Updated: Oct 8, 2020
Listen to the Beltway Sports Bros. reaction to Washington's Loss at Cleveland entitled, 'Rivera Pulls Out NONE of the Stops' at the Podcast Player below...
The loss to the Browns was a tough one. Opportunities lost and costly mistakes made. There are still serious issues but I saw promise and growth in some areas that are encouraging.
More importantly, I saw “character”, “fight”, and a lot of “heart”.
These staples that have been talked about ad nauseam by you, Ron Rivera.
Coach Rivera, your battle cries and philosophy since joining Washington have been to create a supposed “winning culture”. Signing and drafting players that are “character guys” and that “buy-in” to your philosophy. Washington players have even gone to the lengths that they are willing to “run through a wall” for you.
Well, Ron, the players are doing their best to live up to these standards, it's your turn.
Your actions of late remind me of what my father used to say to me when expectations were completely one-sided and hypocritical. I would respectfully question this and he would always retort with, “Do what I say, don’t do what I do”.
This double standard became glaringly obvious in the last two contests against Arizona (down 11 points) and Cleveland (down 12 points). Odds were against you but the games were still within reach, yet you still decided not to use ANY of your timeouts and fight for and with your team.
When asked about this you responded arrogantly, “To me, as far as I’m concerned there’s nothing to answer. I did what I did.”
Well fine, Mr. Rivera sir! We apologize for not knowing what you know and questioning your superior football IQ, but what about your players? What standard does giving up on games set for them? How can you possibly preach about being “all-in” and making everyone in your circle accountable when you aren’t willing to put all your chips in yourself?
Having a vision for the “long term” and seeing the forest for the trees is important, but not at the expense of the present.
These players have shown that they are behind you, fight for you, and will do anything that is asked of them to support your “vision”, but to what end? When they see it’s your turn to practice what you preach you have recoiled.
Respect, comradery, and a commitment to excellence are a two-way street. This is a slippery slope you are climbing, especially when players begin to see your words as just that, words.
Back when you were a player, would you have accepted Mike Ditka throwing in the towel? No, of course, you wouldn’t. Out of respect for your coach, you wouldn’t have made a peep, but the pilot light would have been lit in your mind that he was not fully invested in you or your team. This is a path you could be leading your own players down by your actions.
Since the first time any player has touched a field or a court, it is driven in you to try your best and play to the final whistle. Leaving every ounce of energy on the field, they say! If you lose you lose, but at least you are leaving with your head held high, not your tail between your legs.
Coach Rivera, maybe we’re all not as enlightened as you to see your reasoning for not playing until the last second has ticked off the clock, but one thing I do know, you are taking a major risk that your players don’t either.
Credibility and trust are lost much quicker than they are gained. Washington is a new, young, and fragile team. Let them leave it all out there. They will respect you for it and know that you are there for them through thick and thin.
Fight for them as they fight for you.