The Washington Football Team may be in the thick of the NFC East race, but one celebrated fan isn’t interested in short-lived success.
Former NASCAR Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. joined NBC Sports Washington’s J.P. Finlay on the Washington Football Talk podcast to discuss the team and its outlook moving forward. Earnhardt expressed confidence in the direction Washington is headed under head coach Ron Rivera. He just doesn’t see the value in winning the division only to get bounced in the first round of the playoffs.
“I’m not really worried about whether we’re gonna win the division or not because I don’t really know how far we’ll go if we did,” Earnhardt said. “I’m looking much further out. What’s the three-year, five-year potential for this team? Because I think we came into this season with a lot of questions in our roster and a whole new coaching staff so I have learned I think, as a fan over the last several years, to be a lot more patient, not live game to game as far as grading out this coaching staff.”
Washington is 2-5 on the season coming off its bye week. Even though only the New York Giants have fewer wins among NFC teams, Washington is currently second in the division behind the Philadelphia Eagles (3-4-1). Rivera has spoken publicly about wanting to push for an NFC East title, a mentality that factored into the team's decision to bench second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins in favor of Kyle Allen.
However, Earnhardt is more focused on the seasons ahead and the pieces on the roster that could turn the team into a more consistent contender.
“We need to go through a couple offseasons, go through a couple drafts, see what kind of changes continue to be happening with the players and positions,” Earnhardt said. “I think it would’ve been great to have seen more success than we’ve had this year but I think Ron has a lot of work to do. I really believe that he can do it. I think that they have the right man at the top as a coach to get this team going right but it’s going to take some time.
“Even if we did win the division…what does that do for us?”
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