Ron Rivera says he’s ‘managed for about 3.5 years’ and coached the last ‘5 weeks’

The Washington Commanders will wrap up the 2023 NFL season against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Washington has lost seven consecutive games and is a 13-point underdog at home against the division-leading Cowboys.

For much of this week, head coach Ron Rivera has spoken to the media, but there hasn’t been a lot of talk about Sunday’s game. Instead, Rivera has been asked about his future. Does he still want to coach? What is most proud of after four seasons in Washington?

This Sunday is expected to be Rivera’s last game as Washington’s head coach. New owner Josh Harris will likely fire Rivera and his staff while also making sweeping front-office changes. Rivera has also been the top football decision-maker over the past four seasons.

Rivera spoke to the local media on Friday for what will likely be the next-to-last time. He will do the postgame press conference after Sunday’s game. During Friday’s media session, much of the talk continued to focus on his time in Washington — and not Sunday’s game.

One of Rivera’s most interesting answers came when he was asked if he still enjoyed coaching.

“You know, it’s interesting, and I don’t know if people will agree with me or believe in what I’m saying, but to hell with that,” Rivera said. “I managed for about three and a half years while I was here. I managed probably the last five weeks I’ve coached; getting back and doing the defensive coordinator stuff was a thrill.”

That’s a true answer, but there are problems here. Rivera is correct when he said he has done a lot of managing over his time in Washington. What he’s had to deal with is no secret, primarily due to former owner Dan Snyder. Let’s not forget Rivera battled cancer in 2020 and never missed a game.

But isn’t that what he signed up for? Didn’t he demand full power? Sure, he may have never seen all of the off-field stuff coming. Who could have? However, his fingerprints are on everything. There’s no more blaming Snyder. How about all of those failed draft picks? How about all of those bad free-agent signings?

“There’s some really fond memories I’ll have of it,” Rivera said of the coaching aspect. “See, now I’m reflecting. There really are. And we’ll see what happens. I mean, nobody knows what’s going to happen. All I know is we play on Sunday. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to go out there and play, see what happens. Somebody asked me earlier today, “How do you get motivated for this game?” I said, “Hell, it’s Dallas. How do you not get motivated?” So that’s kind of the cool deal for me. But, like I said, the last five weeks have been fun. They really have. Doing the things that we’ve done and, playing certain things, and working with guys, that’s what coaching is about to me. And then watching some of the growth.”

Rivera then mentioned seeing the development of young players, such as defensive back Quan Martin and guard Sam Cosmi.

Later, Rivera was asked if he would have preferred it if there had been more separation between the management and coaching sides.

“Well, if I knew all that, [laughs] in hindsight, yeah, absolutely,” he said. “I didn’t want that pressure. I mean, it’s one thing to think, okay, yeah, great, but then once you actually go through it, it was a lot.”

Again, this is what Rivera signed up for.

Regarding his coaching comment, Washington has lost all five of those games.

No one is piling on Rivera. There are things he’s done that have helped the organization. While the on-field product may be no better than when he inherited the roster in 2020, the organization is in a much better place. Obviously, Snyder’s departure is the primary reason, but Rivera’s leadership was critical. He did do a good job of shielding players from the continued controversies.

His comments on Friday will have many rolling their eyes, and for good reason. It’s hard to sympathize with Rivera due to the on-field results. It sounds like excuses to those on the outside.

Fans are ready for a change. Players are ready for change. Heck, Rivera is ready for a change.

On Monday, for the first time in over 20 years, the Washington organization will undergo massive — and much-needed — change.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire