The Washington Commanders Make Moves at Trade Deadline
The Washington Commanders made significant changes to their roster at the trade deadline, signaling a shift in their approach to building the team for the future. The departures of Chase Young and Montez Sweat through trades resulted in the Commanders acquiring two valuable Day Two draft picks, providing them with the capital to improve the team in the coming years.
However, Young didn’t leave without taking a parting shot at his former team. In an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area, Young expressed his excitement about joining the San Francisco 49ers, praising their winning culture and vibe.
Rivera Responds with Optimism
When asked about Young’s comments, Commanders’ head coach Ron Rivera chose not to dwell on them. Instead, he shifted the conversation towards his optimism about the team’s direction.
Rivera expressed his excitement about the football team, highlighting the positive things they are doing and the solid cultural foundation they have built. He acknowledged that they are still learning and growing, particularly with their young quarterback who has shown promise.
While appreciating Young’s contributions to the team, Rivera wished him luck in San Francisco and emphasized his belief in the Commanders’ bright future.
Rivera’s Confidence in Quarterback Sam Howell
Rivera’s positive outlook for the Commanders is largely influenced by the performance of their quarterback, Sam Howell. Rivera has repeatedly praised Howell as the franchise’s first legitimate, long-term option under center since joining the team in 2020.
Howell currently ranks second in the NFL in passing yards and has delivered impressive performances in Washington’s recent games, surpassing 300 passing yards in consecutive contests.
Rivera recognizes that his own job security is closely tied to Howell’s production. If the Commanders can establish themselves as a competitive team in the tough NFC East, Rivera’s chances of remaining as head coach beyond 2023 will improve.
Proving Themselves on the Field
With a current record of 4-5, the Commanders sit in third place in their division, trailing the second-place Dallas Cowboys by 1.5 games. However, those who have closely followed Washington believe that they may be better than their record suggests.
Rivera acknowledges that there is still time to prove their capabilities and views it as the most important goal on their checklist. He emphasizes the importance of continued competitiveness, teamwork, and ultimately, winning games.
Rivera’s use of the term “audition” reflects his awareness that his job is on the line in 2023. With new ownership in charge, Washington won’t hesitate to make changes if they deem it necessary. It is now up to Rivera to demonstrate that he is deserving of another chance in 2024.
Looking Ahead with Confidence
Despite the uncertainty surrounding Rivera’s future, he remains optimistic about the team’s potential. He believes that this Commanders team is different, with a focus on the development and growth of quarterback Sam Howell and the offense.
Rivera sees a bright future ahead for the team, emphasizing the importance of continued growth and improvement on both sides of the ball. He firmly believes that success is within reach and is determined to lead the Commanders to victory.
As the season progresses, all eyes will be on the Commanders and their quarterback Sam Howell, as they strive to prove their worth and secure a successful future for the franchise.