Ron Rivera is repeating historical past with the Commanders, and it’s time for him to go6 min read

The Washington Commanders misplaced on Thursday night time. The Washington Commanders are misplaced. Sitting at 2-3 on the season won’t look dangerous on paper, however scratch the floor and also you’ll discover a soccer crew devoid of identification or function. A company that wanted to show a brand new leaf in 2023 finds itself sleepwalking by way of the season in an limitless spiral of inconsistency, and worst of all head coach Ron Rivera is repeating historical past within the worst methods.

It’s robust to speak concerning the want for the Commanders to fireplace Rivera, as a result of actually he is without doubt one of the nicest males within the NFL. He’s definitely the nicest coach I’ve ever met, who greets everybody he meets with a heat voice and a agency handshake — a person who appears to take real curiosity in everybody round him. The reality is, Rivera could be too good for the NFL, and that’s his largest downfall.

The expectation on Thursday Evening Soccer was that Rivera would clean the hapless Bears. In any case, this was a crew that pushed the Eagles to extra time in Week 4, whereas Chicago collapsed towards one other of the worst groups within the league in Denver. This was imagined to be a exclamation level, the place the Commanders stepped on their opponents’ throats and began a run to the playoffs. As an alternative the puctuation mark we bought was a query mark, as Justin Fields and D.J. Moore teamed as much as dismantle the Washington protection piece by piece, with out essentially actually having to work for it.

There aren’t any excuses for the failures on both aspect of the ball towards the Bears. Simply lingering questions. How may this crew not do one thing to decelerate Moore contemplating he was the one receiving menace Chicago had? How did this crew handle to get so little strain on the quarterback? What occurred that led to Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson get decreased to non-factors towards one the worst move defenses within the NFL?

All these questions get kicked up the chain to 1 man, and Rivera didn’t actually have solutions.

“It’s not ok,” head coach Ron Rivera stated after the loss. “It begins with me and we’re going to return and have a look at quite a lot of issues and we’re going to get some issues corrected and we’ll exit and we’ll play soccer.”

Anybody who’s adopted Rivera’s profession trajectory for any time frame is aware of that that is his modus operandi. The person has an old-fashioned method to soccer that believes in maintaining issues in home, by no means throwing anybody underneath the bus, and being quiet concerning the issues taking place behind the scenes. It’s noble, however the Aristocracy doesn’t make followers really feel higher — and Rivera has been singing this identical tune since his time with the Carolina Panthers.

Lots of those self same points have carried over. He’s extraordinarily hesitant to make personnel modifications mid-season, even when his crew is struggling. That is the way you see a crew proceed to bash its head towards the wall with Sam Howell as a substitute of making an attempt to make a spark with Jacoby Brissett. Rivera won’t ever slander his buddies, which is why Jack del Rio isn’t being referred to as out for his lack of adjustment and middling protection. Regardless of as soon as incomes the nickname “Riverboat Ron” for playing on brief 4th downs with Cam Newton underneath middle, he’s a meticulously risk-averse coach who routinely tends to handle video games like he’s terrified every thing goes flawed.

There’s nothing worse within the NFL than passivity, and Rivera is just too passive. Panthers followers noticed this in Carolina. The one two folks within the group throughout Rivera’s time who had a dedication to excellence had been Cam Newton and Steve Smith, and it turned incumbent on them to get the locker room in line, moderately than it coming from the highest. This bled all through the group. Rivera’s coordinators had been protected to underperform understanding the top coach would have their again, and any gamers who weren’t motivated by Newton or Smith could be content material with mediocrity, feeling the same stage of safety that the coach wouldn’t bench them.

There’s advantage to having a gradual hand and never overreacting to 1 recreation, however Rivera too usually pushes that to the acute and permits these round him to settle.

The reality is that Week 5 is just too early for a brand new proprietor to shake up the group an excessive amount of, nevertheless it ought to occur. It’s unlikely Josh Harris will hearth Rivera but, particularly when he was seen laughing within the proprietor’s field whereas watching his crew get blown out. It won’t be truthful to heap an excessive amount of which means on one second, nevertheless it was a foul look whereas followers had been struggling.

It is a crew with the final word reward: A coach in ready. Each soccer fan on the planet is aware of Eric Bieniemy deserves a head teaching job, and maybe the one vibrant spot of the Commanders this season is how a lot juice the offensive coordinator has managed to squeeze out of Howell. It hasn’t all the time been fairly, nevertheless it’s inconceivable to think about anybody else maximizing Howell’s abilities like Bieniemy has.

We don’t know what his imaginative and prescient for the crew would appear to be, however from every thing we find out about Bieniemy as a coach he has a historical past for being robust on gamers, demanding everybody step up, and most significantly take accountability for their very own failings. He’s the breath of contemporary air the Commanders want proper now, as a result of because it stands it’s inconceivable to think about this Rivera-led crew getting previous the Cowboys or Eagles within the NFC East.

It’s robust to debate firing Rivera. It’s tough due to his demeanor and private story, but when the coach is really going to be sincere with himself and have a look at each facet of the crew Rivera will study that he’s the issue. Certain, he won’t be why the crew is shedding proper now — however his method to soccer has led to this crew having no hearth or drive.

We’ve approached the purpose the place the Commanders want a brand new coach in cost, earlier than the passivity within the group turns into apathy by the followers.

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