- The Washington Times - Monday, December 30, 2019

ASHBURN — The Washington Redskins are expected to hire Ron Rivera to become their next coach, according to multiple reports. With Rivera interviewing for the position on Monday, here’s what you need to know about him:

He’s had success turning around a franchise

Rivera was fired earlier this month after nine seasons with the Carolina Panthers. But he was successful throughout his tenure, inheriting a 2-14 team in 2011 and helping them go to the Super Bowl in his fifth season. Before his dismissal, Rivera went 76-63-1 and made the postseason four times.

He has a defensive background

Before the Panthers hired him, Rivera’s last job was as the defensive coordinator the San Diego Chargers. In Carolina, he primarily ran a 4-3 defense based on what he learned under former Eagles coordinator Jim Johnson. Rivera’s defense relies heavily on pressure generated by the front four and his units were regularly ranked in the top half of the NFL. He interviewed nine times before getting a head coaching job.

Rivera played nine seasons with the Chicago Bears

If hired, Rivera would be the Redskins’ first head coach to have played in the NFL since Jim Zorn (note: Jay Gruden was on practice squads, not an active roster). With the Bears, Rivera was a linebacker in Buddy Ryan’s 4-3 defense, starting 56 of his 137 games. He won a Super Bowl in 1985.

He’s not the biggest fan of analytics

When Rivera was fired, Panthers owner David Tepper pointedly said he wanted the team’s next coach to be analytically driven. While Rivera tried to embrace Tepper’s wishes at times, Rivera has spoken out against the use of analytics in the past and opposed the NFL’s expanded use of video on the sidelines. “I want to get beat on the field. I don’t want to get beat because someone used a tool or technology — that is not coaching at that point,” he told The Ringer in 2016.

That being said, he earned a nickname of “Riverboat Ron

In 2013, the perception around Rivera started to change — in large part because of how aggressive the coach started becoming on fourth down. Dubbed “Riverboat Ron,” Rivera used quarterback Cam Newton and effective running game to take chances on fourth down.

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