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Many have tried to transform the Washington Redskins franchise. While some former coaches have come close, no one has rivaled the success of Joe Gibbs when he led the team. As Head Coach Ron Rivera stood in front of media at his introductory press conference, it was a familiar scene: another new coach with positive energy making promises to make the organization better.
However, there was something unique about Rivera from the opening statement of the presser. His command of the room and demeanor convinced you that he could really make a difference.
“Everything we do is going to be about winning, okay? Rivera said. “We’re going to do things the right way, and that’s the only way we’re going to do them. Because if it doesn’t help us, we’re not doing it. That’s just as simple as it gets.”
“After several meetings with Coach Rivera, it was clear he is the right person to bring winning football back to Washington D.C.,” Redskins owner Dan Snyder said. “He is widely respected around the league as a man of great integrity and has proven to be one of the finest coaches in the country.”
With more than 20 years of coaching experience, Rivera is a passionate and skilled leader who has earned the respect of his players, coaching staff and the community.
Before he was fired by the Carolina Panthers, he held the head coach position for nine seasons, where he led the team to three straight divisional titles and an appearance in Super Bowl 50. Rivera was also recognized twice as the NFL Coach of the Year by the Associated Press, in 2013 and in 2015.
Rivera is the perfect balance between a player’s coach and disciplinarian. Two characteristics that will be a refreshing change as the Redskins strive to change the organizational culture.
“My responsibility is to get the most out of the players,” Rivera stated. “To work with them, teach them, mentor them. If I have to do it one by one, I most certainly will do it. I’ll do what I can to help these young men become not just the players we want, but the men in the community we need.”
“My main goal is to build a consistent winner and to win a Super Bowl,” Rivera continued. “I know somebody said you shouldn’t say that. Well, I’m going to say it because I’m going to put it out there.”
While all of this sounds good, the Redskins fan base has been through plenty of disappointments over the years and may have a hard time buying into the possibility of change until it comes to fruition. But there’s one reason that Rivera thinks he can make a difference.
“I believe in me and I’ll bet on me,” he said. “We’ll see what happens, that’s all I can tell you. I will give you one thing and that is I’m going to work, I’m going to work very hard, I’m going to do the things that I believe and I’m going to stay true to who I am.”
The Redskins organization needed a drastic change and Rivera seems to be a breath of fresh air for players and fans. The result is yet to be seen but his vision should give everyone hope for the path forward. And hope is something that has been missing for a long time.