Ron Rivera built a reputation as a head coach that takes decisive action with an attacking mindset. 

So why exactly are Washington fans surprised by Rivera's decision to sit down Dwayne Haskins and go to Kyle Allen?

The Riverboat Ron moniker might come from going for it on 4th down, but the mindset is about far more than that. Rivera is completely unafraid to make big calls and face the music, win or lose. 

Few coaches outside of Bill Belichick seem less concerned with bad press conferences or the social media mob.

Don't believe that? Just listen to Rivera on Wednesday after announcing the move to bench Haskins. 

"I explained to Dwayne why I was doing the things I did. Hopefully he understands that he has not had the opportunity. It’s not fair either. I get it. It’s not fair," the coach said. "But the situation right now calls for us to do something different. I’m going to do something different, and I hope he understands. I hope he gets it."

Rivera hopes Haskins understands the decision, but it doesn't seem like the coach is losing sleep if the second-year quarterback is upset about it. 

And that's the central part of Rivera's decision that is hard for some to comprehend. 

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Benching Haskins through four games doesn't make a ton of sense if the plan is to develop him as a quarterback. Benching Haskins doesn't make a ton of sense if the plan is for the team to stick through a long rebuild.


At various points the coach suggested developing Haskins was the plan, but for Rivera, the plan changed when the NFC East became winnable.

Whether that happens or not, Rivera doesn't care. Riverboat made a call and is going with it.  

Rivera cares what he thinks, what his coordinators think, and what the players think and feel in his locker room. That last part stands out too. 

"The one thing a lot of people don’t see is the frustration on the sidelines of the other players as well. I look at that and I see that. I feel that. The guys want to win. Right now, where [Haskins] development is, I think our best shot to win now is with guys that have been in the system. That’s what I’m doing and that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing."

Read those words again. 

Rivera made his decision, he explained why, and he doesn't care who disagrees. 

Riverboat Ron isn't just about gambling. 

It's about playing his game. And here's the biggest example yet for Washington fans.