A Heck of a Double-Dip for Ron Rivera & WFT

Chris Russell

First you hammer the Dallas Cowboys, 25-3. 

Then you endure your final cancer treatment and get to ring the bell at Inova. Pretty damn good Sunday into Monday for the head coach of the Washington Football Team and the organization in general. 

Make no mistake. Both accomplishments are very important but if you care about anything in life, even the biggest cynic has to have some sort of warm reaction to the video above. 

For Rivera, he's coached every game. Sure he's missed some practices and he has to take a few power naps, while in his words leaving the facility much earlier than normal but none of that matters or is important. 

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He's kicking cancer's ass so far and doing it while the head coach of a tremendously turbulent organization. He's also essentially the general manager too.

This is part of the reason why I simply refuse to go nuts about the alleged "mixed messages" mantra that you've heard from so many about. 

First, coaches change their mind on a fairly regular basis. Sometimes on their own, sometimes the decision is made for them by the players themselves. 

Often, coaches can't tell the complete truth on the record. I strongly, strongly believe that Rivera was protecting players and his team at times with some of the things he has said. 

I would also say this - when you're exhausted and grinding through life (never mind dealing with cancer), you don't always think rationally and coherently 100% of the time. 

We have to remember (and sadly many of my colleagues don't) that what a coach says on the record is usually only part of the story and on top of that -- a coach dealing with cancer is not going to be 100% structured and stable in his messaging. 

It doesn't matter. As Rivera pointed out last week, his message to the team is different than the message to media and fans. That's the one that really matters. 

Whatever message he's preaching, guys are believing. 

Several players and coaches have talked about the quality of practice rising over the last two weeks and how it is translating on the field. 

That's important and it is yielding better play and results. 

His players totally believe in him, with the exception of maybe one.

That player's opinion is irrelevant (Dwayne Haskins) because he's the No. 3 quarterback and feels like he is being blamed unfairly. He's not. 

Wes Martin was also benched and demoted to the third-string left guard. Not a peep out of him or even a question from the media. 

Why? Because nobody cares and it's not splashy headline drama. 

Here's the only thing that matters. By spanking the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, the Washington Football Team improved to 2-5. They are just a hair out of first place and have the tie-breaker advantage over Philadelphia. 

Oh and Rivera can start to live a little bit more normal of a life. 

There's no 'mixed messages' here. Just truth. 

Chris Russell is the Publisher of this site, a part of SI.com. He can be heard on 106.7 The FAN in the Washington D.C. area and world-wide on Radio.com. Chris also hosts the "Locked on Washington Football Team" Podcast and can be read via subscription to Warpath Magazine. You can e-mail Chris at russellmania09@Gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @Russellmania621

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