Pete Hailey is rewatching Amazon's All Or Nothing, a behind-the-scenes look at the 2018 Panthers, to learn about Ron Rivera and other key people who are now a part of the Redskins. Here's his review of episode two, "Get Better."
At the end of Amazon's second episode from their 2018 season of All Or Nothing, the organization is evaluating whether it should sign safety Eric Reid. They see Reid as a very impactful potential addition but also must consider how his on-field protests and his collusion lawsuit against the NFL would affect the team overall.
While weighing the decision, Ron Rivera sits down with two of his leaders, Torrey Smith and Cam Newton. In those discussions, he makes a few statements that provide insight into how he feels about distractions.
"Believe me," Rivera tells Smith, "you tell me we're bringing a player in, I'm worried about everything. Until I get to know that guy or sit down and talk to that guy and say, 'OK, cool.'"
"Right, and that's the one thing," he later says to Newton after the QB explains he's in favor of Reid's arrival as long as it doesn't throw anything off.
Eventually, Reid does become a Panther, but that's not the key takeaway for Redskins fans to latch on to. Instead, it's his out loud thinking that's the pertinent part, and the part that perhaps ties right into how the Quinton Dunbar saga ended and how the Trent Williams situation coul soon conclude.
On Monday, Washington traded Dunbar to Seattle for a fifth-round pick. The corner is worth more than that — maybe not as much as some fans believe, but he's definitely better than a Day 3 dart throw — yet the Burgundy and Gold chose to make that swap and move on from someone who was clearly unhappy.
Now, while Rivera's above quote to Smith was in regards to a free agent, it still applies to Dunbar. Rivera clearly values establishing a relationship with his players, and if he had more of one with Dunbar, then he might've felt more compelled to meet him halfway.
Instead, because Rivera just got here a few months ago and is also now in a world, like everyone else is, where long, face-to-face interactions are simply difficult to pull off, Dunny is gone.
Of course, Dunbar had company on the trading block in Williams, and on Tuesday, that already enormous sideshow grew even larger. The lineman's agent went public, calling the Redskins out for not acting in good faith and again demanding for Williams' trade or release.
There reportedly was some progress between Rivera and Williams last month, but like Dunbar, Rivera still hardly knows Williams. And even though the left tackle is a more valuable asset than the DB was, the coach has already shown once what he'll do with a guy he doesn't have ties to and who is taking a stance against the franchise.
Plus, if Dunbar's issue with the Redskins was a distraction, then Williams' is a distraction. It's a debacle, truthfully, and has been for nearly a year now. Rivera's only recently gotten a taste of the drama, but there's no way he's enjoying it.
All Or Nothing episodes span more than 30 minutes a pop, but the most revealing moments about Rivera seem to come in small snippets. In this chapter of the show, for example, it doesn't take long for Rivera's views on distractions to come out.
If his handling of Dunbar is any indication, it doesn't take long for him to handle them either. Williams may soon learn that as well.
Links to past reviews:
Episode 1: Rivera doesn't flinch after adversity hits