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WFT Needs Change On Defense

Washington coach Ron Rivera not ready to make major adjustments

Saying the Washington Football Team has struggled on both sides of the ball would be fair. But the disappointment resides mostly on the defensive side of the ball, as that unit was expected to be one of the NFL's best entering the season.

Instead, through five games, the WFT defense ranks 28th in passing yards allowed, 22nd in completion percentage against, has given up the most passing touchdowns in the league (14), while being tied for the third-least amount of interceptions.

That's just the pass defense.

Washington's defense is 26th in sacks, has allowed the sixth-most rushing plays of 20-yards or more, and is one of just two teams to have allowed more than one 40-yard run. 

All of this inconsistency and lack of performance has a lot of people asking the question: When is something going to change?

"That's stuff that makes no sense to me right now," Washington coach Ron Rivera told media Monday. "Because if you really go back and look at it ... this was a matter of four or five plays on both sides of the ball. If we do certain things and eliminate a couple of things here, you'll see that we have a chance."

Even as some target the coaching staff and scheme, others question the fit and abilities of the players to execute what the coaches are asking of them. 

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"We have enough guys to give us a chance to compete every week," Rivera said. "You play with who you have on your roster, and you make the best out of it. And we will show up and we'll play hard."

Playing hard may not be enough to quiet the doubt and angst growing around the organization. Fair or not, Rivera was brought in to resurrect a franchise long-buried under its own ineptitude.

Now, with a losing record (2-3) heading into a contest against the Kansas City Chiefs, and a DEA investigation involving two staffers within this regime, more losing will only bring more questions and anxiety. 

Media members didn't relent easily when pressing Rivera about the apparent need for changes in some form. And the coach responded in kind, while showing frustration about the persistence of reporters. 

"I look at it, I talked to the coaches, I've talked to the players, we talk about what we're doing," Rivera said. "It is just a matter of getting involved when certain things have to happen in the appropriate moment. When I feel that it needs to be done, I'll do it."

Five games in, just about everyone outside of the organization is ready for change. Whatever it looks like, they'd welcome it with open arms. 

Rivera doesn't appear ready, however. Another week, another chance to show more than we've seen through five games. And another possibility that even more could go wrong.