Rivera thinks Commanders rebrand can be useful in QB search


This fall, someone will become the first-ever person to attempt a regular-season pass for the Washington Commanders.

Ron Rivera hopes that prospect will be an alluring one to potential quarterbacks.

A couple of hours after the Commanders name was unveiled at FedEx Field on Wednesday, Rivera held a Zoom press conference with the local media. Once he answered the typical questions about when he knew the decision had been made and what he thought about the entire process, the coach was asked if the changeover could be enticing to quarterbacks looking for a new home in 2022.

He was rather assertive with his answer.

"Absolutely," Rivera said. "I really do.

"The rebrand is something that's kind of unique. To me, it's an opportunity to work on and grow our legacy because it is a clean slate as the Commanders and I think it's an opportunity to be part of something that I think is going to be unique and special."

Those tied to the organization, from Rivera to president Jason Wright to Jonathan Allen to team alumni, spent the bulk of Wednesday trying to push the new name on a fan base that largely needed some convincing.

Therefore, Rivera's claim that the Commanders' "clean slate" can serve as a magnet that attracts a high-profile quarterback can mostly be attributed to that mission, as he took a stance that was probably too optimistic in a campaign that could use extra enthusiasm. Russell Wilson, for example, probably isn't repeatedly calling his agent in order to set up a trade so he can join the renamed franchise. 


Rivera, though, did come prepared with other reasons for why Washington represents a comfortable landing spot for a long-term QB. It wasn't solely about the switched-up moniker or three fresh uniform sets.

"I love where we're located," he explained. "I love the community that we play for. I love the division that we're in, it's a very good football division, it's also a division that has a lot of the top TV markets.

"I'm making my pitch here," Rivera continued. "I like our team. I like where we are. We've got [Pro Football Focus'] No. 6 ranked offensive line, so we have a chance to protect the guy. We've got a 1,000-yard rusher, we've got a 1,000-yard receiver. I can go down the list."

There are undoubtedly better situations out there in the NFL for talented veterans who'll be able to choose where they go, but as Rivera outlined, Washington isn't totally barren.

The idea of linking up with Terry McLaurin, Antonio Gibson, Logan Thomas, JD McKissic (if he's re-signed), Curtis Samuel (if he can get healthy), a couple of other additions and that well-rounded offensive line in a region that's craving a winner is a solid, if not spectacular, one.

In the end, however, the Commanders may still be stuck with leftovers or have to spend draft capital on a rookie once the events of March and April conclude. It's still the same squad that basically flatlined in 2021 and is constantly — constantly — dealing with off-field drama.

But none of that was on Rivera's mind when he was identifying the positives in Washington, which includes the new name.

"I do think that this is something we most certainly can use as we start going through the whole thing," he said.