Redskins: What does it truly take to change a culture?

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INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – FEBRUARY 26: Head coach Ron Rivera of the Washington Redskins interviews during the second day of the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 26, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

I know, Ron Rivera, still on the honeymoon, has energized some of this fan base mainly on a ‘culture change’ platform. Culture change? This is old news to Redskin fans. Very, very old news.

I’m a fairly new writer here at Riggo’s Rag and consider myself a die-hard Redskins fan — a lifer.

My first article on the Washington Redskins argued to sign Antonio Brown. It had quite a response. Folks, given the breaking news involving his legal problems, I do agree with the overwhelming opinion to not touch this player — well, until at least his name is cleared.

I specifically wrote that article fairly confident in the response I would get: “AB? ARE YOU NUTS?” Well, maybe there is a much, much deeper issue here that we as a community of Redskins fans have failed to see: The Redskins culture is great off-the-field. Or, the Redskins have some major explaining to do, to tell us, what were their priorities this past decade? Let me explain…

Would an Antonio Brown, or how about Reuben Foster, or Josh Gordon, or the next star athlete gone wrong fit into the Redskins locker room today? Offseason, 2020? The overwhelming amount of you fans say “no.” I am arguing that this locker room is filled with talented pros.

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The overwhelming response from this town, with each passing star, is “don’t touch these players with a 10-foot pole”. DeSean Jackson, DeAngelo Hall. Ask them about a poisonous locker room. You will probably be surprised when they tell you it was great — off the field. That is my bet from what I can glean.

See, I have been a reporter, Redskins fan, season ticket holder, avid sports talk phone caller, and listener to the D.C. sports talk community for decades. I have seen many-a-change at Redskins Park.

For many seasons at Cooke, excuse me, FedEx, and RFK, I have sat with many of the same fans week to week, in the same seats, in the same section, giving running commentary on the Babe Laufenberg’s, Tony Zendajas’ , Jeff George’s, Robert Griffin III’s, et cetera.

The past few months, I have heard the talk of “culture change” with Rivera, and it sickens me.

Why? Is the wool pulled over all of your heads? What has the Redskins organization done for the past decade? Or, rather, what did they accomplish? Because they have been talking culture change for years. What are their priorities?

After one reads this article, maybe you will see that the priority of this organization has been culture change for a decade. I do not believe in conspiracies, but there is definitely a double talk or something fly-low, under-the-radar here in Washington. Players making huge off the field contributions — Snyder and Allen might have been taking a play out of George Steinbrenner’s playbook to keep the attention on these.

I commend Rivera on bringing in Thomas Davis Jr., a recent Walter Payton Man of The Year. I am always in favor of a locker room filled with kind, loving, family-oriented professionals. I believe the Redskins have this, as mentioned previously.

I am flabbergasted because I have been following this team my whole life — 46 years. This is very, very old news; culture change has been the general manager and head coach directive for a decade, if not longer. This was reported in 2010 by Tony Owusu in an article entitled, “Washington Redskins Remain Tight-Lipped About Jim Zorn’s Replacement.” 2-0-1-0!

We also know that Dan Snyder will be less involved with the day-to-day operations of the team. At least, that’s what can be gleaned from the “changing of the culture” phrase that Ron Rivera used — the phrase that Allen also said a couple of times during his 2010 press conference.

For a decade now, we have been throwing around this term. It has been the priority.

I wonder, was this term brought to us by the now-infamous Bruce Allen? Did it come from the Oakland Raiders locker room remake? Who knows? Got to ask Bruce. But let us review some things.

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