Commanders News: Sam Howell, OT target, Ron Rivera and Martin Mayhew

(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Martin Mayhew
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Martin Mayhew /
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(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports) Ron Rivera /

Commanders must show improvement in 2023

Nobody will be more aware of what comes next under new ownership than Ron Rivera. The head coach lost his job soon after the Carolina Panthers were bought by David Tepper, so he’ll be keen to avoid a similar scenario with Dan Snyder on the brink of relinquishing power.

Rivera’s been eager to keep things firmly focused on football in the face of significant uncertainty behind the scenes. And the figurehead was clearly relieved when something official came to light based on his comments to USA Today after the news broke.

That does nothing to bolster his own job prospects in any way. According to Gregg Rosenthal from Around the NFL, Rivera must show legitimate progress next season to stand any chance of sticking around with the Washington Commanders in 2024 or beyond.

"“The team has done more with less on the offensive line, which makes the big spending on mid-level free agents (Andrew Wylie and Nick Gates) surprising. Slightly worse than average is an accomplishment over the past few decades in Washington, but (Ron) Rivera needs to show some progress to stick around with new ownership coming in.”"

Rivera should be under no illusions as to the size of the task awaiting him in 2023. He has the full support of the locker room and acquiring Eric Bieniemy to run the offense should also help, but it does appear to be playoffs or bust for the head coach in Year 4 of his tenure.

If Rivera cannot get Washington into the postseason, the new owners will find someone who can.

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