Ron Rivera doesn’t regret taking Washington job, but he should

(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) Ron Rivera
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) Ron Rivera /

Former Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera has his work cut out in Washington.

To say that Ron Rivera has had a baptism of fire during his first few months in Washington would be something of an understatement. The former Carolina Panthers head coach was fired during the 2019 season to end a long association with the franchise. And he already looks to have his work cut out with his new team.

Things became stagnant under Rivera in Carolina. It is clear that fresh ideas were needed for the Panthers to get back into contention. But that does not detract from the success that the ex-Chicago Bear had with the organization.

Rivera knew the sort of task awaiting him in Washington. The team has struggled to make an impression in recent years. And although they have some nice young pieces. It appears unlikely that this is going to result in any immediate turnaround in fortunes.

Recent allegations surrounding prominent staff members have plunged the franchise into disarray. Couple this with the upcoming name and brand change following a public outcry in the current climate surrounding social injustice. And Rivera might be wondering what he has let himself in for.

The former Panthers head coach has demonstrated exemplary leadership during this troubled time. While owner Dan Snyder has shied away from publicly speaking out barring the stereotypical press release issued after the Washington Post published their bombshell article. Rivera has taken over the mantle of team spokesman with aplomb.

When asked by the Charlotte Observer if he regretted taking the Washington job given what has transpired in recent weeks, this was Rivera’s response.

"“No regrets. I look forward to the challenge of improving a 3-13 team. I want to build a sustainable winning culture, in every facet.”"

Why former Panthers head coach Ron Rivera should regret taking the Washington job

Every fired head coach wants to make an instant return to the NFL. Rivera saw this as a good opportunity to get back in the game that he loves. And this is a project that is undoubtedly exciting.

It’s not like Washington could get any worse. They were dismal throughout the majority of 2019. And turning things around is going to take some time even without the problems engulfing the organization this offseason.

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The culture and atmosphere within the franchise have been toxic, to say the least. The allegations do not look favorable on Washington or its owner. And it is going to take a considerable period to earn back respect from fans and the league in general.

The fact that this didn’t come as a big surprise to people working closely with the organization or the wider media is damning in itself. Rivera will be tasked with turning things around on the field. But he should also expect a barrage of questions about off-field matters as the season goes on.

This is something that he is already fully aware of. Rivera is a composed figure who has come across well during a troubled period for the organization. But in truth, it should not have been down to him to take center stage as all this happened during his time with the Panthers.

If Rivera was unaware it the magnitude of the challenge awaiting him in Washington, then the last few days have undoubtedly been a concerning reminder. Whether he regrets his decision to take the head coaching job is a moot point now. The former Carolina man cannot change what has happened in the past. But he can shape their future.

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