Can Ron Rivera save the Washington Redskins?
By John Buhler
Ron Rivera has been hired as the next head coach of the Washington Redskins. Does he have what it takes to help turn this dysfunctional culture around?
After firing former head coach Jay Gruden after an 0-5 start this past regular season, the Washington Redskins became the first organization to fill their vacancy at head coach this cycle by hiring former Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera. Does Rivera have what it takes to make Washington a consistently good football team, something it hasn’t been in 30 years?
On this week’s episode of Stacking the Box, FanSided‘s Matt Verderame and Mark Carman, along with former NFL offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz, give their initial reactions to Washington being able to hire Rivera and project if he can be to Washington what Joe Gibbs was to the organization the first time around (4:10).
Schwartz, who played for Rivera as a member of the Carolina Panthers, applauded the hire by Washington. Rivera was the absolute best candidate the Redskins could have hoped to land this cycle. By getting Rivera in-house and him bringing along former Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio to be his defensive coordinator, things are surely looking up.
Verderame would say that while adding coaches like Rivera and Del Rio is fantastic, the biggest key for the Redskins was to move on from former team president and general manager Bruce Allen. As long as Allen was in the building, Washington was never going to be a high-functioning, well-respected franchise. For that reason, Rivera can succeed and save Washington from itself.
Verderame did have one other great point about why Rivera took the job in the first place. He cited that Rivera isn’t afraid of the challenge. Both Verderame and Schwartz said Rivera won three NFC South titles and took Carolina to Super Bowl 50, and the Panthers organization was a disaster prior to Rivera’s arrival in Charlotte in 2011. Schwartz was on that 2-14 team in 2010. He knows.
Overall, it’s hard to not be optimistic about Rivera becoming the head coach of the Redskins. We know that owner Daniel Snyder is one of the worst in professional football, but Rivera is the man who can install a culture necessary to build a winning football program in the nation’s capital. Snyder might not know what day it is (Happy Thanksgiving!), but he landed himself a winner.
Here are a few other topics discussed on this week’s episode of Stacking the Box:
- John Dorsey out with the Browns (8:08)
- Verderame sounds off on Josh McDaniels (12:11)
- Which Wild Card game is best? (18:55)
- Saints-Vikings rife with storylines (20:10)
All this and more!
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