Head coach Ron Rivera appears on the Kevin Sheehan Show to discuss the Draft, Haskins, and Trent Williams

The Team 980 host Kevin Sheehan had Redskins head coach Ron Rivera on his show earlier this morning discussing a variety of topics. Most of it dealt with the draft and Haskins long with some other items that have splashed across headlines the past week or so.

My Takeaways

  • Ron still really loves himself some Kyle Smith and trusts Kyle to build a winning team. Though it will be up to owner Daniel Snyder to give Smith the promotion to general manager.
  • Ron loves what he sees in Dwayne, especially in the 2-minute hurry-up offense and believes they can build off of that.
  • Daniel Snyder is not getting involved in player personnel decisions and is letting Ron build a winning football team and culture while staying in the loop.
  • Saahdiq Charles has a very real chance of being the starting left tackle in 2020.
  • Antonio Gibson is going to be used in a variety of ways and packages.
  • In what is the definition of the Bruce Allen era in Washington, he made it personal and held a grudge instead of setting up the Redskins for even greater success in 2020 with a potential additional first round pick.
  • Bruce Allen should not hold a NFL front office position ever again.
  • In the 2020 offseason, NFL teams did not seem to value Trent the way the Redskins had valued him.

Summary of what was discussed

How did the draft process with Kyle [Smith] work out?

  • It worked out well. Felt the team was already ahead of the curve.
  • As they started getting ready for the draft, the lockdown occurred so everyone shifted to using Zoom and new technologies.
  • Kyle would arrange the board based on conversations with coordinators, scouts and Ron
  • The weekend before the draft they finalized their board and the days leading up to the draft they held a couple of mock drafts

On it being a “prove it” period for Kyle Smith during the draft to be the lead personnel guy in the organization?

  •  Rivera felt Kyle did a great job and on thing that did catch Ron’s attention and decision to take the job was the young guys who had been drafted over the last three years.
  • When you can develop your own and keep your own, that is a positive when it comes to managing the cap.

Discussion about Kyle getting the GM title and is Ron ready to do that?

  • Ron said it isn’t up to him and that is above is pay grade. It is a discussion that he plans on having with Daniel Snyder.

Ron Rivera mentioned several times about the culture in DC…how do you change a culture like the one Rivera inherited?

  • You don’t just start getting rid of people the moment you get in. You have to watch, listen, and look to see what’s happening. There are subtle conversations and responses by personnel that can lead to an eventual decision.
  • This is the same approach he took in Carolina…are these players that want to be here and buy into your vision.
  • Believes it takes three to five years to change a culture and make sure everyone is on the same page. Takes this from the military’s mindset when trying to change culture.

When you draft a quarterback in the first half of the first round, there are expectations…is that how Ron Rivera sees Dwayne?

  • Ron does plan on coming into this year to see what Dwayne is about. Biggest thing he’s learned about Dwayne is that he wants to be it. Now it’s time to apply everything that has been done in the past and implement it.
  • When Ron interviewed offensive coordinator Scott Turner, they talked about the plan to develop a young guy and pretty much had the plan in mind because of the success they had with Cam [Newton].
  • The quarterbacks coach was also involved in discussing this plan, who had coached Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, and meld both and see how it goes.
  • Kyle Allen was brought in to help Dwayne develop, compete, and push him. Nothing is given and everything is going to be earned as the model for this year across the board is “earn the right.”

When you watched Dwayne’s game and how he competed and delivered in the Detroit game, what did you like about what you saw on tape and is there anything you’ve seen that concerns you?

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  • What stood out to Rivera is the poise Dwayne had in the 2-minute and hurry-up situations. Things seemed to have slowed down more.
  • Ron wasn’t sure if it was how the plays were called or how everything comes back to him.
  • Ron liked how they developed the route combo last year and how Dwayne read through them.
  • The Detroit game is really what sold him on Haskins.

There is competitive urgency [for Dwayne] in those situations where it is hard to teach isn’t it?

  • It is, and Ron thinks it’s because of the level of competition he’s faced since high school.
  • Dwayne has key attributes, but there has to be more of an “it” factor when he walks into the room. Everyone knows he’s there and when Dwayne takes a step everyone is behind him. That’s Ron wants to get from Dwayne. And it’s everyone including Jon [Allen].

Was it important to the owner when Ron and Snyder started to have conversations that Dwayne be given the chance to be the franchise QB?

  • No. All Snyder asked of Ron was to evaluate the roster and go from there. There was nothing put on Rivera by Dan to keep anyone.
  • The thing that Ron was impressed with were the two times Dwayne led the team down the field to game winning drives.
  • Ron emphasized that nothing was pushed on him by Dan and that it was an opportunity to come in, evaluate, and decide.

You’ve [Ron] played with and coached great defensive talent…how does Chase Young compare talent wise?

  • Talent wise, Chase has a tremendous skill set and it’s truly impressive.
  • What he showed in college is exactly what you are looking for.
  • Right demeanor and personality, now up to the coaching staff to make sure he is prepared for Sunday’s.

How are you going to use [Antonio] Gibson?

  • What is the play call? *laughs*
  • Gibson can be use in a variety of packages and something that Turner is prepared to do.

Is the starting left tackle on the roster or could the starter still be out there?

  • It is possible, but they have some guys they want to look at including Geron Christian and Cornelius Lucas to see what their abilities are.
  • They were also lucky to draft Saahdiq Charles at value in the fourth round and Ron believes they have everything in place to make sure he can succeed.

Now that the Trent Williams situation is over, why was it so hard to trade him?

  • It really came down to value. The Redskins had set what they thought was the right type of value as a football player.
  • Some of the teams they talked to knew that and the Redskins weren’t going to give away Trent in a yard sale.
  • There were a couple of potential trades that fell through, but they wanted to hold on and make sure it was worth it.
  • when it was time to pull the trigger and send him on his way, they were able to do that.

Without the context, what is Trent worth?

  • Rivera knows this much…there was an opportunity last year before the trade deadline where he was worth a first round pick. And, because he didn’t play for the entire year, that number changed.

Listen to the full interview of Ron Rivera here.

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