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  • Commanders 24/7 staff

Is This The End?

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

2023 has the very real possibility to be the last season of Ron Rivera's coaching tenure in Washington due to the incoming ownership change. Rivera has done a tremendous job of keeping the team afloat amongst front office turmoil and scandals that would make Olivia Pope jealous.


However, football is about on-field results and Rivera's haven't been good enough. His predecessor won 41 % of his games before he got the boot. Rivera has coached to a 44% win percentage with complete control over player personnel... Not good enough.


The critical missteps of Rivera's tenure:


1).... Coach centric organization

This put Rivera at a huge disadvantage almost as soon as he signed up. Washington needed a strong presence in the front office but tasking Rivera with overseeing the team through the rebrand, roster building, player development, Ambassador programs, the on field product and front office cleanups were too much to handle.


2) Hiring Scott Turner as OC.

Rivera did what a lot of folks in his position would do. He hired a familiar face that he felt he could trust but he didn't hire the most effective or competent OC candidate. 3 years of Scott Turner's offense producing 19 ppg regardless of personnel was a recipe for disaster.


3) Hiring unsuccessful GMs.

Rivera was given the opportunity to bring in whomever he wanted as a GM to help build the roster. Rivera deciding to bring in not one but two General Managers in Hurney and Mayhew who have not been successful in the NFL wasn't going to help his case. The typical formula is to poach front office talent from winning organizations but Rivera went in the opposite direction and it may cost him.


4) Not drafting a top QB.

Washington had the chance to draft Tua, Herbert, Hurts and Kenny Pickett without trading a single draft pick to do so. They could have moved up a few spots and drafted Mac Jones. Rivera wanted a vet and in the end only ever achieved Below average play at the position. This is the primary decision that could cost him his job.


Honorable mention: Not solving the LB problem.


Rivera is a great man who deserves to be revered for his triumphs personally, physically and the fact that he was able to outlast Daniel Snyder in Washington.


Rivera still has a chance to win the new owner over, whoever that is and whenever that happens but his work is cut out for him. He's going to have to win big in a year in which the roster is going to be built on bargains. It's not impossible but the odds are against him.


In the end, Rivera's biggest mistake was that he was too patient. He felt he had all the time in the world to turn this franchise around but like everything else in life, you can't predict tomorrow. Win now. Nobody foresaw the team being sold and honestly if it weren't up for sale then Rivera may have been correct. However it is and he isn't. The NFL is a brutal business that demands instant results. The perpetual cycle that has engulfed coaches with bigger names and better records looks to be setting it's sights on Rivera. The only way to outrun it is to win and win big.

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