Landon Collins is no doubt hoping his second year as a Redskin will go better than his first.
Like many others involved with the organization or who follow it, he's optimistic that it will, too, thanks to one person in particular.
In an interview with NBC Sports Washington, Collins was given the chance to assess his new head coach. Like most before him, such as Rivera's former players to his new ones as well as analysts and even agents, the safety was very approving of the hire.
"I think it's a good pickup for us," Collins said. "We definitely needed — structural-wise, team — just needed a different change. Guys are really going to buy into this system. I think Ron is a very good asset to this team."
It's one thing to hear outsiders opine about how Washington has to restart in a lot of ways, but it's another to actually see a member of the roster come out and say it. Collins was in that locker room and in those meetings and on that field day in and day out, so he's absolutely aware of all that went wrong in the Redskins' recent 3-13 campaign.
Fortunately, there's a new voice at the head of the operation, and Collins believes that leader has a system he and his teammates will follow.
But why exactly does the Pro Bowler feel that way? Well, because Rivera has the all-important reputation of being someone that's invested in his team through it all.
"He's there for his players," Collins explained. "A lot of guys need that because loyalty and trust is a big thing for a lot of us. You get that from your guys, they'll go through a wall for you. That's big-time."
That's a quality that can't be tallied by Pro Football Reference or telestrated by a color commentator, but it's absolutely a valuable one. And if a leader like Collins is ready to commit to Rivera, then others will probably follow his lead and do the same.
Obviously, Rivera's presence doesn't automatically mean the Burgundy and Gold will now go 11-5 on a regular basis. He can't single-handedly fix all the questions this depth chart has, from what will happen at quarterback to all the injury issues that have plagued recent groups.
However, he can immediately step in and do a better job of keeping the players together, ensure that he gets the most out of everyone and install a vision that positions Washington for sustainable success. Collins, for one, can't wait to be a part of that vision. He likely won't be alone.
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