a collision? I'm supposed to care about that stuff? Hell with that! I care about him getting his damn D-coordinator under control before somebody beats his ass up! That's what I care about. I care about somebody stopping this man from constantly poking this little racial bear, what he's doing. That's what I care about. June 8th, I care about somebody having a damn collision? Wow! Guess what? I want them to have more collisions, so they can learn how to have collisions on the damn football field.
"But this stuff now about... I don't care about how livid he is! He should be livid about the man who's sitting here constantly going against what he presents himself as. And he does it over, and over and over again and never ever does he address it. That's what I care about. So we've got to understand one thing: This football thing is cool, but there's a lot of stuff that's going on with that football team that is not cool.
"And when you have Jack Del Rio constantly feeling like 'I can just go out and say whatever the hell I want to say.' Why? Because the coach never said nothing to him. You've got all these issues going on with the Washington Commanders right now and he's constantly trying to make waves because of stupidity. And you wonder why that team wasn't disciplined last year, because your damned leader that's leading your defense is not disciplined. June 8th? It's not a story."
One of Del Rio's recent tweets drew an equivalence between the U.S. Capitol riots on Jan. 6, 2021 and the nationwide protests that took place during the summer following the death of George Floyd in 2020. Del Rio was replying to a fellow at the Brookings Institution, who was tweeting about the forthcoming Jan. 6 congressional hearings.
When asked about Del Rio's tweets on Wednesday, Rivera told reporters, "I'm not gonna talk about stuff that I talk to my coaches about, especially stuff that's off the field not pertaining to football. It's just, everybody's entitled to their opinion, though."
Del Rio also drew attention to himself for a tweet two weeks back, in which he responded to an online critic by telling them to 'bite deez.'
"Okay, well let me break it down. Let me break the common sense down for him," Mitchell said of Del Rio's #CommonSense hashtag. "The common sense is that he's comparing something that's very un-American and very unpatriotic... when you try to cause an insurrection, that is not patriotic. So all the people that call themselves patriots, you are not a damn patriot. That's un-American, to be honest with you."
"But you're talking about somebody who was murdered, basically," Mitchell continued. "Like a lot of Black men, Black unarmed men have been murdered for years and years in this damn country, and people got tired of it — not just Black people, all people got tired of it. They saw that happen on their damn TVs and they got sick to their damn stomachs.
"But let's get it straight. You know what happened during a lot of those peaceful damn protests? You had a lot of people that were on the other side that caused a lot of issues to try to make it seem like it was the Black people doing it. It was not. If you're really going to follow the rules, it wasn't. But then you've got a damn person who perpetuates a damn lie, to make people storm the Capitol and try to mess up everything going on in the United States of America as it's supposed to be, and you think that's the same thing?
"And this is the thing: Ron would slide through the whole thing and not address that crap. So I don't give a damn about Ron Rivera getting mad at somebody having a collision until he gets off his ass and addresses this damn idiot that he hired as a defensive coordinator! 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!"
Mitchell went on to point out the unfairness of how players are micro-analyzed for their every action on and off the field, while coaches — in this case, Del Rio — are not held to account in the same way.
"Listen man, we can sit up here and let people play these games all they want," Mitchell said. "It comes a time to call a spade a damn spade. And in this medium, we cover the players as if the players are supposed to be perfect. I expect you all to cover his ass the same way you cover players from now on. Everybody in the media here in D.C. — if Jack Del Rio's gonna constantly say all this stupid stuff, you need to come at him the same way you would if a player was saying the same thing. Because right now, he can't keep playing that game. You have too much going on with this football team to have somebody that's running as a loose cannon.
"And you know what? I found out last night he was following me. Cool! Because I don't give a damn. Listen, I don't go on Twitter all the time, Jack. Everything I say, I say right here, directly out of my damn mouth. And I would love to sit down one-on-one with your ass and see what you're really about! Because I am sick and tired of people sitting up here retweeting players like they're supposed to be like the leaders of the world."
"These are young men, that really don't have a lot of guidance, a lot of experience in living life," he said. "But we judge them more harshly than we do grown-ass men in positions to lead them. So how do you expect anybody on that team to be straightforward, when you've got a guy like that in the defensive coordinator position? And he has a coach above him who never says anything about what he says. But the players have to be walking a damn straight line. That is B.S."