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Ben Standig / Washington Commanders Sr. Writer for The Athletic

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October 14, 2022 6:44 am

Ben Standig / Washington Commanders Sr. Writer for The Athletic

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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October 14, 2022 6:44 am

Senior writer on the Washington Commanders and NFL for The Athletic joins the show.

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Hey, I'm Thamy Redwood, host of the podcast Beyond Black History Month. Here's reason number 568 million of why you should be listening. From in-depth reporting on the shortage of black sperm to how one house of the dragon star is dealing with online trolls who don't love seeing black dragon writers.

I can't lose sleep over that, over worrying about things that are beyond my control. Listen and subscribe to Beyond Black History Month on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. Check out Fantasy Football Today, anywhere podcasts are found. Fields, looks, floats it, end zone, bobble, he snags it, but he didn't get in. Mooney is short of the goal line. Washington has come up with a defensive stand.

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Iron Eagle on Westwood 1 and yes in fact Washington did that more than once. The Bears had 3 trips inside the 5 yard line and no points. And coming up here momentarily we're going to head to Chicago and welcome a Commander's Insider who's there at the game. So we'll get the lay of the land. Yes it's a win and it ends a 4 game losing skid.

But at the same time there is so much swirling around the commanders right now. So we'll talk to Ben Standing of the Athletic and our Washington DC affiliate 106.7 the fan. Whenever he's ready Producer Carlos can you tell me when? Is he ready now?

Ok got it. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence here on CBS Sports Radio. We're live from the Rocket Mortgage Studios.

When you need to cash out of your home and a simple way to get it Rocket can. Ben thanks so much for a couple of minutes especially since it's been a long evening for you. How would you describe the game that the commanders just survived and won?

Well yeah I appreciate the time and thanks for your patience. How would I describe it? I mean this day has felt like a week. This week has felt like a month.

And this game sort of just fits in perfectly with all that. It was ugly, chaotic, bizarre and a rare time for this team that came out with a win either on or off the field. So truly bizarre I mean the fact that like you said that they held the Bears to zero points despite being inside what the 10 or the red zone on three occasions is fairly wild. I still don't even understand how Darnell Mooney didn't somehow get the ball over the goal line.

He was landing right on it but didn't do it. And they win a game with Carson Wentz throwing for 99 yards. I really don't quite know how they did it but I think they're probably lucky they were playing the Bears tonight.

No offense to them but not exactly a juggernaut these days. So it almost feels like a perfect way to cap off an insane week for this team. Yeah we'll talk about everything swirling around them even before they got onto the field. But looking at this game and knowing what you know about their first six weeks, what are the biggest issues for the commanders right now Ben? Well I mean I think on offense the offensive line has been kind of in shambles for most of this year. They're already down three starters from week one. And as we saw tonight at times they were giving up this easy pass rush pressure.

And Carson Wentz among his concerns is that he's got kind of a jittery presence in the pocket. And that really is stifling a lot of their offensive production. They were able tonight as we saw get Brian Robinson in in his most extensive work since he returned to football. And I think that's going to help them a lot but right now they just are really struggling to sustain drives. I mean look they scored what 12 points right? I mean that's hardly going to be good enough against teams you know what better teams they have coming up like Green Bay next week.

So I think that's the biggest thing. The defense has actually played pretty well the last three to four games at this point. So there's some positive signs there but the offense they really got to figure out a way to start generating some points. Just as a side note 12 points is all the Colts managed last week in winning at overtime. So that's back to back Thursday night football games where the winner has only managed 12 points. So yeah a little bit nutso with the product that we've seen to start off these weeks of football. Ben Stanig is with the athletic covering the commanders also with our DC affiliate 106.7 the fan.

And still in Chicago following Thursday night football it's after hours on CBS Sports Radio. Brian Robinson maybe the bright spot the highlight certainly a story that goes far beyond football. What have you seen and heard from his teammates as he's come back from not even seven weeks ago being shot twice in the leg? Yeah I mean I think it's still kind of an insane scenario.

I think everybody's pretty inspired watching this. You know it's funny he's pretty nonchalant about the whole thing. I mean we've only been had a chance to really talk to him on the record as reporters over the last week. But we've been in the locker room for several weeks now since he returned and you wouldn't have any idea that this guy just went through this. I mean he's pretty you know casual about it and his teammates you know recognize how incredibly lucky he is and I think he does as well clearly.

But you know I think they took a lot of inspiration from that. And you know in terms of just the football side of it he really looked sharp during training camp and in the preseason. You know he's been there starting running back in his first two games in the NFL both coming after as you said he was shot twice. I mean that's pretty insane but it also says a lot about what he showed his team during the summer and I think we saw some of that translate tonight. Ron Rivera admittedly had a really bad day on Monday and has taken ownership of his comment in which he essentially said that quarterback is the reason why the commanders are a losing team.

And Art sitting right there with the other teams in the NFC East and competing. Now he did try to explain it. I know he apologized and he obviously spoke to the team.

But what do you make of that moment? It's just not generally what you hear from Ron Rivera. Yeah he's been known to have a gap or two for sure. That's what this was. I think all of us in the room kind of knew what he meant but you know you can't say why are you guys trailing the other teams in your division and give a one word answer of quarterback without explaining it. Matt Parris from the Washington Times did a good job of following up on that and then we just kind of kept pecking away. The thing about it is those of us on the beat know he has been very defensive of anybody criticizing Carson Wentz.

Yes. The president a few weeks ago came here and kind of savaged somebody who was criticizing Carson Wentz. They've really gone out of their way to defend this guy and I know Carson Wentz is an easy punching bag. He's not been fantastic this year but he's not been terrible.

He's definitely not the sole reason that they've been bad. So I get why the outside world just assumed that's where Rivera was going. Regardless he clearly created a distraction for no reason other than just he had a mental lapse or something for a minute and I don't know what he was doing. What did he mean? I mean you said for those of you who are around him a lot and you hear him a lot you kind of understand what he was trying to say. So what was he trying to say?

Well that's what's funny. What he was trying to say to be honest doesn't really make a lot of sense. But what he was trying to say is that in the time that he has been there, so he arrived in 2020, they have not been able to build around a quarterback. Which is true because they've gone through several different quarterbacks. Wentz is the best one they've had so far in terms of just pure talent. But the part that doesn't make any sense is he's then pointed to the other teams in the division that they've had this opportunity.

Which is not really true. I mean Dallas yes has had Dak Prescott but he also hasn't been playing this year as we know for the last several weeks in Cooper, Russia. But not the script backup is winning all the games. The Giants, nobody is that excited about Daniel Jones. But also he is with a first year coach this year learning a new system.

So that's the same level as Carson Wentz and even with Philadelphia. I mean look, Janglin Hurts has been having a very good year but there were a lot of questions about him coming in into the season. So it was a weird point. I just think Rivera has been frustrated that they haven't been able to get this most important of positions.

And you know there probably is some frustration that Carson Wentz hasn't completely solved all their problems. But yeah I don't know what he was trying to say exactly. I mean that's what he was trying to say.

But his point still doesn't quite make sense. What do you make of the report then that came out on Thursday that obviously set Rivera off post game. That it wasn't him but it was Dan Snyder who pressed for Carson Wentz. Cause I swear I felt like this whole thing would have essentially died after the game. You know we move on so quickly in the NFL there's so much happening in the news cycle.

But man that just added fuel to embers that maybe were about to go out but weren't quite there yet. Yeah I don't know if I've ever seen someone passionately stake a claim that they wanted a player who most people who pay attention to the league would think you wouldn't want to stake a claim to saying you wanted this guy. But I believe that Ron Rivera did in fact was behind this move.

So again it's easy. You hear Dan Snyder who supposedly wants this guy. Dan Snyder has been a meddling owner for the majority of his career and most of the time when he has meddled it's been a mess.

And he's done that as recently as the 2019 draft when he wanted them to take Dwayne Askins when the rest of the organization didn't. But in this case I really do think Rivera was the one who wanted it and you know why he was so angry about it. I don't know exactly I think it was a combination of being you know fired up because they just won and you know he's probably just had enough of all this. But you know the spoiler for him there's going to be more coming there's always more coming it never ends.

And that's what he and everybody else has to deal with. Maybe a little embarrassed too a little defensive because it is bringing back up what happened earlier in the week and the fact that he still he put himself into the middle of it by what he said on Monday. Ben Standing is with us from Chicago after the commanders win and yet it's not a lot of mirth around them not a lot of excitement around it right now. He covers the team for the athletic and also you can hear him on 106.7 the fan our CBS Sports Radio affiliate in DC it's after hours here on CBS Sports Radio. The Dan Snyder chants sell the team. They were behind Brian Robinson on the Thursday Night Football post game on Amazon Prime so he's talking about getting shot and coming back and in the background you can hear the fans sell the team.

Obviously Al Michaels addressed it as well on Prime we we played that here last hour. How loud are the calls there for someone who lives in the market covers the team extensively. How loud is that noise getting Ben. Oh well on the one hand it's deafening and then the other hand it's quiet meaning so many people have checked out that they just don't even care anymore. But yeah I mean it's been people have been calling for this forever. I mean what's happened over the last couple of years as there's been these investigations into the organization has certainly brought a new a new focus on this. But you know from a purely football perspective it's been a mess you know for basically his entire time and you know.

I grew up in the area I was a fan of the team growing up and it is insane to think where they've fallen and it doesn't it just doesn't seem like it's going to remotely get any better any time soon. And yeah I mean you know I think a lot of what was in this report today is an interesting report absolutely it was some really interesting details. I think for those of us on the beat a lot of it was kind of a rehash with things we've already kind of known but regardless you know it's this is where we're at it just never ends.

And you know it's something we all have to deal with and everybody else can just sort of laugh at us and I get it. How much do you believe that his role with the team even though he's been suspended and not supposed to be part of day to day operations but his role and the way he's run the team has to do with the fact that they haven't been able to find any type of any type of success in recent years. Yeah, I mean it's a it's a it's a kind of a vicious cycle. We have here, because, you know, in terms of the football side of things, you know, the more this goes on like he's had some interesting coaches that he's brought in over the last you know, during his tenure around Rivera among them, but there's always a ceiling that sort of capped because of Dan Snyder's presence I mean even in the case of say Ron Rivera.

Right. I mean, he has had some success at Carolina. He's also had both losing seasons in eight of his 11 years but he's never had front office responsibilities before, and in order to get a guy like Rivera Snyder had to give him those responsibilities and part of the issue with Washington is looking at their personal personnel is really not know it's not as deep as they probably wish it was from where they started a few years ago.

So it just all kind of just keeps going and going and. Yeah, I remember the other weird part of all this is Snyder doesn't make yourself available ever. I've covered the team full time since 2015 and several years sort of in a freelance way before that I have never spoken to him. Wow. I've only been in the same room with him.

I can count on the number of times on one hand. He's just not around and, you know, it just makes it. I don't know if that matters to the players, they probably see him but, you know, just in terms of the everything else that just it's just another sign of this weird sort of dysfunction and, yeah, but it's, it's, you know, it's one of the things I would, I would, I would cry if I didn't want to, you know, really just wanted to, you know, immerse myself in the thought of just how insane that is not I'm sort of kidding about me, but I know so many of my friends and family who are just beyond annoyed, angry or at this point, maybe even just apathetic over the whole situation before I let you go. Ben. I just want to preface this question by saying I'm a huge Ron Rivera fan, and I don't believe that it's ever as simple as being a coach's fault. And as you mentioned, he does have some administrative responsibilities and certainly some say over the roster is his job in jeopardy. I don't think so.

You know why? But they won this, they won this game. Well, one, they did, they did win. And one thing about Rivera's teams, like the last his first two years here, the first year they started one five ended up finishing seven and nine, which happened to be good enough that year to win a terrible NFC East.

Last year, they were two and six then ripped off four in a row to actually be in the position to be a wildcard team only for injuries and a COVID outbreak to kind of take them down. So I think in their mind, they're still in this. But here's the problem. Work, you know, just getting back to 500, even with to say that's possible. I know it's a 17 game, so there's no 500.

But, you know, in terms of just getting back to that middle, you know, that's not enough. When are they moving to the next level? And I think that's where, you know, regardless of what happens the rest this way, I could see at the end of the year there being a discussion about his future. But I don't think it's anything that's imminent now or even during the season. Okay, because that's all they need is a little more trauma, a little more controversy around the team. Although it seems like, Ben, you operate at this level. I mean, what would you do if they were actually a winning team and there was no drama? Would you even know how to write or how to cover the team?

No, I don't. I have so many of my colleagues at the athletic don't like, you know, hit me up on our slacks, and they'll say, like, I can't even understand how you deal with this, you know, all that. But on the other hand, it's never boring. Like, I know there are some teams where, you know, there's not much happening, and that's a whole other situation. You know, fortunately, I don't really have much of a lifestyle. I could just stay on top of this thing at all times, and you have no choice but to do just that.

Right, exactly. It's all consuming. You can find Ben on Twitter at Ben Standig, S-T-A-N-D-I-G, covers the commanders in the NFL for the athletic, also with our affiliates in D.C., Team 980 and 106.7, the fan, and I love the name of his podcast, Standig Room Only. That's fantastic, Ben. You are welcome back anytime. Thank you so much for a couple of minutes after Thursday Night Football. Hey, Amy, I really appreciate it.

Thanks so much. Good stuff with Ben. Seriously, that's the name of his podcast, Standig Room Only, and it took me a couple times saying it out loud. I mean, I get it by seeing it, but that's cool.

Very clever. Hey, I'm Thamy Redwood, host of the podcast Beyond Black History Month. Here's reason number 568 million of why you should be listening. From in-depth reporting on the shortage of black sperm to how one house of the dragon star is dealing with online trolls who don't love seeing black dragon riders.

I can't lose sleep over that, over worrying about things that are beyond my control. Listen and subscribe to Beyond Black History Month on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. Check out Fantasy Football today, anywhere podcasts are found. Suits start at just $449 and fitted shirts start at just $89. And you can fine tune every detail, lapels, linings, monograms, and more. Create a personalized wardrobe that doesn't cost a fortune with options like shirts, casual wear, and outerwear.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-05 13:12:57 / 2022-12-05 13:21:04 / 8

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