May 24, 2024

The Washington Commanders are placing the ultimate touches on preparations for Sunday’s divisional sport in opposition to the Dallas Cowboys. 

The Commanders have already been eradicated from playoff competition, however the sport probably nonetheless carries significance for fourth-year Washington coach Ron Rivera.

After a nine-year run with the Carolina Panthers, Rivera took over as head coach in Washington in 2020. 

The workforce managed to win the NFC East division in Rivera’s first 12 months regardless of ending the 12 months with a 7-9 document.

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Head coach Ron Rivera of the Washington Commanders through the second half of a sport in opposition to the Miami Dolphins at FedEx Subject Dec. 3, 2023, in Landover, Md. (Patrick Smith/Getty Photos)

Billionaire Josh Harris took over because the franchise’s controlling proprietor earlier than the 2023 season started, and the workforce’s lack of success over the previous 4 years has fueled hypothesis Rivera will probably not be retained.

Controversial former workforce proprietor Daniel Snyder employed Martin Mayhew as the final manger in 2021 however allowed Rivera to have remaining say on soccer issues. On Friday, Rivera acknowledged Harris plans to separate the final supervisor and training duties, with a contemporary begin coming for the group within the subsequent few weeks.

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“It’ll be separate, and that, I believe, goes to be actually good,” Rivera mentioned after operating his remaining observe of the 12 months and, probably, his NFL profession.

The revered teaching veteran, who turns 62 Sunday and may very well be dismissed as early as Monday morning, had largely been reluctant to speak about his tenure in Washington. He acquired wrapped up within the day-to-day teaching that ramped up after Thanksgiving when he fired defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio and began calling the defensive performs.

Head coach Ron Rivera of the Washington Commanders talks with referee Invoice Vinovich (52) previous to a sport in opposition to the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium Nov. 23, 2023, in Arlington, Texas.  (Kevin Sabitus/Getty Photos)

Being again within the thick of teaching after 3½ years of what he referred to as “managing” gave Rivera a thrill and reminded him how a lot he missed a hands-on method.

“I had sure duties earlier than that — you get pulled away from sure issues,” Rivera mentioned. “You bought to take care of sure issues. You bought to answer sure issues. You bought to appropriate or arrange. So, that was totally different. However being in the midst of it now, yeah, that’s form of cool.”

The Commanders have dropped seven consecutive video games. However workforce leaders by no means sensed something from Rivera about giving up on a misplaced season, even figuring out it was unlikely he would return.

Jack Del Rio and Ron Rivera on the sideline

Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio and head coach Ron Rivera of the Washington Commanders in opposition to the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Monetary Subject Oct. 1, 2023, in Philadelphia.  (Mitchell Leff/Getty Photos)

“He’s been very encouraging of us,” prime vast receiver Terry McLaurin mentioned. “He hasn’t actually come down with a foul demeanor or a ‘woe is me’ angle due to our season. I believe everyone knows we’ve had a hand in the place we’re at, however he’s simply saved issues constant for us.”

First-year Commanders offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy has adopted an analogous method of digging into his job and never addressing his unsure future. 

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After arriving in Washington to indicate what he may do with out Kansas Metropolis Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and two-time NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes, Bieniemy seems to be in no man’s land. Regardless of his success in Kansas Metropolis, Bieniemy has but to land a head teaching job within the NFL.

“The one factor I can fear about and management is right this moment,” Bieniemy mentioned Thursday. “You may solely dwell on this specific second. You may’t fear about tomorrow. You may care for tomorrow when tomorrow will get right here.”

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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