Football Team

Rivera is in no real rush to find Washington's long-term QB

Football Team

In Ryan Fitzpatrick, Washington has its quarterback of the present. Yet because Fitzpatrick will turn 39 in November, the franchise very clearly could use someone to hold the position down in the long term.

Now, one would think the process of sifting through countless options — is it best to trade for that guy or draft him? Is the time to add him right now or can the search continue for a while? SHOULD HE BE A RIGHTY OR A LEFTY? — in order to solve that problem would be a stressful experience. 

Ron Rivera, however, came across rather relaxed on Thursday when discussing Washington's hunt for a more permanent QB during a press conference. 

"No," Rivera responded when asked if he felt "pressure" to locate a young and trustworthy star for the position as soon as possible. "And I say that just because of the fact that, if you put all the other pieces into place and now you start going forward, when that guy does show up, when that guy is in the right position, you can grab him."

That may not be the most invigorating answer — from an outside perspective, there's nothing sexier than talking about who could potentially be the one to end Washington's quarterback quandary — but, from Rivera's perspective, it does make sense. 

First, think about where he is on his personal timeline.

Rivera's entering the second year of his contract and coming off of a playoff appearance that few (also read as: no one outside of the building in Ashburn) expected. So, his rebuild seems to be well ahead of schedule and he's still got plenty of his deal left before he feels like he needs to seriously commit to a signal caller. Why hurry, lock in with the wrong choice and sink this ship prematurely?

 

Also, consider where the organization stands in the 2021 draft.

At pick No. 19, the odds of a top-tier QB prospect making it to the Burgundy and Gold are awfully low. Trading up to a place where they could snag one would require significant capital which, in turn, would slow Rivera's goal of assembling a complete roster. Therefore, the club's best route might be to select a guy on Day 2 or Day 3 and allow him to come along behind Fitzpatrick and Taylor Heinicke, then decide next offseason how he fits into the overall plan.

Later on in his answer, Rivera reflected on how what he's doing in Washington is essentially the direct opposite approach that he executed with the Panthers.

"I went through it the other way in my first stint as a head coach in Carolina," he said. "At that point, we had not put all the other pieces around Cam Newton, and we finally got them all together in 2015.

 "I've always thought, wow, if you could do it the other way, where you put all the other pieces around them and then go get your QB, that might be a pretty good situation, too."

Signing Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries to further fill out the offense and bringing on William Jackson III to slot in on a rising defense was a hell of a free agency for Rivera and Co. If they can similarly ace the draft, then Washington will be nearing a spot where it's ready for that all-important trigger man.

Ultimately, Rivera's tenure in Washington will not be fully successful unless he nails his quarterback decision. Before he makes that decision, though, he wants to ensure he nails everything else.