Hopefully Redskins fans aren't tired of reading stories about NFL folks praising Ron Rivera and what he's going to bring to Washington, because NFL folks just can't stop praising Ron Rivera and what he's going to bring to Washington.
Next up to compliment the Redskins' new leader: Thomas Davis.
Davis is currently a 36-year-old linebacker for the Chargers, but before that, he suited up for the Panthers 13 seasons starting in 2005. He and Rivera overlapped in Carolina for eight seasons, which means he has a very clear understanding of what Rivera is all about.
"I expect a complete culture change," Davis said. "I expect that team to go in and be competitive immediately."
The second half of that statement may not read like much, but remember: This is a group that's coming off of a 3-13 season, one in which they rolled out the league's most ineffective offense and one of its most ineffective defenses. Competing immediately would be a promising step in Rivera's debut campaign.
Aside from how Rivera can raise the overall level of play in Washington, Davis is especially interested to see how the 58-year-old can impact the Burgundy and Gold's defensive front.
"I know Coach Rivera is a great defensive mind and he's going to figure out a way to get those young guys going," he said. "They're going to be a special bunch."
So far, Rivera and Jack Del Rio have reiterated a key phrase when it comes to how they'll want Daron Payne, Matt Ioannidis, Jonathan Allen and others to attack on Sundays: "We're going to stop the run on our way to the quarterback." That means the two are ready to set those linemen loose, which'll be fun to watch (as long as you aren't the opposing QB whom they're set loose on).
To close the segment, Davis was asked why he believes Rivera can enact a "complete culture change" with the Redskins. His reason was because of Rivera's ability to relate to a locker room — something Davis has no doubt experienced firsthand countless times.
"I think Coach Rivera definitely connects to the players on a one-on-one level," he said. "He knows how to reach players exactly where they are, and he knows how to get the most out of them. He's done a great job of that in Carolina, and I don't expect that to be any different in Washington."
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