But he seemed calm Tuesday afternoon, just hours after the last of the movers left his home in Northern Virginia, even indicating that he was perhaps about to decide who the team would choose with the second choice of NFL draft this month.
“I would like to believe deep inside that I know what we want to do,” he said during a teleconference with journalists. “But you have to go through the process. “
Rivera never mentioned the Ohio hunter Chase Young, the player many expect Washington to pick, but he didn’t seem willing to trade his pick to try to collect more draft picks.
“If you are going to let player A pass and come back and take player D, player D must be equal to player A, because if player A will play for you for 10 years and player D can -be not, so did you really get value or did you just get a whole bunch of choices? ” he said. “You have to be able to sit down and say that the next guy I’m going to take will be this high impact guy, and that’s what I’m looking for.
“I think … we need a guy who will come and really change our football team. For me, there are a few guys on this board who are these kind of players. ”
Tuesday was the first time Rivera has spoken at length publicly about the team since the end of February – before the team signed a dozen free-will players, left striker Trent Williams renewed his request to be traded and Rivera exchanged or reduced half of the starters from last year. in high school.
He revealed little about the team’s strategy with Williams, who the team allowed to seek an exchange, saying only, “We don’t really know what’s going to happen, but at the end of the online, he’s a contract player, he’s a Washington Redskin, and we’re going to leave it there and see how it goes. “
But he admitted the team had a huge run for Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper on the first day of free agency, saying, “We were talking about a substantial sum of money.” He expressed disappointment that Cooper had accepted a $ 100 million, five-year contract to stay with the Cowboys.
“It’s difficult – we would have loved to have it as part of what we are trying to do,” he said. “We think he would have been a great veteran presence in the [locker] room, especially for the young people who played last year and who were successful for this football team. “
Rivera also disputed reports that the Redskins were serious bidders for narrow winger Austin Hooper, who left the Atlanta Falcons and signed a $ 44 million, four-year contract with the Cleveland Browns. Hooper “established the market for tight ends,” said Rivera, “and it’s something we certainly weren’t ready to do. “
Instead, Rivera spoke, as he has done a lot since taking office, of finding players who will adhere to the culture he wants to establish and removing those who may not match. He said cornerback Quinton Dunbar was traded to the Seattle Seahawks for a fifth round pick because he insisted on a new deal, which Rivera was not ready to give a player he didn’t have. hadn’t coached and had missed much of the past two seasons. with injuries.
He said he had reduced the security of Montae Nicholson mainly due to his incidents outside the field. Nicholson was arrested in 2018 for hitting a man outside an Ashburn bar (charges were later dropped), and the second incident occurred last year when Nicholson dropped an unconscious woman into a hospital. The woman died later that evening from a fentanyl overdose.
“We just felt a fresh start for him was the best thing to do,” said Rivera.
At times, Rivera glanced at a list next to his computer of the free agents that the team signed, as well as quarterback Kyle Allen, whom he traded for a fifth-round pick at the Carolina Panthers to acquire. He described the potential competition between Allen and Dwayne Haskins as “good,” but quickly added that he thought Allen could handle the job loss from Haskins (whom Rivera said was likely to be the starter.) ).
Of the Redskins’ free agent additions, Rivera seemed most excited about cornerback Kendall Fuller (who he says will likely play outside the cornerback and the cornerback), safety Sean Davis ( which, according to him, would be well suited to other defensive players) and cornerback Ronald Darby (who “will play through the receiver to the quarter with vision” and “formidable” anticipation).
“One of the things I tried to do [with the Panthers] did we try to look at the guys we could identify and say, “This guy is about to become a solid starter”, not a flash-in-the-pan type guy that you hope for, but a guy who has done it regularly over a few years, “said Rivera. “We identified a few of these guys, and we went out and brought these guys. “
Rivera was expected to meet many of his new players for the first time this week during team events, which have been postponed and should not be postponed. But he shrugged his shoulders to the strangeness of sitting at home instead, comparing this to 2011, his first season as Panthers coach, when a lockout kept him from his players until at training camp. He said he had spent the past two weeks working in what had been an empty house, preparing the project and finding out that the silent house had helped him focus.
“I’m not too worried,” he said, “because I’ve been there a bit.” “
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