Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera knows there’s a lot of pressure on the remainder of the 2023 season.
“Shit, I’ve been through enough,” Rivera said. “The last 3½ years has not been easy. Anyone who thinks it’s been easy, the hell with them. I’ll be honest. That’s how I feel about the last three years. It’s been a lot. We’ve done a lot; we’ve had our moments. The thing that feels good at the end of the day and the questions that need to be asked: Is the culture better and have we found the quarterback? That’s all I can control. Our guys will show up and play hard to the bitter end, and we’ll see what happens.”
RON RIVERA WEAKENED BY TRADE DEADLINE MOVES
Even Ron Rivera admits that the trade deadline moves haven’t helped him. “My big disappointment is that we haven’t played as well on defense as we’ve needed to. Does that make my job security shaky? It could,” Rivera said. “I have no idea what Mr. Harris is going to do. The truth is, it’s the nature of the game. I get it. If it happens, it happens. If I stay, I stay. Until then we will continue to work.”
There can be no doubt that the defence wasn’t as high octane as people had expected in the weeks prior to that, and the Commanders season was already on life support. But those moves, Young and Sweat, both young, aggressive, successful edge rushers leaving have certainly weakened Washington and strengthened other teams in the NFC.
Ron Rivera has tried to remain positive, and optimistic, whilst also pointing out the handicap he has been dealt. “Last week we didn’t get the pressure on the quarterback I would liked to have had,” Rivera said. “Geno was struggling. It would have been good to put more pressure on the quarterback. It would have helped us and given us a better opportunity to win, but I’m going to work with what we have and deal with what we have and stick to what I’ve said.”
With a new owner, Ron Rivera was always going to be on the hot-seat. New owners like Josh Harris often bring in their own guys, and while Ron Rivera has undoubtedly had a successful career, that hasn’t translated into Super Bowl wins (one appearance with Carolina) and so far hasn’t happened anywhere close in Washington.
“Mr. Harris has been terrific,” Rivera said. “He’s playing everything close to the vest, as he should, and it’s his prerogative as the owner to make decisions he feels are best for the future. We’ll continue to work and play hard and see how it unfolds. I’ll control what I can and that’s what goes on on the football field.”
But Ron Rivera is a fighter, and no one should count him out just yet.