Welcome to Redskins’ Culture, Ron Rivera
Wow, what a week this has already been for the Washington Redskins and their fans!
Monday began with news breaking that Redskins’ cornerback Quinton Dunbar declared he was not going to participate in the Redskins Organized Team Activities (OTA).
Speculation quickly arose on Twitter and among Redskins fans that the terrible and sudden injury to teammate Reuben Foster in the first minutes of last season’s OTA’s was the reason behind the move by Dunbar.
Dunbar, who had become a favorite among fans, was a Cinderella story of sorts.
An undrafted wide receiver out of Florida, he came to the Redskins training camp only to find the Redskins loaded at the position with DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Jamison Crowder, Ryan Grant, Andre Roberts and Rashad Ross.
Noticing Dunbar’s athleticism and work ethic, Dunbar was relocated to cornerback.
Playing special teams and gaining increasing workloads at cornerback, Dunbar signed a 10.5 million dollar deal for the 2018 through 2020 seasons.
Tuesday we learned this was concerning much more than merely OTA’s participation, when it was reported that Dunbar had himself declared he had requested a trade from the Redskins.
“I don’t know them and they don’t know me. It is what it is,” declared Dunbar.
Dunbar closed with saying he wanted to play for a team that will commit long-term—ouch.
106.7 the Fan host Chad Dukes had an epic rant as a result, Tuesday.
I laughed and laughed listening to Dukes, not knowing what to take as shtick and what might be how he actually felt.
When listening to some callers and reading some Twitter after work Tuesday night, I realized if Dukes didn’t actually feel that strongly, certainly many fans do.
Dunbar realized early in his first training camp, he would not make it as a receiver, and if he was going to make it in the NFL, he would have to humble himself, learn an entirely new position and that is what he has done so well.
I love and respect Quinton Dunbar for his hard work and accomplishments.
Yet, in his five seasons with the Redskins, Dunbar has started only 25 of 58 games.
In Dunbar’s defense, he has started 17 games the last two seasons.
Yet, it remains just as true that due to injuries, Dunbar has still managed to not play in nearly half the games (14 of 32) the last two seasons.
Was Dunbar being given bad advice from those closest to him?
Perhaps was this originating from Dunbar’s agent?
Later Tuesday we learned Ron Rivera and Left Tackle Trent Williams had experienced a positive conversation.
Williams entering the last year of his contract, sat out the 2019 season in a dispute with the Redskins in general and Bruce Allen in particular.
Will Williams be traded?
What sense would it make to simply keep Williams around for this one last year of his contract and then allow him to go the route of NFL Free Agency?
Wednesday brought news that former Redskins tight end and current 980 the Team show host and Redskins game sideline reporter Rick “Doc” Walker and Quinton Dunbar had conversed on the phone.
From that conversation we learned that Dunbar was in fact, not requesting a trade, but merely wants to know where he stands with the Redskins.
Did Dunbar actually state he wanted to be traded by the Redskins?
Might Dunbar's demand of a trade have all been an exaggeration somehow?
Or could Dunbar be taking on a new stance that is much less demanding?
How close are Quinton Dunbar and Trent Williams?
I am sure some of you have noticed, but for those who have not, with the two Redskins in the news this week being Williams and Dunbar, is it only a coincidence that Dunbar only follows one person on Twitter, and that one person is Redskins teammate Trent Williams?
Everyone hates conflict, desiring smooth-sailing relationships at the work place, in your neighborhood, your family, etc.
Some of us who actually listen in life, have learned that conflict (which is inevitable), can actually be an opportunity for growth for all parties involved.
Rivera has begun talks with Williams and now he meets today with Dunbar.
With positive news regarding both Williams and Dunbar, is it possible the leadership of Ron Rivera is already beginning in small ways, a changing of the Redskins culture?
Ivan Lambert is a lifelong die-hard Washington Redskins fan, raised in Berryville, Virginia. He is married and the father of two fine young men. He is currently a sports correspondent for The Ledger in Lakeland, Florida and can be found on Twitter @IvanLambert18