Times have changed in Washington. But, coach Ron Rivera - well aware of the D.C. days of Joe Gibbs and Hogs and Smurfs and Super Bowls - can turn back the clock going forward.
“I’m telling you that this place can be special,” Rivera said. “It really can. With the fan base that this organization has had for years, being a team that started in 1932 with a lot of tradition and history with five world championships, three of them being Super Bowls under coach Gibbs. We want to be able to get those folks back in the stands and get them behind us.”
Washington, like the rest of the NFL, has played in front of thousands of empty seats at FedEx Field, even before the dealt with COVID-19 pandemic-related issues when it came to “folks in the stands.” But the problems run deeper. And Rivera knows that, too.
Yes, last year’s NFC East title raised the interest level, as he said.
Will Logan Thomas and Curtis Samuel Play for WFT vs Seattle Seahawks?
Our weekly look at who is in and out for WFT's latest contest
LISTEN: How Will Washington Use Samuel, Thomas Against Seattle?
Locked On Washington Football Team: Final Takes and Predictions for Washington Football Team vs. Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football
BREAKING: Washington Moving on Logan Thomas & Curtis Samuel
Coach Ron Rivera said both players will be on a “pitch count” in tonight’s game.
“I think they’re curious,” Rivera said of the fan base. “We’ve piqued their curiosity from last season, and we’ve got to get ahold of them.”
The 7-9 turnaround from a year ago, of course, needs to be the start of a trend. This year, Washington is considered by many to be a true contender.
“I think people are curious about who we can be, and it’d be good,” he said. “I mean, we’ve got a lot of good football players. We’re still learning and growing. … Our goal and our intent is to get these folks interested and get them back into the stands and play some really good football.”
“Learning and growing.” Maybe that applies not just to the Washington roster … but to the Washington fan base as well.