Rivera insists he's as upset about the Commanders as fans are originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The mood surrounding the 2022 Commanders has soured greatly since a season-opening victory over the Jaguars, and on Monday, Ron Rivera insisted that he grasps why fans of the franchise are so upset with its current standing.
“I understand everybody’s frustration, especially how proud this organization is,” Rivera said in a Zoom presser one day after Washington’s loss in Dallas, which marked the club’s third-straight. “[Expletive], this organization’s got five championships. Are you [expletive] kidding me? I get it. I understand how important it is to win.”
Despite that assertion, Rivera again asked for patience as he attempts to steer the Commanders toward reputability.
“I understand the history, what’s gone on here for a while and we’re trying to change that,” the coach explained. “It’s not going happen overnight and it’s not going be easy. If anyone thought it would be easy, they’re crazy. I tried to get that across last season.”
Ahead of this campaign, Rivera mentioned on multiple occasions how this year, his third on the job, would be where the squad would noticeably improve. In both 2020 and 2021, Washington finished with seven wins apiece under Rivera’s leadership.
So far, that promised progress is nowhere to be found.
Carson Wentz’s impact on the offense has been more negative than positive overall, while the offensive line that’s charged with protecting him is routinely failing at that task.
The defense, meanwhile, has steadied itself after a troubling Week 2 showing in Detroit, yet the unit still has generated only one takeaway and remains quite friendly in terms of allowing chunk yardage.
Then there are the injuries, which have already affected the center position and the secondary and perhaps could limit wideout Jahan Dotson (hamstring) in the near future.
“When you start seeing some steps go forward and then all of the sudden you go backwards, that is a tough pill to swallow,” Rivera said about the lineup shuffling. “You feel good, potentially, about what could be headed in the right direction, and then something comes up.”
Sketchy quarterbacking, weak blocking and depth chart rotations will inevitably harm any NFL operation. However, Rivera has bemoaned these problems during his previous two seasons with the team, and hearing him point to those factors once more will surely agitate a portion of the Commanders’ supporters.
“We’re going to continue to work hard and continue to try and mature and grow,” Rivera said. “This is going to take time. It’s a process.
“Just understand, we understand it,” he added, talking to the fans. “We get it.”
On one hand, it was refreshing that the usually-measured Rivera upped his passion in the presser and acknowledged the “sense of urgency” he’s feeling. Three of the four members of the NFC East are well above .500; the only group who isn’t belongs to Rivera.
Having established that, Rivera’s choice to restate the difficulty of transforming Washington’s fortunes was an interesting one, considering he’s been attempting to do so since 2020 but appears no closer to truly pulling it off.
“I understand how important is to win but I have to be realistic with what we have and what we’re going to do,” Rivera said.
Should 2022 stay on its present trajectory, that notion of being realistic about what’s ultimately possible may extend to Rivera’s status as the Commanders’ primary decision-maker.