The Redskins have been a dysfunctional franchise for quite some time, but they’ve already made some major changes over the past week, and they’re looking to right the ship going forward.
It all starts at the top, and the Redskins made their biggest move over the past decade, in finally firing team president Bruce Allen. Not only that, they brought in Ron Rivera as head coach — a renowned name who has been to a Super Bowl. Not only that, Rivera once won the Coach of the Year award as well. He’s been there and done that, and that’s exactly what the team needs.
And Rivera has wasted no time, already getting to work and formulating a strategic plan for what he hopes to accomplish going forward. He’s known as a “players’ coach,’ getting the most out of his guys, and that’s exactly the type of culture he’s trying to establish in Washington. Rivera apparently is looking to keep the Redskins players happy, likely hoping that will lead to a higher level of play on the field. He recently spoke about the “player-centric culture” he hopes to instill on his new team.
“So why did I choose the Redskins? … I can tell you right now it’s not the money,” Rivera said, via Kevin Patra of NFL.com. “If I wanted the money, I’d still be out there right now trying to pit a couple teams against each other. I took this job for one simple season: because Dan Snyder came to me with a very interesting perspective. The reasons why some teams win and some teams don’t. He told me the common factor in that transitional success [for] teams like Patriots, the Seahawks, the Chiefs, some of the other ones — was the decision to take and make a coach-centered approach. Not an owner-centered approach or a team president or a GM but a coach-centered approach.
“I told Mr. Snyder that I appreciate the fact that he believes the head coach matters. I told him I would be honored but under one condition: it would have to be a player-centered culture, something I truly do believe in. My response is to get the most out of the players, to work with them, to teach them, mentor them. If I have to do it one-by-one I will most certainly will do it. I’ve done it in the past and I’ll do it again. 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. These are the guys who can help change things not just on the football field but in this world. I really do believe that. I was fortunate to have that in Carolina and I’ll work to have it here in Washington.”
This is a sound strategy, as there was clearly a large disconnect between the players and the front office in the past. It led to some guys, such as Trent Williams, wanting out, and also a toxic culture that hurt the team. Going forward, Rivera could be the best candidate to help shift away from that.