2020 was not an easy season for the Washington Football Team, and 2020 was not an easy season for Ron Rivera. Yet after the final game of the regular season wrapped up, it was Washington and Rivera that sat at the top of the NFC East.
The journey isn't complete just yet as a matchup with the Buccaneers awaits, but Rivera and his team have battled through the adversity and reached the other side. That's something that makes this division title remarkable.
“Well, I mean this one’s special just because of how hard it was. How tough everything was, how it’s been on the guys, on the organization," Rivera said. There’s a great group of young men in there, we’re trying to do things the right way. It’s really a cool thing to come out and get the division.”
For Rivera, getting to share this accomplishment with his team is what truly makes it special. Through all the struggles, the team remained together and fought to reach the playoffs.
So while Rivera will get credit for that from others, he is ready to pass that praise along right back to the other members of the locker room.
“You could say rewarding. Again, it goes back to the hard work and I praise the players, I praise the coaches and the support staff," Rivera said.
Specifically, with his coaching staff, Rivera has been grateful to rely on them in 2020. His first season was anything but smooth, and while he had to handle decisions pertaining to the team, Rivera's biggest battle came against cancer.
On days where the treatment made it hard for him to coach at full capacity, others were there to fill-in and keep practices running at a high level.
"I want to give a big shoutout to our couches because they picked up a lot of slack for me," Rivera said. "Just having to fight through things that I did, they were there and they did a tremendous job."
Any division title is memorable for a head coach, and each has a unique specialty to it. For 2020, it's all about teamwork to Rivera. What his group was able to overcome is an example of what can be done when everyone is working toward one common goal.
"It just shows you that when you work together as a team, man, anything can be accomplished," Rivera said.