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#pounditMonday, January 18, 2021

Articles tagged: Ron Rivera

Ron Rivera admits he was ‘surprised’ Tom Brady left Patriots

Tom Brady Bucs

Tom Brady’s own father said years ago that he did not believe things would end well for his son in New England, but plenty of people were still shocked when Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Washington head coach Ron Rivera was among those who did not see it coming.

Rivera, who is preparing his team to take on the Bucs in the first round of the playoffs on Saturday, told reporters this week that he didn’t believe the talk of Brady leaving New England until it actually happened.

“I really was surprised that he did leave,” Rivera said, via Ethan Cadeaux of NBC 4 in Washington. “I was one of those that really did think he wouldn’t leave.”

Rivera certainly was not alone. Many assumed Patriots owner Robert Kraft would step in if Bill Belichick ever wanted to move on from Brady, but the relationship had obviously run its course. Brady looked like he may have been nearing the end of his career with the way he struggled in New England last year, but he then threw 40 touchdown passes this season with a better supporting cast.

As far as Rivera is concerned, Brady does not look his age.

“I didn’t realize he was 43 because I’ll tell you, he throws the ball like he’s 23,” Rivera said. “He really does. He’s got the arm strength. He delivers a good ball. He’s still who he is. That’s the scary part. He may be that age, but he sure doesn’t play like it.”

There’s virtually no chance Washington will underestimate Brady, which makes sense considering Brady is a six-time Super Bowl champion. The media has made a big deal out of the way Chase Young called out Brady, but the rookie explained his motivation for that on Wednesday.

With the Patriots struggling in 2020 and missing the playoffs, it certainly looks like Brady made the right choice leaving.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have teamed up yet again! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Tampa Fiesta shirt. You can buy it here.

Ron Rivera shares thoughts on Eagles seemingly laying down for Washington

Ron Rivera

The Philadelphia Eagles made a mind-blowing decision to play Nate Sudfeld over Jalen Hurts late in their loss to Washington on Sunday night, but Ron Rivera rejects the idea that his team got a free pass into the postseason.

Rivera was asked on Monday about Eagles head coach Doug Pederson pulling Hurts with Philly trailing 17-14 late in the second half. He defended Washington’s road to the playoffs and said he’ll never “apologize” for winning a game. Rivera also mentioned how the Cleveland Browns clinched a postseason berth against a Pittsburgh Steelers team that rested several starters.

“I’m not going to apologize for winning … Nobody complained when Pittsburgh did what they did against Cleveland,” Rivera said, via ESPN’s John Keim. “We got in the playoffs. You apologize for losing in the playoffs, but you don’t apologize for getting in. it was a hard road for us.”

Rivera is right. It’s fair to wonder what Pederson was thinking, as he claims he was “coaching to win.” Bringing in Sudfeld and leaving him in when he struggled is not coaching to win, and Pederson knows it. That doesn’t mean Washington had control over any of that.

Rivera’s story is easily one of the most remarkable of the 2020 NFL season. He battled cancer during the year and was visibly struggling to get through some games. He should feel a great sense of pride about leading his team to the playoffs no matter which quarterback was under center for the Eagles.

Ron Rivera has to change his routine for Sunday night game

Ron Rivera

Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera has an added challenge when it comes to preparing for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Washington can win the NFC East with a victor. The high stakes led to the game being shifted to “Sunday Night Football.” That presents a challenge for Rivera, who still suffers from fatigue after concluding cancer treatment in October. Rivera admitted that the 8:20 p.m. ET start time represents when he’d usually be getting ready for bed, so he’s making adjustments to be able to coach.

“I will have a nap during the day, take a break in between just looking at some game plan stuff and tape. I’ll take a break and try to get a little bit more rest,” Rivera said Thursday, via Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post. “It was interesting because the Pittsburgh game, I had a little bit of that too going on and I was able to take a nap at the stadium. I just got to pay attention to that and make sure I’m taking advantage of the opportunity to rest.”

Rivera concluded treatment for lymph node cancer in October, and commemorated it with this great tweet. He’s still dealing with the residual effects, though. They make his job a little more complicated, but he’s got a plan to deal with it.

Ron Rivera shares thoughts on cutting Dwayne Haskins

Ron Rivera

Washington owner Daniel Snyder assured Ron Rivera that he would have roster control when Rivera accepted the team’s head coaching job last offseason, and it does not sound like that agreement was breached with the Dwayne Haskins situation.

Rivera told reporters on Wednesday that he is the one who made the decision to waive Haskins this week. He said Snyder was supportive of the move.

“I felt it was time to make the move. I made the decision,” Rivera said, per Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post. “I informed the owner of my decision. He was supportive and it was just something I felt we had to do. It was something I felt was in the best interest of both parties.”

One report claimed Rivera wanted to release Haskins last week but was talked out of it by Doug Williams, Washington’s senior vice president of player development. Williams denied that, and it sounds unlikely that Rivera would have been forced into keeping a player in his first season on the job.

Haskins was benched multiple times this season for his poor play. The former first-round pick was also stripped of his captain role recently for violating COVID-19 protocols by attending a party maskless.

Rivera may have ultimately made the decision, but there can’t have been much opposition. We learned on Tuesday that Haskins’ behavior was part of a troubling pattern.

Ron Rivera has high praise for benched Dwayne Haskins

Dwayne Haskins

Dwayne Haskins fell out of favor with Washington’s coaching staff earlier in the season, but that does not mean he has lost the respect of head coach Ron Rivera.

Rivera was asked about Haskins on Friday, and he had nothing but positive things to say about the former Ohio State star. Rivera said he has been pleased with the progress Haskins has shown since he was benched earlier in the year.

“(He’s) really grown in the last month in terms of the things we talked about wanting to see him understand,” River said, according to ESPN’s John Keim. “The young man is a talent and he’s learning the rest of it. I like what he’s doing on the field.”

It’s noteworthy that Rivera said he likes what Haskins is doing on the field. Carrying yourself like a professional and performing well in practice are two separate things, and it sounds like Rivera has been impressed with Haskins’ play.

Haskins entered the season as Washington’s starter but fell to third on the depth chart behind both Alex Smith and Kyle Allen. There have been some questions about his priorities and focus, but a clip from Sunday’s game that went viral (see it here) appeared to show Haskins is committed to being a great teammate. Couple that with Rivera’s comments and it sounds like the former No. 15 overall pick is handling a tough situation quite well.

Ron Rivera says Washington’s trick play inspired by ‘Little Giants’

Ron Rivera

The Washington Football Team ran a fumblerooski to perfection during Thursday’s win over the Dallas Cowboys, and Ron Rivera says the creative play was inspired by a children’s movie.

In the second quarter of the game, Washington ran the trick play and picked up a first down in the red zone.

After the team’s 41-16 win, Rivera said he got the trick play from the movie “Little Giants.” In that movie, the Giants use a trick play in their game against the Cowboys that they called “The Annexation of Puerto Rico,” which is a fumblerooski play.

What’s incredible is that Rivera also ran the play in 2011 and attributed it to “Little Giants.”

The Annexation of Puerto Rico has been very very good to Rivera.

Ron Rivera makes funny Mike McCarthy joke at press conference

Ron Rivera

Ron Rivera cracked a funny joke with an allusion to Mike McCarthy on Tuesday.

Rivera was asked if there is anything Washington can do in order to start off faster in games. His suggestion involved bringing a sledgehammer to smash some pumpkins.

What does that have to do with McCarthy? Well, the Dallas Cowboys head coach used a sledgehammer to smash something the day before the team’s Week 11 win. The tactic may have helped his team get a win over Minnesota.

Washington beat Cincinnati 20-9 in Week 11, but they were down 9-7 at the half before outscoring the Bengals 13-0 in the second half.

The Philadelphia Eagles lead the NFC East with a 3-6-1 record. The other three teams — Dallas, Washington and the New York Giants — are all 3-7.

Ron Rivera sends great tweet after finishing cancer treatment

Ron Rivera

The Washington Football Team came away with a huge win on Sunday when they dominated the Dallas Cowboys, but head coach Ron Rivera had a much bigger victory on Monday morning. Rivera completed his final cancer treatment, and he is understandably excited about it.

Rivera has been undergoing treatment for lymph node cancer. His last treatment was Monday, and the coach decided to get in on the “How it Started vs. How it’s Going” social media trend with an awesome tweet.

The photo on the left shows Rivera earlier on in his treatment, and you can see he looks exhausted. The photo on the right was taken on Monday morning, when Rivera got to ring the bell that symbolizes his treatment program has been completed.

Washington also shared a heartwarming video of Rivera receiving a round of applause as he exited the treatment center.

Rivera has received IV treatments during games this season and was visibly struggling to get through a few contests, according to reporters. He recently described his battle with cancer as having a 300-pound gorilla on his back and said he is usually exhausted by about 5 p.m.

Hopefully, Rivera will start to feel a lot better now.

Washington shares awesome video from Ron Rivera’s final cancer treatment

Ron Rivera

Ron Rivera reached a major milestone with his cancer treatment on Monday, and the Washington Football Team documented some of it for those who have been following the coach’s journey.

Washington shared a video on Twitter Monday morning that was captioned “It’s a different kind of Victory Monday.” The clip showed Rivera walking out of his final treatment with people cheering him on wearing “Rivera Strong” shirts. The head coach then got to ring the bell that symbolizes that his treatment is complete.

Rivera has received IV treatments during games this season and was visibly struggling to get through a few contests, according to reporters. He recently described his battle with cancer as having a 300-pound gorilla on his back and said he is usually exhausted by about 5 p.m.

Being the head coach of an NFL team is a taxing job to begin with, let alone trying to fulfill all of those responsibilities while battling cancer. Here’s hoping Rivera continues to make positive strides.

Ron Rivera apologized to Mike McCarthy over Jon Bostic hit

Ron Rivera

Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera is trying to make things right after Jon Bostic’s ugly hit on Dallas quarterback Andy Dalton on Sunday.

Rivera told Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk that he reached out to Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy to apologize for Bostic’s hit. He also chastised Bostic in private.

You can see the hit by clicking here. It was unnecessary and dirty, and Bostic was ejected for it. The linebacker will likely face more discipline from the league as well.

Rivera is a class act, and he did the right thing by apologizing to McCarthy. The Cowboys coach will have other concerns as well, but Rivera has done all he can.