Through the first six weeks of the 2020 season, Ron Rivera faced his fair share of questions regarding his decision-making as the Washington Football Team's head coach.
From pulling Dwayne Haskins after four games, his late-game decisions and timeout usage, Rivera had plenty to answer for while his team got out to a 1-5 start. Over the last six weeks, though, things have changed for the better, and it culminated in a shocking upset win over the Steelers to improve to 5-7.
As NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay put it after the game, Rivera had to be feeling good about this one.
"Here's what coach Rivera didn't say," Finlay said. "He didn't say 'shut up' to everyone that had endless questions to everything he was doing. I'm not just throwing stones, I'm one of the people involved.
It's our job to have a lot to say, but Ron Rivera talked about building this team his way, that things would start to click later, there's a lot of young players on the field," he said.
Rivera said from the beginning that his team would be playing its best football later in the year, which is typically the mark of a good team. The results weren't there at the beginning, but the fact the process has stayed the same explains Washington's turnaround.
"This was a huge win, a huge statement, for the Washington Football Team, for the coaches, for the players, he said. "They're on a three-game win streak, and there was a point this season where we didn't think they'd win three games. So I think Ron Rivera got a very enjoyable 'shut up' to everybody."