Ron Rivera defends his decision to bench Dwayne Haskins

Ethan Cadeaux
·3 min read

Ron Rivera defends his decision to bench Dwayne Haskins originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Ron Rivera knew exactly what to expect when he addressed reporters on Wednesday afternoon.

Earlier in the day, news broke that the Washington Football Team head coach made the decision to bench second-year QB Dwayne Haskins in favor of third-year veteran Kyle Allen. The decision came with several questions, ones Rivera knew he would be asked during his podium session.

After approximately 10 minutes of explaining the decision in a variety of ways, Rivera was asked how he can prevent Haskins from losing his confidence when the head coach ultimately doesn't think the second-year QB gives the team the best chance to win.

That's when Rivera sounded off.

"Is he? Is he based on his last three games?" Rivera said, asking if Haskins truly does give Washington the best chance to win.

"That's what I'm looking at. I've looked at what's happened," Rivera said. "It's funny because everything I've seen and what I've been told is him not doing this, him not doing this, him not doing this. Now, I've decided to do this, and 'wow.'"

Rivera wasn't done there.

"I think our best chance to win is putting the ball in somebody else's hands," Rivera said. "I think our best chance to have things done in our offense is in somebody else's hands. That's what I'm doing. I'm doing that based on what I've seen. I just think right now, this is the decision I'm making."

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Throughout his press conference, Rivera said that Allen's benefit of knowing offensive coordinator Scott Turner's system was a major reason the coach ultimately decided to make the change. Allen has played under Turner the past two years in Carolina, starting 13 games over that span.

Through four weeks, Rivera just didn't see enough growth from Haskins to feel he could continue playing him. Washington sits at 1-3, but thanks to a lousy division, they are right in the thick of things for a playoff berth.

With four NFC clashes coming up and three divisional games in that stretch, the head coach felt he needed to make the switch to someone who knows the system best to try and stack some wins together.

"I'd be stupid not to give it a shot," Rivera said.

Rivera knows his decision to send Haskins to the bench comes with question marks. But through his answers throughout the podium session, it's clear he doesn't care what outsiders have to say about the move.

"I'm doing that based on what I've seen. I just think right now, this is the decision I'm making," Rivera said. "I could be wrong. Or I could be right. We'll see. That's why we play the games. That's why we show up on Sunday, to see what happens. That's all we're going to do."