ASHBURN, Va. — Every Monday in the NFL season, Washington head coach Ron Rivera takes a look back and forward with the team's beat reporters. Now with his team out of the playoff picture and one more game on the schedule, Rivera was talking more about the big picture.
Part of that picture are the challenges he has faced in his two years as Washington's head coach. The biggest challenge has been dealing with the pandemic. Beyond that, when it comes to the football, Rivera has another challenge. As he describes it, "Just finding players that fit how we want to do things and things we want to do. That's one of the things that we've got to continue to look at is how well do these guys fit and then staying healthy."
Sometimes, just the right fit can take a little time. Rivera continues, "The offensive structure that was here when we got here was different from what we do. The defensive structure was different from what we do."
So over the last two years, the fit is a work in progress. Rivera explains how that works, "You try to take those guys and see if they fit, see if they mesh with what you want to do. In some cases, they have and in other cases they haven't."
Rivera has been know to often talk about the "plan" which begs the question, "just what is the plan?'" He's got an answer for that too, "The biggest thing is in terms of getting your young guys opportunities to grow and develop. You'd like to think that by the third year, your first two groups of guys are ready to be on the field all the time. I also hope to be able to couple them with a few guys that were here before you and then a few guys that you brought to add on."
Coming up next, it's the Giants, the final game of the season. Some fans might actually be rooting against their beloved Washington Football team so as to secure a better draft pick in April. You could probably guess Rivera's response to that kind of thing, "We're going to play to win. To me, that's human nature. You should always play to win and that's going to be the approach."