The last week has been exciting for Redskins fans. This being newsworthy because all season, fans have been more than unhappy and rightfully so. For the first time in a decade the team seems to be headed in the right direction. This was kicked off by the moment fans had been waiting for. December 30, 2019 was this seasons “Black Monday” where typically team staffers on the hot seat are let go. Jay Gruden was let go after the Patriots game in October. So what could be more exciting? Bruce Allen was let go after 10 years and a 62-102-1 record. Many believed since Allen and Snyder were so close, Allen could survive anything. During his regime, he has had some rather interesting situations. Some of which include the game of “franchise” tag with Cousins, the truth behind McCloughans departure, and the McNabb pre-extension. After a season like this season, it was undeniable that a major change was needed.
Just days later the Redskins acquired Ron Rivera as head coach for the next 5 years. Rivera played for 15 years as a linebacker, served as a defensive coordinator for the Chargers, and finally as head coach of the Panthers for 9 years. While coaching he finished with a winning record of 76-63-1 and a playoff record of 3-4 and 1 Super Bowl appearance. Rivera is known for his defensive mindset which should play out in the Redskins favor. There are more things the Redskins fans should be excited for.
No Nonsense Mentality
January 2, 2020 he was announced and his words could not have been better. Rivera spoke a lot about building this team up to win. “If it doesnt help us, we’re not doing it. It’s just that simple.” Speaking about his military family background, Rivera has a no nonsense personality. Speaking to that, its should be noted that the infamous ping pong table have been removed from the locker room.
Discipline & Accountability
Another focus point of Rivera’s address was discipline and accountability. “Do it the way your taught and success will be yours… if you do it wrong and you succeed, success will be yours, but wrong because if you fail it’s on you. Do what you’re taught and it will be on me.” Records speak for themselves. Rivera is a fine coach. Players under him were disciplined and it showed on the field. Perhaps this could be the secret to unlocking the Josh Norman of old? Based off of the address, no player will be able to get away with slacking off or off the field nonsense including coaches.
Establishing a Winning Culture
When asked about Dwayne Haskins specifically, he did not say that he would for sure be it. Rivera highlighted that this game is about competition. Nothing is given, it is earned. That is not to say another quarterback will be brought in, rather he wants everyone to work hard. Whoever gives the team the best chance to win, that’s who will play and not just at the quarterback position. That mentality alone is what will establish a culture of hard work. Add that with discipline, accountability, and a player focused team, now there’s a team that can be “close.”
Bridging a Gap
This hire has the potential to bring many new fans. The Panthers are not that old of a team. The Carolina Panthers were founded in 1995. Pop quiz; who was the team for most Carolina natives? You guessed it, the Washington Redskins. When Rivera was fired after losing to the ironically enough, the Redskins, there was a lot of unhappiness. A lot of which came from the feeling of unfairness. Not to say that half the Carolina fanbase will follow Rivera, but this provides for more people to pay attention to the Redskins.
As stated before, the Redskins for the first time in a decade are trending in the right direction. Though Washingtonians hate to hear the word “rebuild” a script couldn’t have been written better for one. The team in the last season has:• Drafted Dwayne Haskins with the intent of him being the future franchise quarterback• Fired head coach Jay Gruden• Finished 3-13 which is enough to get the 2nd overall draft pick• Fired team President Bruce Allen after 10 years• Hired Ron Rivera as head coach (who also added Jack Del Rio as defensive coordinator).
Benjamin Franklin once said “By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail.” Rivera strikes of a man who believes failure is not an option. Not only that but he believes in the team and himself. That, Redskins fans, is something to be excited for.