Let's give Ron Rivera credit. He was brought here to do more than serve as the head coach of a Washington Football Team seeking on-field success.
This was about clearing out turmoil.
This was about cleaning up image.
This was about changing the culture.
This was about chasing out what can now be called a "black cloud'' ... a black cloud that has returned.
“That’s what we’re trying to correct, that’s what we’re trying to fix, but for whatever reason, we just keep getting drawn back into things,” Rivera said on Tuesday in a radio interview when asked to address the latest alleged scandal.
That scandal: The team placed head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion on administrative leave “due to an ongoing criminal investigation that is unrelated to the team,” per NBC Washington.
According to multiple reports, the WFT headquarters was raided by the DEA and by local law enforcement, with Vermillion - long a trusted Rivera aide - at the center of the issue.
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Washington was unstoppable in November, finishing 3-0. The question is if the "ghost of injury present and future" will haunt the WFT in December and on.
The WFT, despite a stirring weekend win at Atlanta that moves the club to 2-2, keeping it in the mix of contention, is back in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. ... the sort of reasons that have plagued the franchise under this regime, including everything from being fined $10 million by the NFL "for fostering a workplace culture where sexual harassment, bullying and intimidation were commonplace throughout most of Daniel Snyder’s ownership'' to its long-standing unwillingness to shed what many considered a racial-insensitive team mascot.
Rivera has been central to the fix, which included an NFC East title a year ago. On the field, next up for Washington is a meeting with the New Orleans Saints.
But win or lose, the challenges remain.
“At the end of the day, we’re gonna let this play out and we’ll trust in the system. And we’ll go from there.”
And then we'll see where the "black cloud'' goes from there as well.
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