Written by Devin Garner.
Through recent years, The Washington Redskins have consistently been the laughingstock of the National Football League (NFL). Last season, the team fired sixth year head coach, Jay Gruden halfway through the season and finished the year 3-13. As a result of the lackluster season, the franchise also fired President of Football Operations, Bruce Allen.
The team hired former Carolina Panthers head coach, Ron Rivera to begin the process of a long awaited rebuild. Rivera brings a great amount of experience to the Redskins organization. Before leading the Panthers for nine seasons, he was the defensive coordinator for both the Chicago Bears and San Diego Chargers. At Rivera’s introductory press conference, owner, Dan Synder, stated that Rivera was the change the organization needed. He stated, “What the Redskins have needed is a culture change… Someone that can bring a winning culture to our organization. That starts and ends with our head coach.”
In previous seasons with Gruden at the helm, the team had received criticism as there were stories circulating that the control of the team was not in the hands of the head coach, but rather in the hands of the front office. Snyder vows that will change as he argues, “One thing that is very, very important. We are going to have one voice, and only one voice alone. That’s the coach’s.”
Since taking over the franchise, the organization has already begun to prove that Rivera will possess the majority of the power with player decisions. The team has decided to cut ties with veteran corner, Josh Norman, veteran wide receiver, Paul Richardson and has granted permission to veteran tackle, Trent Williams, to seek a trade. Not only has the team made these moves to cut down on their salary cap, but also to make room to develop young players who they hope will be around for the team’s future success.
The team is hoping to build around young stars such as wide receiver, Terry McLaurin and defensive end, Jonathan Allen. They hold the second overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft and seem destined to pick the star defensive end from Ohio State, Chase Young. In an interview by NBC Sports Washington with Ohio State beat writer, Bill Rabinowitz, he states, “He is everything you want in a defensive end… He is quick, he is fast, he is strong, he is a very good technician. He cares. It is about as no-brainer of a pick as you are going to find, honestly.”
The future of the organization is bright as the franchise has many young players to build off of and is now under the strong leadership of Rivera. In an interview with 106.7 the fan, Rivera stated his message to the team this season: “Well, what I tell them first and foremost, so everybody understands, it’s about getting the opportunity and then taking advantage of the opportunity. Not everybody will get a chance to play in this league.” He went on to state his ultimate goal for the future of the franchise: “Well, the vision is I want to be able to create a winning, sustainable culture for us here. I want us to be able to continue that for a period of time.”