Ron Rivera is getting ready to oversee his first draft as head coach of the Washington Redskins. From his new home in Virginia, he held a news conference Tuesday on what to expect.
Rivera didn’t even have a TV hooked up until Monday. He had his laptop, iPad and game film to watch.
This year’s draft is going to be virtual because teams are locked out of facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tuesday was supposed to be the day that new coaches would get together with teams for the first time. Nobody knows when that will happen now. But Rivera is prepared for it, having experienced something similar.
“Nine years ago I went through the same thing with the lockout, in terms of not getting to work with guys,” he said. “It is a whole different set of circumstances in this world right now, and we have a whole new normal. But just having gone through it at one point in time and just kind of saying, ‘OK, at least the one thing we’re going to be able to do once we get the clearance from the League and from the NFLPA, we’ll be able to start working with our players virtually.”
Rivera knows that he can’t control when it will happen, but when it does, he knows what needs to be done.
“The biggest thing is to just be ready when the time comes to get back on the field with them,” he said. “If it’s some time in late May or June or heck, not until training camp and whenever that is. I’m not overly concerned because I’ve gone through it.”
As far as the draft is concerned, the Redskins have the No. 2 overall pick.
There are lots of scenarios that could happen when the Redskins are back on the clock, but Rivera is pretty confident in what he wants to do.
“I’d like to believe in the back of my mind I know what we want to do,” he said. “But you’ve got to go through the process.”
Rivera does not sound like a coach who is ready to trade down in the draft and collect draft picks. Many expect the Redskins to draft Ohio State standout Chase Young at No. 2.
“If you’re going to make a trade and you’re going to go back, that guy that you’re going to take at that spot has to make the kind of impact you need to validate missing an opportunity to take a player that’s a high-impact guy,” Rivera said.
“In other words, if you’re going to pass up player A, and you go back and you take player D, player D has to be equal to player A, because if player A is going to play for you for 10 years, and player D might not, did you really get value or did you just get a whole bunch of picks?”
Rivera also talked about the quarterback situation. He traded for Kyle Allen, a player he coached last year in North Carolina who eventually took over for Cam Newton at quarterback. Meanwhile, Dwayne Haskins enters his second season with the Redskins and is thought to be the future. How will both handle the competition?
“I think it will be a good competition, I really do, mostly because having been around Kyle for two seasons, I’ve kind of watched him interact with the quarterbacks that were in the room,” Rivera said. “What he’s really concerned about is doing the best job he can and if he ends up starting and being the guy, great, he’ll be fired up about it. And if he’s not, he’s in the backup role, he’ll be fired up about that, as well.”