Rivera Will Have "Significant Influence" On Redskins' Front Office
The Redskins have reached a five-year deal with Ron Rivera to become their new coach, and he likely will have a "significant influence" on who the main decision-maker is in the front office after Monday's firing of Bruce Allen, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Rivera, who will be formally introduced as early as Wednesday, had dinner Monday night with Redskins Owner Dan Snyder to make sure the relationship was "going to work." Whoever replaces Allen will be someone that Rivera "appreciates and likes and can work with." NFL Network's Peter Schrager notes Rivera "likes the fact that he can build his organization his way and bring the Redskins back to prominence" ("Good Morning Football," NFL Network, 12/31). In DC, Matthew Paras notes the Redskins "acted fast" in their pursuit of Rivera, and Snyder reportedly will give him a "significant say over personnel decisions" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 12/31). SI's Albert Breer notes Snyder handled the hiring of Rivera "really well." He "quietly assembled a group of football people to handle the search (and) re-configure his football operation," and "very little got out." That allowed the Redskins to get a "leg up to get a top coach in" (TWITTER.com, 12/31).
ENTERING A BRAVE NEW WORLD: In DC, Adam Kilgore notes Rivera, who was a two-time Coach of the Year during his nearly nine-year tenure with the Panthers, is "one of the most respected figures in the NFL." However, he has "not confronted a situation" like the Redskins in his career (WASHINGTON POST, 12/31). Also in DC, Thom Loverro writes, "Any reasonable person would have to have their memory banks wiped clean to believe that hiring Rivera will then translate to the respect and results that Snyder has futilely searched for during his ownership. Redskins Park is the elephant graveyard of the NFL, where careers go to die" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 12/31).
VIEW FROM THE TOP: ESPN.com's Keim & Reid cited sources as saying that Snyder "will still be involved" in personnel following Rivera's hiring. One source said that Snyder's input "often came through 'backdoor ways,' funneled through others in charge, such as Allen." But sources also said that Snyder "would stay away from roster decisions more than in the past" (ESPN.com, 12/30). In DC, Barry Svrluga notes Allen provided Snyder "some measure of cover" during his decade-long tenure. Svrluga: "It's folly, of course, to expect Snyder to remove himself from the core processes of his business, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't beat the drum." Snyder "must acknowledge -- if not publicly, then at least to himself -- that he has overseen all the decisions that led not only to the futility of Allen's tenure, but to the futility of his ownership." Svrluga: "There's one common element in all the emptiness, one parking spot that has remained the same in Ashburn for 20 years: the one that's marked 'Mr. Snyder'" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/31).
MIRROR MIRROR: In DC, Ryan Homler noted the Redskins on Monday also "let go of head athletic trainer Larry Hess." Hess, who held his position for the last 17 seasons, "may not be on the same level as Allen, but the decision to not have him return marks another notable move by the Redskins." While Hess has been a "stable face in his position for almost two decades, Washington has had a well-documented struggle with injuries and the health of players" (NBCSPORTSWASHINGTON.com, 12/30). Also in DC, Allen & Fischer-Baum note the Redskins' 3-13 campaign this season dropped the team's all-time regular season record to 603-603-28 over 88 years. It is the "first time the franchise hasn't been above .500" since the end of the '75 season (WASHINGTON POST, 12/31).