“I know expectations will be high.” Ron Rivera talks about game against Giants, and the offseason before his third year as Head Coach


ASHBURN, Va. (WDVM) – With a 20-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, the Washington Football Team are officially out of the playoff race. Despite having one game left on their season, next Sunday against the New York Giants, Head Coach Ron Rivera spoke with the media on Monday about some of the expectations, and hopes ahead of the offseason entering his third year as the Head Coach.

Rivera did confirm that Taylor Heinicke will be the starter for the team next Sunday against the Giants, and the team will prepare to compete to win next Sunday.

“We want to try and go out and set a tone early on and see what happens. But at some point, just understand, we’d like to see some guys and if there’s guys that you want to see specifically, make sure we plan that out and we map it out, we go out and do it.” said Rivera, when asked about testing the team’s depth on Sunday, “I mean you want to go out and win, you really do. And you want to play to win, but you also want to play for the future. So, we are going to set ourselves up, you know, see what happens and try and set some sort of tone and temple early on, and then we’ll go from there.”

Rivera took time to touch on the challenges he’s dealt with this season, between injuries, and COVID-related issues that have plagued the team in the last half of their season, and spoke on some of the early mistakes that cost them a four-game losing streak early.

But through the challenges, Rivera said the expectations for him, and his team should be high entering his third season as Head Coach.

“At the end of the day, we have some holes that we want to fill. We have some players we wanna make sure these are the right kind of guys that are gonna be out on the football field. That’s all part of the process that I believe in.” said Rivera, “And I know. Believe me, I didn’t come here thinking that it’s gonna be an easy turnaround. Those first two years are gonna be great. I think we out did the expectations our first year. I thought coming into the second year, I said to you guys, that there’s certain things that I was still concerned with.”

In his first two seasons with the Carolina Panthers, which Rivera drew on as an example when asked if he was optimistic about where he was after Year 2, the team finished 13-19, before breaking out for a 12-4 record in his third season. The notable difference between his situation with Carolina, and Washington, would be then 3rd-year quarterback Cam Newton.

“Now going in the third year, I’d like to believe that we’ve taken some big steps.” said Rivera, “There are some things that we wanna do in free agency, some things we wanna do in the Draft I think that can help us. We’ll see. We’ll see where everything falls into place.”

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