The Washington Redskins recently hired head coach Ron Rivera. He made it abundantly clear no job is guaranteed, and that’s good news for fans.
The Washington Redskins made a lot of long-overdue moves already this offseason. Of course, the most publicized one was parting ways with Bruce Allen. Allen was just one domino to fall, though. And in that storm, team owner Dan Snyder gave fans hope — hope that he was serious about wanting to win. That’s a feeling fans did not feel for a long time.
Don’t get me wrong, a lot of people are still skeptical. And they have every right to be, honestly. However, Snyder did something many people thought he would never do when he fired his “good friend” Allen. This, along with the other firings, showed that no job was guaranteed.
A new GM has yet to be brought in. A new head coach has though, and that’s Ron Rivera. Funnily enough, Rivera seems to have a similar philosophy when it comes to the players he is coaching. No, he won’t be having a press conference anytime soon announcing that he’s cut 25 players. However, he has already made it clear that no one is a starter. He has not spent time with these players, so he has not seen much of them in real-time. They all need to impress him.
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This is fantastic. For too long the Redskins were an odd franchise. It always seemed like the front office was pushing for some players and the head coaches were pushing for others. At the same time, it felt like both sides of the argument were pushing their agendas.
Now it feels like Rivera has control. And with that control, he’s going to evaluate players. As sad as it sounds, that’s something Washington has been terrible at.
How many true competitions can you think of? No job should be safe. Yet Washington has had very few true quarterback competitions (despite struggling at the position for years). They have been paying serious money to a tight end who didn’t even play a down last season. Oh, and they benched their highest-paid cornerback halfway through the year because he wasn’t exactly covering much.
The Redskins have lacked discipline and accountability. Too many excuses were made for players in the past. Almost as if past coaches and front office personnel did not want to admit they were wrong about anything. Rivera seems more than ready to let the players show him what they’ve got (and it likely isn’t a hit song).
Yes, if we are being honest, players like Allen and McLaurin are likely going to start. That’s because of their talent, not because of the perception of them. Rivera is new, so everyone is on a level playing field with him. This will bring out the best in every player and ensure Rivera has the best players on the field to start the year.
You would hope after a 3-13 season every player would be hungry to prove themselves. That’s not always the case, though. Now they have extra incentive.
The old regime seemed set in their ways in a few problematic areas. It led to some players being able to keep top spots on the depth chart despite not playing up to par. Rivera is here to change that, and it’s only going to lead to better days for the Washington Redskins.