Redskins Hire Ron Rivera As HC

The Redskins didn’t let him get away. Washington will hire former Panthers HC Ron Rivera as its next head coach and will give him a five-year contract, per Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter). The hire will be announced tomorrow.

Washington fired former head coach Jay Gruden in October, which allowed owner Dan Snyder to get a jump on the hiring process. That may have been crucial, because when Rivera was let go by Carolina earlier this month, he immediately became one of the most qualified coaching candidates on the market, and he would have had other suitors, like the division-rival Cowboys and Giants. But Snyder, who perhaps realized that his silver tuna acquisition of Mike Tomlin was never going to happen, acted quickly to bring Rivera to Washington and keep him there.

Rivera, who played linebacker for the Bears from 1984-92 and who was a part of Chicago’s Super Bowl XX victory, became the team’s quality control coach in 1997. He paid his dues and moved up the coaching ranks, ultimately becoming the Bears’ defensive coordinator in 2004. But it was his stint as the Chargers’ defensive coordinator from 2008-10 that solidified him as one of the best defensive minds in the game, and he parlayed that status into a head coaching gig with the Panthers in 2011.

The Panthers never captured the Lombardi Trophy with Rivera, but he did get them to Super Bowl 50 at the end of the 2015 season, and he earned Coach of the Year honors that year. Including playoffs, Carolina went 79-67-1 with Rivera at the helm.

Although Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins may never be Cam Newton, Rivera obviously feels comfortable enough with the Ohio State product to accept the Washington job. Indeed, many believed it would be difficult for the Redskins to attract a top HC candidate, so it’s a good sign for Washington fans that Rivera apparently believes in the direction the team is heading. And now that Bruce Allen is out of the building and Rivera is in, perhaps the team can bring in a top exec as well (though Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets that the team may not complete its front office changes until after the draft).

As far as Rivera’s staff is concerned, there has been speculation linking his former defensive coordinator in Carolina, Steve Wilks, to the same job in Washington. Though Wilks is currently under contract with the Browns — and therefore in limbo — John Keim of says he will not be coming to Washington (Twitter link). Indeed, Adam Schefter of tweets that Rivera is targeting former Jaguars and Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio as his defensive coordinator, which could make for a very strong staff in the nation’s capital. Schefter says Del Rio is the leading candidate for the job.

Joe Person of The Athletic says (via Twitter) that Eric Washington and Sam Mills III could be other names to watch for the DC job, and La Canfora says Rivera is likely to retain offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell.

The hire has been well-received, and given the way Snyder handled the Rivera hire and the Allen dismissal, perhaps Redskins fans can feel a bit of optimism heading into the new year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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17 comments on “Redskins Hire Ron Rivera As HC

  1. goldenmisfit

    In my opinion this is a real head scratcher. He is going to probably have absolutely no say in the shaping of the roster he could have ended up in New York or Dallas with rosters who are far superior to the Redskins. On top of all of that he is now working for an owner who has always had a very itchy trigger finger when it comes to firing head coaches. This may very well be the worst decision in Ron Rivera his professional career and in my opinion he will be regretting this by week eight of next season.

    • hammer_time24

      I understand that the Redskins are terrible, but how do the Giants have a far better roster? They aren’t any good either, and have holes everywhere.

      • bowserhound

        Barkley alone makes the Giants roster better than DC. Jones looked better than Haskins the majority of the time as well. Both teams need serious help.

    • amk3510

      The amount of “why would Ron Rivera go to the Redskins” comments is comical. First off the fact they are hiring him before the GM says he will have a major say on the roster. They have a decent amount of young talent and really dont have a bad roster. They were 6-3 last year before Alex Smith had the horrific injury. If Haskins is the real deal they will be a contender in 2021.

    • crazylarry

      Why would he want to go to the Giants?? That is laughable. Gutterman has no clue and will be out next year. Jerra has to have all the attention and make all the decisions in Dallas why would a real man ever want to work for him? Washington and I am no fan would be the best of the 3. Maybe Snyder has finally figured it out by getting rid of Bruce Allen.

  2. itslonelyatthetrop

    This will be the first HC without Bruce Allen’s interference in a while. He’s a good coach. This is a positive hire. Curious as to who the OC will be.

    • AssumesFactNotInEvidence

      From the article, “…La Canfora says Rivera is likely to retain offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell.”

      • vacommish

        I think that’s a great move. I’d like to see Callahan stay as offensive line coach as well.

  3. mb82348

    I agree HT24….I think we have a lot of good pieces on both sides of the ball, and the injury bug has bit us in the ass 2 straight years. Rivera is a defensive minded coach, and I think that will help the Skins in the long run. I hope he keeps Callahan and O’Donnell, but we really need to get a good defensive coordinator. Too many times we looked confused on our defensive alignment, and as a result, people weren’t in the right position. I understand that Trent Williams might consider coming back now that Allen is gone We will see. Also, don’t count out Alex Smith, for he is determined to get back on the field…..HTTR

  4. snotrocket

    They must have given him a high dollar contract. That is the only thing that explains not interviewing anywhere else.

    • itslonelyatthetrop

      Not necessarily. Rivera has been jerked around and had his leg pulled by too many NFL teams who just interviewed him to satisfy the Rooney Rule. Here’s a team that says, “No second interview. No other candidates. We want YOU.” No Bruce Allen to meddle, either.

      And I’m sure the $ is good, too.

  5. Why hate on Haskins? He looked really good without much help on offense for most of his PT this year. I know you guys don’t love the Redskins burt come on, “may not be able to attract top coaching candidates”? They have a ton to be excited about, potentially including Chase Young.

  6. badco44

    Skins skilled positions are very weak, they need to trade back in the draft and up the O line especially

  7. JJB0811

    I don’t have a problem w/ the hire, but you figure, they at least meet w/ a few other canidates.

  8. bradthebluefish

    Still shocked to see Jack Del Rio out on the market. He’d still be coaching the Raiders if it weren’t for the surprise hiring of Jon Gruden.

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