Ron Rivera learned from John Madden to rely on “gut feeling”

Mike Florio
·2 min read

Some look at the decisions made by Washington coach Ron Rivera and regard them as inconsistent. Rivera understands that perception.

“It does look a little inconsistent, but the consistency is that I’m going to make them based on what I know, on my gut feeling on things,” Rivera said Thursday, via John Keim of ESPN.com. “Hopefully, they’re good decisions. If they’re not, we’ll know and I’ll take responsibility, that’s for doggone sure.”

He’s also willing to change the decisions he has made if/when he realizes that the decisions should be changed.

“That’s part of my prerogative as a head coach is that I can change my mind because if I’m wrong, I’ll admit it,” Rivera said. “That’s one thing I’ve told you guys is that I’ll take the responsibility because I’m the one making the decisions.”

Rivera explained, via Keim, that Hall of Fame head coach John Madden advised Rivera early in his career with the Panthers to rely on his instincts.

“I went back and looked at them and there were some decisions that, now, I wouldn’t have made,” Rivera said. “But I learned. Those are hard knocks. They were things that I had to get and understand and learn as a head coach. I think that’s part of what drives my decision-making now.”

In an age where analytics drive so many coaching decisions, it’s refreshing to see coaches who, after digesting all available information, rely on that little voice that usually guides them in the right direction.

As to Rivera’s current team, the chances of climbing into the race for the championship of the worst division in football arguably hinges on Rivera developing and trusting a gut feeling that his quarterback should be Alex Smith.

Ron Rivera learned from John Madden to rely on “gut feeling” originally appeared on Pro Football Talk