ASHBURN, Va. — Coming off an undefeated preseason that included a historic victory over the Baltimore Ravens, Commanders head coach Ron Rivera says his team is ready for week one of the NFL season. In a wide-ranging conversation with WUSA9's Chick Hernandez, Rivera opened up about prior ownership and what comes next.
Rivera spoke about the new ownership taking over the team. He said he does not think about what the new ownership may mean for his job as head coach, given that he was hired under the previous owner Dan Snyder.
"I can only control what I can control, and that's what I'm doing. I'm doing the best I can. I like the things that we're doing. I like where we are as a football team, I like where we are as an organization," the coach said.
He said the chaos surrounding Snyder during his tenure as head coach was hard to keep out of the locker room, but he reminded his players to focus.
"Let's focus on what's important, not what's interesting," Rivera said he told the team. "For me, what's important is what we did on the football field. I understand how serious all the other things were and I get that part of it. I don't want to make light of it. But my focus on as the football coach was to represent the organization as best I could."
Now Rivera's focus is on a new chapter of Commanders football, along with Eric Bieniemy as offensive coordinator. Rivera faced some backlash from players about Bieniemy's vocal coaching style earlier this month. He said he was surprised by the response.
"I'm one of Eric's biggest advocates," Rivera said. "The thing that caught my attention with him more than anything else was how he paid attention to details. And the other thing was what he said during his first press conference, which was 'We need to learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable.' When he said that it really got me thinking about maybe I've gotten comfortable as a head coach."
The Commanders will kick off the regular season on Sept. 10 against the Arizona Cardinals. Each week, Chick will talk exclusively Rivera.