When the Carolina Panthers made the decision to move on from two-time Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year Ron Rivera, everyone knew it wouldn’t take long for him to land on his feet. The New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and even the Dallas Cowboys were potentially going to be looking for new head coaches, but Rivera jumped at the first opportunity presented to him — the Washington Redskins. According to Rivera, before joining the Redskins, he heard from his camp that all three of those teams — the Giants, Browns, and Cowboys — were interested in his services.
He chose Washington. With three straight losing seasons, a roster in flux and an infamous owner, the Redskins’ head coaching job appeared to be a gig that would scare anyone who actually cared about finding success in their career — but not Rivera. In a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune, Rivera confirmed and clarified that he could have waited for another opportunity to surface if he wanted to, but he chose the Redskins’ job for the challenge.
“It’s funny because everyone kept asking, ‘Why did you take the job so quickly?'” Rivera said. “It ain’t about the money. I really thought about it. I could’ve waited on the Giants. I could’ve waited on Cleveland. I could’ve waited on Dallas. Those are the teams we kept hearing (had interest). This is about the fit, and the more I listened, the more I looked at it, the more I looked at the roster, that’s what impressed me the most, the more I knew.”
“I came in (to initial talks) with some trepidation, but as I’ve gotten to know Mr. Snyder, I understand really all he wants to do is figure out how to win, and that is pretty exciting.”
Redskins owner Dan Snyder is known for wanting to be more involved with roster decisions than the average owner, but with a savvy coach now in the building, it appears he’s now comfortable with a new power structure for the organization. Rivera will have more control and responsibility than he did with the Panthers — which is certainly another thing that is attractive about this job.
Rivera will reportedly oversee more front-office moves, and has brought Rob Rogers with him from Carolina to serve as senior vice president of football administration in charge of the salary cap as well as contract negotiations.
A new day has come in Washington, and Rivera clearly sees something special in the Redskins that even their long-suffering fans can’t right now.