WASHINGTON — After all the changes to the organization from ownership on down, even after 13 years as a head coach, Ron Rivera told me in our weekly exclusive chat, that this Sunday when the Washington Commanders host Arizona, it could mean more than most.
“I’m fired up because listening to what Mr. Harris and the ownership group had said, it’s their job to get the fans back in the stands, it’s our job to keep them," he said. “If this is anything like when I played here in 1984, this is amazing.”
Arizona hasn’t named their starting quarterback, it’s either Josh Dobbs or Clayton Tune, with regular starter Kyler Murray on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.
“We’re going to prepare for what we’ve seen them do," Rivera explained when asked how they plan to defend against the relative unknown. "We’re going to prepare what we’ve seen their coordinator do when he was in Cleveland.”
In the meantime, Rivera hasn’t revealed the injury status of Chase Young or Terry McLaurin yet either, admitting gamesmanship on his part too.
Although Sam Howell has thrown only 56 career passes including this preseason, Rivera says despite that lack of experience, he's earned the starting quarterback job.
“Just his progressive growth, he seems to get to get to a certain level and take another step, he can self-correct, that’s the other thing that’s really good.”
Washington begins the post-Dan Snyder era on Sunday, September 10 at FedEx Field. Kickoff is 1 p.m.