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Five Takeaways From Ron Rivera's Virtual Meet & Greet With Military Families


On Wednesday, Redskins Salute hosted a virtual meet & greet between head coach Ron Rivera and 10 Blue Star Families presented by Lewis Price.

During the hour-long event, Rivera conversed with and took questions from each of the military families, some of which centered around the 2020 campaign. Here are five takeaways from the event:

1. Rivera's military background has shaped his NFL coaching career in several ways.

Rivera learned at an early age that in the military, "it's all about the mission." And it's a mindset he has carried throughout his coaching career.

During his introductory press conference with the Redskins, he immediately laid out his mission for the franchise: to build a sustainable, winning culture. In the months since, he's attempted to do so by bringing in a new coaching staff and dozens of new players through free agency and the draft.

Rivera knows this process will take time -- he learned from military officers that it takes three to five years to change a culture -- but he believes that with the right people, the Redskins can achieve their No. 1 objective.

"In the NFL, the ultimate goal is to win Super Bowls, and that's what we try to find our guys that believe and share that same thing," Rivera said. "And you can find that out in people by asking a very simple, basic question: what do you want out of this? And you're looking for the right answer. I'm not sure what your right answer is, but my right answer is, 'I want to help the team win.' That's the answer I'm looking for. When I hear that, and that's the first thing a player tells me, I know that he's going to be all in trying to reach the ultimate goal."

2. Rivera held his first full team meeting on Monday.

With the Redskins' 90-man roster all but set, Rivera held his first full team meeting on Monday.

On a Zoom call with about 130 players, coaches and support staff, Rivera expressed his goals and vision to create a "sustainable winning culture," much like he did in his introductory press conference on New Year's Day.

Pro Bowl safety Landon Collins elaborated on the meeting on Wednesday, explaining it was "straight to the point" and that Rivera outlined his expectations well.

"It was very, very, very, very good, very stern," Collins added. "Putting his philosophy in place and setting the tone to let everybody know what to look forward to and what kind of mindset to come in with this team."

3. Rivera "could care less" about primetime games.

For the first time since the strike-shortened 1982 season, the Redskins do not have a primetime game in 2020.

Thirteen of their 16 games will kick off at 1 p.m. ET, while their contests in Arizona (Week 2) and San Francisco (Week 4) will start at 4:05 p.m. and 4:25 p.m. ET, respectively. They'll also play the Dallas Cowboys in a nationally televised matchup at 4:30 p.m. ET on Thanksgiving Day.

Fortunately, Rivera is not a fan of primetime games. The 58-year-old head coach likes to have a specific routine, which stemmed from growing up in a military family. It's actually one of the factors that drew him to coaching in the first place.

Primetime games force Rivera to completely alter his regiment so he's content with starting nearly every game at the same time this fall. It also works out for military members stationed overseas since they will not have to wait up at unusual times to watch their Redskins live.

"I could care less if we get a primetime game," Rivera said. "The only thing I can tell everybody is, 'That's all right. It doesn't matter when you watch us; you're going to enjoy us.'"

4. Rivera believes Chase Young has a chance to become the "Darrell Green for his position."

Rivera appeared to be caught slightly off guard when one family member asked who might be the next Darrell Green, the Redskins' legendary cornerback from 1983-2002.

Green was a seven-time Pro Bowler and a four-time first-team All-Pro. He's a Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee and a member of the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team. Who could possibly match those accomplishments?

Rivera did not mention any defensive backs, but he did mention the edge rusher the Redskins recently selected with the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

"We've got a pretty good one in Chase Young," Rivera said. "He's pretty special, and I think in terms of a guy that could be a Darrell Green for his position, I think Chase has a chance. If he can stay healthy and have a good career, I think people will talk about him in the same vein as a Darrell Green."

5. Rivera outlines his expectations for the 2020 campaign.

Of course, Rivera expects to win. Every time the Redskins step onto the field this fall, the intent will be to outscore the opponent.

But Rivera also has broader goals for his team as it progresses through the 2020 season.

"My expectations for this football team is to grow, is to get better, is to improve," Rivera said. "Every time we step on the football field, I expect these guys to give a 100 percent, without a doubt. The excitement about us should be about the way we play. We should play hard, fast, physical football. I want guys that are going to go out there and play smart football. I don't need guys going out and doing silly things and getting themselves in trouble and all that type of stuff. My whole thing is to make sure the product we put on the football field for our fans is the right type of product, and that is a hard-nosed style of football."

Furthermore, Rivera "would love" to see the Redskins play their best football at the end of the season, just like the Panthers consistently did when he was in Carolina. According to ESPN Stats & Info, the Panthers went 25-14 in regular season games played in December and January from 2011-18. That was the fifth-best record in the NFL during that span.

"I expect to be able to create that same type of energy here," Rivera said, "and I do expect us to eventually become the type of football team that this area, the DMV, can be proud of."

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