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Is Washington Coach Ron Rivera Still The Right Fit?

After two lackluster seasons in Washington, Ron Rivera's optimism may be misplaced - The Washington Football Daily Blitz Podcast

The Washington Football Team has endured two losing seasons, uncertainty at the quarterback position, and a mess of on- and off-field issues since coach Ron Rivera arrived. Does one very brief playoff appearance make Rivera's time in Washington so far a success?Welcome to the Washington Football Daily Blitz by Washington Football on FanNation and DSP Media.

Granted, the off-field legal issues surrounding the team and owner Dan Snyder are not Rivera’s doing, and you'd be hard-pressed to find any coach, or human being, for that matter, to easily overcome the legacy that Snyder has cultivated within the organization. 

But some things are within Rivera's control. After Washington's 20-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, WFT is officially and mathematically eliminated from any postseason appearance.

Rivera and the team have endured somewhat of a roller-coaster ride of a season, starting slow, then coming out of its Week 9 bye winning four games in a row, then falling apart toward the end of the season amid a virus outbreak and injuries to key players.

The Week 1 loss of starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to a season-ending hip injury brought with it a slew of questions at that position, with no one on the roster with bonafide staring experience.

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Rivera was asked on Monday after the loss what the biggest challenge has been since he arrived two seasons ago, “Honestly, it just hasn’t been what’s been on the field but what's has been off the field, and that’s tough sometimes, too.”

Despite two losing seasons and higher expectations, Rivera says his plan for year three hasn't changed, and his optimism comes from his time as the coach of the Carolina Panthers.

Carolina went 6-10 and 7-9 in Rivera's first two seasons before making the jump to 12-4 in his third. He has gone 7-9 and 6-10 in Washington. One notable difference in his coaching stops is in Carolina he had an MVP quarterback in Cam Newton. Washington has started six different quarterbacks since Rivera arrived, and is still searching for that elusive franchise guy.

Washington still has one game remaining this season, against the New York Giants at MetLife Stasium on Sunday, and Rivera says the goal is to win the game and to further evaluate players.

Next season is Rivera’s third with the team, and if things continue to crumble in Washington, fingers will point at him and his process whether he believes in it or not.