Ron Rivera Explains Why He Took Redskins Job

Rivera, who was fired by the Panthers in December, was unemployed for less than a month

Tiki and Tierney
January 30, 2020 - 4:59 pm

On Dec. 3, Ron Rivera was fired as head coach of the Carolina Panthers.

He was unemployed for less than one month. 

Indeed, on Jan. 1, Rivera became head coach of the Washington Redskins. Washington has missed the playoffs in 22 of the last 27 seasons, including four straight. But as Rivera was combing through the Redskins’ roster, he liked what he saw.

“As you look at the last three drafts and you look at how much those players played, how much experience they gained in the last few years, you felt like even though they don’t have all their pieces, the pieces they have are young,” Rivera said on Tiki & Tierney. “They’re dynamic players that have played a lot early in their career. So that, to me, was pretty exciting.”

So was the chance to coach Dwayne Haskins, the 15th overall pick in 2019. Haskins, 22, completed 58.6 percent of his passes for 1,365 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions in nine games last season, with much of that damage coming in December.

“Having watched Dwayne and really looking at the Detroit game that he played, this was a game plan that was set for him, and he did some really positive things,” Rivera said. “Then you watch the last two drives he had in the fourth quarter – one to get in position to kick the field goal to tie it and then one to put them in position to kick the field goal to win it – you know that there was something there. 

“Then as you watched the last few games that he played, you see the progression, you see the growth – and you go, ‘Man, this young guy is getting it,’” Rivera continued. “That was exciting because he does have the skillset. He’s got what it takes, but there’s some other intangibles he’s got to continue to develop and grow into.”

The Redskins finished 3-13 last season. They have the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft.