Over the last couple of weeks, it's become clear to anyone who follows the Washington Commanders that the team needs to make changes. It's been emphasized by the team's current skid, losing five or the past six games, including the most recent to divisional rival the Philadelphia Eagles. The franchise can't wait till the end of the season, it needs to happen now.
Washington Commanders have to let Ron Rivera go now
Let's be clear, Ron Rivera is a great person and could be a great person to have in the front office, but as a head coach, he's honestly just not that good. This season he has a 3-5 five record and since reaching the Superbowl with the Carolina Panthers back in 2015, he's struggled as a head coach.
- CAR 2016: 6-10
- CAR 2017: 11-5 *
- CAR 2018: 7-9
- CAR 2019: 5-7
- WAS 2020: 7-9*
- WAS 2021: 7-10
- WAS 2022: 8-8-1
- WAS 2023: 3-5 (Current)
That's one winning record and two playoff appearances since going to the Super Bowl. That's not going to cut it with a new ownership group. He hasn't even had a winning season thus far in Washington.
What's even worse is that he's known as a defensive head coach and the Commanders aren't that good this season on that end of the ball. Before this past game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Commanders were 29th in yards allowed per game at 374.1 yards and 29th in points allowed per game at 27.1. The only redeeming quality of the defense is that they are 12th in forced fumbles with 5 and added two more to that total from the Eagles game.
Rivera and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio have failed to coach up a defense that has the personnel to be elite in the front seven and good in the secondary. It's a lack of discipline that the 61-year-old head coach has failed to install into this defense and the team needs to realize that if they want to save their season, he needs to go.
Instead of potentially trading players at the NFL Trade Deadline, the franchise needs to focuse on the root of the problem. Getting rid of the coaching staff and the front office that allowed this coaching staff to stay on as long as it has, should be the first priority.
The Commanders need to clean house with almost everyone from the front office and the coaching staff need to be let go. Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and franchise legend/senior advisor Doug Williams should be the only people who survive the purge that needs to take place within this club.
Williams gives a level of stability to the front office so keeping him makes sense as the new ownership fills out the front office. Also being a Super Bowl-winning quarterback helps his ability to stay as well.
Bieniemy was just hired and while he has had his moments where he has struggled, it's hard to deny the chemistry he has with quarterback Sam Howell. Bieniemy could be the interim head coach for the rest of the season and based on how he does can determine if he gets the job moving forward.
In short, Ron Rivera needs to be fired as the Washington Commanders head coach, along with most of his staff and most of the front office. If ownership takes action, it might save the season and allow them to see if Bieniemy is the permanent replacement as head coach.