Redskins

Redskins

Are you a Redskins fan who's feeling totally refreshed now that the franchise is heading in a new direction?

If so, then you're absolutely aware of the names Ron Rivera, Kyle Smith, Jack Del Rio and Scott Turner. They are, respectively, Washington's new head coach, new leader of the front office, new defensive coordinator and new offensive coordinator.

There are others worth knowing, though, like Ryan Vermillion and Rob Rogers.

Those names may sound familiar — they're the team's new Head Athletic Trainer and Senior VP of Football Administration — or they may not. Regardless of whether you knew them already, you must know that Ron Rivera believes the two ex-Panthers employees will really contribute with the Redskins.

"You want to put people around you that are familiar with what you want and how you want it done, and these are guys that were with me from the beginning," Rivera told reporters at the Combine on Wednesday. "So they have an understanding of what we want. So we're going to go out and try and implement that."

Both Vermillion and Rogers were in Carolina for the entirety of Rivera's time there, and now, they'll start fresh with him as he tries to reorient the Burgundy and Gold. Some have been skeptical of Rivera bringing so many former members of the Panthers with him to his new job, but he's obviously viewing that as a pro, not a con.

"One of the things that I talked about was trying to develop a sustainable winning culture," Rivera said of his comments after taking over the Redskins. "We had a little bit of that going for a while in Carolina. We had a good five-year stretch. Unfortunately, through attrition, we weren't able to continue that. But that's the starting point."

 

For most NFL organizations, the changing of trainers would merely mean a new placard next to a door at the facility and not much else to those outside of the team. In Washington, however, it's crucial news.

Redskins supporters are basically scarred from the last few seasons of constant injury problems, and last season, they saw Trent Williams hold out largely because he didn't want to deal with those who botched a cancer diagnosis that put his life in jeopardy. Hopefully, those days are done.

"One of the things that we had to do, that we wanted to do, was redevelop the trust in the training room," Rivera said. "I couldn't think of a better person than Ryan Vermillion. I really, truly couldn't. I'm going into my 34th year in the league and I've been around a lot of good trainers. He really makes me believe that he is one of the best ones because of the way he works."

Redskins supporters were also very fond of Eric Schaffer, a longtime employee of Dan Snyder who was renowned for his contract negotiations and salary cap management. Therefore, when news broke that Schaffer wouldn't be a part of Rivera's plan going forward, there was angst.

Yet according to Rivera, there's nothing to stress about when it comes to those dealings.

"Rob Rogers is a guy that, after having hired him, it's been real interesting to hear some of the agents and some of the league personnel tell me, 'Boy, you've got a really good guy in Rob,'" he said. "He's a guy that I know of and know who he is, so I'm excited about having him as part of it as well."

Starting Week 1 of 2020, it'll be Redskins players who'll obviously be most responsible for whether this new era goes successfully or not.

That said, people like Vermillion and Rogers will matter leading up to and past that point, too. Their new ideas and voices won't show up in highlights on Sundays, but they'll absolutely make a difference in their own right.

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