Former Commanders HC Ron Rivera still wants to coach

The Washington Commanders fired head coach Ron Rivera last week, one day after finishing 4-13. In his four years with Washington, Rivera had a record of 26-40-1.

After Washington moved on from Rivera, he released a statement thanking the organization, players and fans.

Over the past week, the Commanders have hired a new general manager, Adam Peters, and requested permission to speak to seven potential head coaching candidates to replace Rivera.

Rivera, 62, is thinking about his next move. He still wants to coach, and there are some opportunities available to him.

“I have several opportunities right now,” Rivera told John Keim of ESPN. “I just want to make sure it’s the right one.”

What are those opportunities?

Rivera said he would be fine going back to a defensive coordinator role, a job he hadn’t held in an official capacity since 2010 when he left the San Diego Chargers to become head coach of the Panthers.

When he fired defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio the day after a 45-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day, Rivera assumed control of the defense. It was a role he enjoyed.

“Sometimes you do have to take a step back,” Rivera said. “You take a step back you learn and grow from it. It’s like I told other players, if you look at this year as a lost year, you’re [hurting] yourself. You should look at it as a year to learn and understand why things happen. This was probably the greatest learning experience I’ve had in a while this year. I mean, a lot of things came to light at certain times this past season that I think going forward will really help me.”

This wasn’t the first time Rivera made these types of comments. Late in the 2023 season, Rivera told reporters he felt like he was finally coaching again after managing for 3.5 years.

The comments seemed curious at the time because when former owner Dan Snyder hired Rivera, he gave him complete control of all football operations. Rivera hired his own general manager but remained in control of all personnel decisions.

Of course, no one could’ve imagined what Rivera would go through during his four seasons as head coach. The team changed its name multiple times, and there were countless controversies regarding Snyder that predated Rivera’s tenure, which eventually led to the franchise being sold.

However, while Rivera showed good leadership in guiding the franchise through difficult times, his teams routinely struggled on the field, and his personnel decisions were even worse.

There are currently seven head coaching vacancies in the NFL, two of which are Rivera’s former teams, so you can rule out him landing in Carolina or Washington. Still that’s five teams that will need defensive coordinators, while other teams, such as the Jaguars and Giants, are looking for a new defensive boss.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire