Ron Rivera and Marvin Lewis emerge as Redskins coaching candidates
By Ian Cummings
Black Monday is close. A decision on the Redskins next head coach might be closer.
The Washington Redskins have a lot of decisions to make in the coming days, and not a lot of credible decision makers to solidify those choices. Reports have revealed that Dan Snyder has largely ridden solo this time around, with Bruce Allen gone from his inner circle. In a recent report, it was revealed that Snyder has been enlisting the help of a team of experts, including Urban Meyer, but no further information was provided.
Snyder reportedly wants to move fast in the next coaching and general manager search, and already, candidates for the Redskins job have been made clear by correlative reports. NFL insider Benjamin Allbright stated on Pro Football Network earlier in the season that Eric Bieniemy was an early front-runner for the Redskins job. Since then, several other names have been added to the list, including two former NFL head coaches who were included today.
According to Allbright, as well as NBC Sports Mid-Atlantic’s J.P. Finlay, the Redskins have serious interest in former Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera and former Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis.
Both have extensive experience as NFL head coaches, but Rivera is a more compelling candidate at this point. Rivera spent nine seasons as the head coach of the Carolina Panthers, amassing a record of 76-63-1. During that time, Rivera reached the playoffs four times, putting together a postseason record of 3-4. His best year came in 2015, when he and MVP Cam Newton led the Panthers to a 15-1 record and a Super Bowl appearance. Rivera is known for his ability to build a culture, something the Redskins desperately need.
Lewis is an intriguing candidate, for different reasons. After a stint as the defensive coordinator of the legendary early-2000s Ravens defense, and a short stint with Washington, Lewis became the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, a role he would hold onto from 2003 to 2018. Over that span, Lewis accumulated 131 wins, 122 losses, three ties, and seven postseason appearances, which he famously went 0-7 in. Lewis is a less dynamic choice for head coach, but one key perk he has, which is attractive in D.C., is his ability to function amidst dysfunction. The Bengals ownership group is similarly ineffective, and Lewis kept Cincinnati competitive in spite of their oversight.
A decision hasn’t yet been made by the Redskins, but Rivera seems to have more steam as a potential match. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that Rivera is the primary candidate for the Redskins job, and Allbright sent out a cryptic tweet earlier today, saying “Good luck” and then tagging Rivera’s Twitter account. It’s not wise to assume anything from that, but wouldn’t it make sense for Allbright to wish Rivera luck, if Rivera was heading to D.C., to deal with the nightmare front office?
Of course, one deal breaker that might factor in there is Bruce Allen’s fate, and earlier today, it was reported that Allen will be removed from football operations on Monday. If this is in fact true, then the team’s structure might be a bit more attractive to other coaching candidates. Whatever the case, the Redskins are still in deliberations. But they’re doing their due diligence, and with any luck, it’ll lead to a sensible hire.