5. The Reality Is, Ron Rivera needs to practice what he preaches.
At his introductory press conference in Washington, Ron Rivera began speaking about culture change, and he’s regularly brought it up since. He’s talked about having the “right kind of guys” and needing players who “go about it the right way”. He’s even famously told his team that if they do things the way they’re coached, they’ll get credit for the success, but if they don’t, they’ll be gone. Well, after three weeks of consistently seeing embarrassing defensive results, it’s time for Rivera to hold somebody accountable.
Change might look like one or more players losing playing time, or it might look like pointed conversations in front of a few key lockers, or it might look like an assistant coach being demoted or fired. And unfortunately, from the outside, we don’t really know what all is going on in the building this week in response to how poorly the entire team has looked through three weeks, but another week of “we just have to be a little bit better” platitudes is just not going to cut it.
Prediction: At least one starter from the first three weeks on the defensive side of the ball will see some dramatic cuts to his playing time this week. My money’s on Jon Bostic or Landon Collins. In addition, look for some noticeably differences in rotations and play-calling as indications that Ron has gotten more directly involved in those specifics this week.