Ron Rivera avoiding desperation ahead of potential Commanders sale

(Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports) Ron Rivera
(Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports) Ron Rivera /

Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera is keen to avoid desperate measures despite the potential for new owners buying the franchise from Dan Snyder.

Fans are growing weary of the constant rumors surrounding the Washington Commanders sale. There seems to be a new story that contradicts the next every day, so waiting patiently for things to play out one way or another seems to be the best course of action.

Of course, head coach Ron Rivera and other influential figures within the Commanders have to continue preparing for the upcoming campaign. This is a distraction they don’t need and the constant questions are taking focus away from football matters, but the figurehead is experienced enough to turn his full attention to the task at hand and let the chips fall where they may thereafter.

Ron Rivera won’t become desperate as Commanders’ sale nears

Once a new owner or ownership group is confirmed, speculation about his future will only rise further. When speaking to the Washington Times about the possibility of losing his job for a second time under a different owner, Rivera was eager to point out he won’t become desperate in pursuit of staying on track with his current method of roster building.

"“I could be gone in a year, that’s football. I understand that. But what I want to do, is when I leave, I want everybody to go and say, ‘Boy the roster’s in a good place.’ … That’s great. I want to walk away saying that’s what I did. I’m good with it. I understand it. “I’m not going to be desperate. I’m not. Because when you’re desperate, you make bad football decisions.”"

This is the right philosophy for Rivera to adopt entering Year 4 of his tenure. It’s been a mixed bag since his appointment, but there were some positive signs last season despite the quarterback carousel and suspect offensive line production that eventually played a leading role behind his team missing the postseason.

Things look uncertain for Rivera, there’s no getting away from that. But there’s also a chance he could outline his vision to new ownership positively after his previous experience in a similar situation with the Carolina Panthers.

Rivera is the first to admit this is something he didn’t portray to David Tepper effectively, and he paid with his job during the 2019 season. All the coach can do is hope that his thoughts on taking the Commanders forward match whichever bidder gets the green light from Dan Snyder and the NFL.

"“I’ve got to be very specific and very clear cut with what our vision is going forward. And it has to mesh. That’s one of the things I learned from (the Panthers change) is that not having it mesh, not having an explanation of what we’re going to do and how we’re going to do it …  slows that process down.”"

It’s an interesting situation for any coach to find themselves in. So for Rivera to befall the same fate twice is extremely unusual in league circles.

He knows what could happen if things go wrong. The Commanders have a decent roster in place with the promise of further additions via the 2023 NFL Draft, but the margin for error will go from slim to non-existent for Rivera once Snyder finally sells the franchise as anticipated.

There are always raised stakes in the NFL for a multitude of reasons. It just so happens Rivera’s going to be under more scrutiny than most as some landmark changes approach.

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