Commanders 2023 coaching grades: Ron Rivera, defense and special teams

It's time to focus on defense, special teams and Ron Rivera...

Ron Rivera
Ron Rivera / Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
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Ron Rivera - Commanders HC (fired)

I admire Ron Rivera. His decision to bring Eric Bieniemy to the Washington Commanders is just one more example of his steadfast devotion to his team. He knew full well that the play-caller could very well take his job, but he brought him anyway. Not every coach would do that.

However, there’s no way to sugarcoat how badly this season has gone.

The Commanders have been forced to trade cornerstone players and fire coaches. They have lost and lost some more. This is Rivera’s worst record in 13 years of coaching.

Off the field, most of his personnel moves have not worked out. On the field, he has done a poor job of game management - from using time outs and choosing when to challenge calls. Worst of all, his team has been routinely blown out in the first half of games this season. He simply has failed to get them ready to play.

Losing big to the Buffalo Bills in Week 3 was ugly but hardly unexpected. The flat showing against a winless Chicago Bears team two weeks later was simply atrocious, and an early sign that this team was among the worst in the league.

Save a few glimmers of light against other cellar-dwellers, it got no better for the remainder of the season. Rivera arrived in Washington with a winning percentage of almost 55 percent. After four years in DC, he now has a losing career mark.

It’s a sad way for things to end.