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Ron Rivera didn't straight up deny interest in Antonio Brown, but he basically did

Ron Rivera didn't straight up deny interest in Antonio Brown, but he basically did

The last question of Ron Rivera's Wednesday Zoom press conference was about whether he and the Redskins would consider signing Antonio Brown this offseason.

In his answer, Rivera used 415 words, and while none of those 415 words was "no," the coach essentially explained that no, Washington isn't interested in the receiver's services.

"If you bring in a veteran right now, you're going to stunt the growth of somebody young," Rivera told the media. "We've got some young guys at wide receiver that have shown potential over the last season and now into the offseason. We haven't really had the chance to watch them."

The reason Brown's name came up specifically is because he worked out with Dwayne Haskins a few weeks ago. So, naturally, every single person who cares about the Burgundy and Gold had an opinion on whether the organization would be wise to take Brown's talents (and problems) on.

And for those who were convinced it was the right move, well, you can probably look to spend the money you had reserved for an 84 jersey on something else instead.

"I know who Antonio Brown is, I know he's a great player. He's an impact guy," Rivera said. "He's also a veteran guy, and we've got some young guys that we need to find out about. Again, that's kind of the approach, we want to see what we have."

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Yes, Brown would instantly upgrade the Redskins' offense; the numbers on his Pro Football Reference page are beyond ridiculous.

But Rivera seems completely committed to continuing to develop Terry McLaurin, Steven Sims and Kelvin Harmon, as well as giving someone like Antonio Gandy-Golden a shot at cracking the lineup. All of those targets are 24 or younger, while Brown will be 32 when the 2020 season commences.

There was something else Rivera didn't even touch on in his response, but it's another factor that's surely on his mind. 

Brown orchestrated a very public exit from the Raiders last year, and his stint with the Patriots lasted just 11 days before they moved on from him as well. At both stops, his presence was very controversial, and there's a decent chance he'd have to serve a lengthy suspension for his off-field conduct, too, before even returning to the field. 

Is that the kind of figure Rivera wants to introduce as he's trying to build up the Redskins' culture? Most certainly not.

In the end, though, he didn't go there. Rivera just stuck with the purely football side of things, and his stance there made perfect sense on its own.

"You want to know who your guys are, who your guys are going to be," he said. "It can help you in terms of going forward because these are the guys that you want to put your energy toward in terms of the development of your football team."

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Chris Cooley out of Washington Football organization, radio broadcast

Chris Cooley out of Washington Football organization, radio broadcast

Chris Cooley knew his time with the Washington Football Team came to a close a few months back, but he wants fans to know how much he enjoyed it and that he has no hard feelings about his departure. 

"The Redskins provided a great job for me for the last six years," Cooley said Thursday morning in an interview on The Team 980. "They were the Redskins then, and the Washington Football Team will not provide a great job for me."

The team finalized their new radio broadcast this week, announcing that DeAngelo Hall would serve as the analyst alongside Julie Donaldson as the host and Bram Weinstein doing play-by-play. Hall essentially replaces Cooley, but the former Washington tight end believes Hall will do a great job. 

"I can talk about it but I’m not going to talk about it," Cooley said. "I just wanted to say I think DeAngelo Hall is going to be pretty good at it."

Cooley also confirmed he's out of the organization completely, so fans should not expect any of the podcasts or video work he used to provide on the team's website. Kevin Sheehan, who hosted a morning show with Cooley on The Team 980 for a few years and conducted the interview, hinted that perhaps a reunion could be in the works, or at least more appearances. 

A tight end in Washington for nine seasons, Cooley twice made the Pro Bowl and recorded 429 catches for more than 4,700 yards and 33 touchdowns. A fan favorite throughout his career, Cooley became a rock star traveling with the team for the last six seasons for radio broadcasts. At road rallies Washington fans would besiege Cooley for autographs and pictures.

RELATED: LONDON FLETCHER TO JOIN WASHINGTON FOOTBALL BROADCAST

While it was known privately for some time that Cooley wanted a job in coaching, he revealed that publicly while speaking with Sheehan. 

"It was going to become a tough decision in the future for me," Cooley said of the radio job. "Over the last few years I've had this dream that I would become an NFL football coach. It is not an easy job to acquire."

He explained that he had an opportunity for a coaching internship with another team for this fall, but the grind required for young coaches to grow in the industry was not something Cooley wanted to put his family through. He has two young children. 

"Moving forward in the next phase of my life I can’t spend every weekend on the road," Cooley said. 

Washington Football media executive Donaldson tweeted her support of Cooley on Thursday morning, saying, "A decision was made at the beginning of the year that Chris Cooley would no longer be a part of the broadcast team. Personally, I loved listening to Cooley and have the upmost respect for him and his work. He’s one of a kind and will always be around as a beloved alum."

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London Fletcher will also be a part of the Washington Football Team's 2020 game day coverage

London Fletcher will also be a part of the Washington Football Team's 2020 game day coverage

DeAngelo Hall won't be the only longtime defender to cover his former squad on game days in 2020.

On Thursday, the Washington Football Team revealed that London Fletcher will serve as an analyst on their postgame shows during the season. This comes after announcing on Monday that Hall will be one-third of the organization's radio booth, along with Bram Weinstein and Julie Donaldson.

Fletcher was a standout for the Burgundy and Gold from 2007 to 2013 and is one of the more beloved players of the past few decades. Most recently, the former linebacker had been working for CBS Sports as an on-air personality.

The move is just the latest in the team's effort to revamp its media efforts.

Hall, Weinstein and Donaldson will replace Larry Michael, Chris Cooley and Doc Walker, while Fletcher represents a new voice as well.

Those decisions have received various levels of approval — many fans seem to be especially upset by the loss of Cooley, who was popular for his hardcore and in-depth comments — but the call to hire Fletcher should be widely accepted. 

The only question remaining is: Do they know how to spell his name yet?

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