The Washington Redskins fired head coach Jay Gruden early in the season after an abysmal start. In his place, Bill Callahan took over as the interim head coach.
While he has picked up three wins, things still aren’t going all that great for the 3-9 Redskins. Due to that, it’s safe to assume that Washington will be searching for a new head coach this offseason.
Someone they need to seriously consider is also the person who was most recently made available. That is, of course, Ron Rivera. He was just fired from his head coaching position with the Carolina Panthers, a job he had since 2011.
In that time, Rivera went 76-63-1 (.546 winning percentage). The Panthers made the playoffs four times and the Super Bowl once. In that same stretch, the Redskins are 53-86-1 (.378 winning percentage). That’s a pretty major difference between the two.
It’s not only a winning percentage that you can point to though. Rivera has led a team with a young quarterback before (Cam Newton). He helped mold Newton into an MVP caliber player.
Washington currently has a young quarterback of their own in Dwayne Haskins. Now, Haskins is a different style than Newton. He’s much more of a pocket passer. Still, though, the Redskins need someone who can work with a young QB and Rivera has done that in the past.
Rivera is also a defensive guru. The Redskins have a lot of talent on defense, and they need someone that can put it all together for them. Rivera could help Cole Holcomb continue his rise into a great linebacker in the NFL.
He could also do wonders for Montez Sweat and that ridiculously talented defensive line. The secondary has a number of intriguing young pieces as well.
Something people have complained about with Rivera was his refusal to put Will Grier in at quarterback for the Panthers. You have to understand that he was trying to save his job though.
Rivera felt Kyle Allen gave Carolina the best chance to win. Allen had already proven he can win the team some games. If Grier came in and failed, Rivera would certainly still be gone. Just because he tried out the young guy, doesn’t mean he would’ve been rewarded for it.
You could say this is similar to the Redskins and Haskins situation. It isn’t though. The argument is different because, at the beginning of the season, Washington was not winning at all. Then when Callahan took over, they still weren’t winning.
Also, Callahan wasn’t going to get fired. They weren’t going to fire the interim head coach. So why not give Haskins the playing time.
Looking at it that way, these were two completely different situations.
Back to Rivera though, he’s a smart head coach who was absolutely loved by his team but also commanded a ton of respect. Most importantly, he actually got his team to the playoffs and won a few games there.
The Redskins have not won a playoff game since the 2005 season (although the game was played on January 7, 2006).
Rivera would bring a winning pedigree, a ton of football knowledge, humility and respect. A lot of those things aren’t always prevalent in the Washington organization.
The Redskins should take their time and look at a lot of candidates this offseason. One that should be seriously considered for that head coach job has to be Ron Rivera though.