3 non-QB takeaways from Washington's front office media session

Ron Rivera

The Washington Football Team held a major press conference on Wednesday to introduce the organization's two new front office executives: general manager Martin Mayhew and senior VP of football/player personnel Marty Hurney.

During the nearly hour-long event, Hurney, Mayhew and head coach Ron Rivera were all naturally asked plenty of questions about the plan at the quarterback position. 

The revamped front office refused to go into detail about the team's plan at QB, saying multiple times Washington plans to "exhaust all our options" at the position moving forward and that nothing was off the table. Rivera even said the team isn't in a rush to find the franchise guy, too.

While addressing the quarterback position remains the most important thing for Washington, there were a few other key things to take away from the mega-presser on Wednesday that will define the franchise moving forward.

Here are three non-quarterback-related takeaways from the media session...

1. Ron Rivera is the clear boss.

When Rivera was introduced as Washington's head coach in January of 2020, team owner Dan Snyder said the franchise would be operating under a "coach-centric" approach, similar to the ones in Kansas City, New Orleans, San Francisco, and New England.

Even with the hirings of Mayhew and Hurney, that "coach-centric" philosophy is here to stay.

And, based on the comments from both of Washington's new execs, there doesn't seem to be any confusion about it, either.


"We’ve all been involved in different things at different walks, but we’ve all been in that chair and had to make those decisions," Mayhew said on how they will divvy up responsibilities. "We’re going to be really working collaboratively together and just setting the table for Ron to make the decision.”


2. While Ron does have the final say, it will be a collaborative effort. Rivera will listen, too.

Throughout the nearly hour-long Zoom call Wednesday, the word "collaborate" (or a variation of it) was said eight different times, and at least once by all three of them.

So, while Rivera might have the final say on the decisions the franchise makes moving forward, he's certainly going to lean on his new executives. 

The head coach's answer, when asked how the group will handle disagreement, was quite telling on what kind of system the front office will have moving forward.

"If we collaborate properly if we all go through the process and talk together, we’re not going to have any disagreements," Rivera said. "It made all the sense in the world because I think we have enough quality minds in the room, enough experience that when we go through it and somebody points something out it’s going to catch our attention."

Again, Rivera stressed that between the three of them, none have an excessive ego and all are willing to work together towards the common goal of bringing a championship to Washington.

"In this group, there’s not enough ego between the three of us that there’s just going to be one dominant attitude," Rivera said. "It is coach-centric, but the truth is both those men have been in the situation where it is coach-centric. It’s always been coach-centric, it’s just about titles and who everybody has a perception of who has the final say, but I promise you I’m going to listen to Martin, I’m going to listen to Marty, I really am."

While Mayhew, Hurney and Rivera all carry different titles, those titles mean very little in this format.

“We’re going to both be collaborating, both working with Ron to make the right personnel decisions. It is really very loosely defined," Mayhew said. "There’s no ego here between either one of us. Our goal is to win a championship. We’re working toward that together. We’re both going to be evaluating, both going to be working on the road some and just working together to win as many games as we can this year.”

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3. Mayhew and Hurney can work together and are willing to do so.

Both Mayhew and Hurney formally interviewed for the general manager vacancy. It's no secret they both wanted the gig. Heck, Rivera even said he was struggling to choose between the two as who to hire and that's when Snyder stepped in and said why not both? 

Although both Mayhew and Hurney wanted the general manager title, there's is no bitterness between the two. They both understand it's a collaborative effort and each one of their voices will be heard.

"I think we complement each other very well in just the conversations that Martin and I have had. Sometimes we have the same philosophy and then sometimes you have different angles that you look at things," Hurney said.

"The important thing is having communication and being able to talk things out," Hurney said. "We talk 20 times a day, and that might be a low estimate. It is constant communication. I think we really do complement each other very well.”

Between Mayhew and Hurney, Washington is adding nearly two decades of general manager experience to its front office. So, while Mayhew holds the official title, Hurney has plenty of his own experience to bring to the table.

"I think it’s so important to me, we have both been in positions that—Martin has been in the general manager seat, I’ve been in the general manager seat," Hurney said.

"We really have a very similar philosophy. We like each other. We respect each other," Hurney continued. "We can talk things out, and then we work together along with Eric [Stokes] and along with the personnel staff to make recommendations to Ron. The only thing that matters to either one of us is to win games. That’s all it’s about."

Having worked in San Francisco the past four seasons, Mayhew knows what it's like to work in a coach-centric front office. Mayhew saw first-hand how it was able to successfully work between Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch, and hopes that same sort of relationship can be built in Washington.

"That relationship [between Shanahan and Lynch] was really tight. I just learned a lot watching those guys have that relationship together," Mayhew said. "They didn’t always agree, but they always maintained that closeness and never lost focus of what the ultimate goals were. The lack of ego in that relationship is sort of hopefully bleeding into this so we can have a sort of similar relationship here."