Prior to the 2020 season, Ron Rivera did not immediately name quarterback Dwayne Haskins the starter for Washington. Yet, it was clear that it was his job to lose. Therefore, Haskins got a bulk of the first-team reps and opportunities during the shortened offseason and training camp.
Fast forward several months, and Haskins is no longer with the team. In addition, Rivera was forced to shuffle through four quarterbacks due to inadequate play and injuries. Based on everything that happened it became clear to Rivera that limiting competition at the position wasn't the best idea, and he's willing to admit that.
“Yeah, I would have. I would have. The biggest thing I would have done is I would have created a few more opportunities mixing everybody around," Rivera said on 106.7 The Fan's Grant and Danny. "As opposed to saying okay I’m going to stick with just the one guy and do that. I think now in retrospect, and again, hindsight in 2020, I would."
“What I’m saying is I made a mistake and I’m owning up to it and that’s the truth," Rivera said. "To put it as simple as that, that’s what I’m saying. I’m just being honest.”
No one could have predicted the quarterback troubles Washington experienced in 2020, even though the franchise has been unable to solidify the position in recent years. The lack of offseason, no preseason games and Alex Smith needing to be slowly reintroduced to live-action football didn't make the process any easier.
As Rivera stated, hindsight has allowed him to review his coaching decisions and understand what he could have done better. What's impressive is that the head coach is willing to be transparent and take ownership of his choices. It's the latest example of how his leadership is greatly benefiting the culture change in Washington.
Looking ahead to next season, there's no guarantee Washington will have an answer at quarterback by the time OTAs and training camp roll around. There are a few names, and maybe more show up in the offseason, but no one has command of the No. 1 spot.
Should Rivera find himself in a similar situation, he'll use what he learned this season to make sure there is no repeat of his mistakes.
"And it’s something that I’m going to chalk up as an experience, you learn from experience and if I ever get in this situation again I will look to do it differently," Rivera said.