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Remember that infamous Dennis Green rant? Here's how Ron Rivera made it happen

Remember that infamous Dennis Green rant? Here's how Ron Rivera made it happen

Every football fan remembers Dennis Green coaching the Cardinals in 2006 screaming at the podium after a loss to the Bears: "They are who we thought they were, and we let them off the hook!"

Green's rant was an all-time classic and spawned memes and commercials. Seriously, it's tremendous, and now nearly 15 years later we learn that Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera played a major role in the finish. 

At the time Rivera was the Chicago defensive coordinator with the NFL's best defense going into a Week 6 showdown against Arizona on Monday Night Football. The Bears had a 5-0 record and were heavy favorites to win the game over the 1-4 Cardinals. 

Well, at halftime the score was 20-0 Arizona.

The Bears defense played lousy for the first 30 minutes, and at halftime, Rivera let them hear about it. 

"We were in Arizona; it was 2006 on Monday Night Football and we did not play really good football in the first half. Ron came in there and he let it be known," new Washington defensive backs coach Chris Harris said.

Harris played cornerback for that Bears team and said that halftime speech was when he knew without a doubt that Rivera would eventually become a head coach. 

"He told everyone to man up and said, 'I don't want to see anyone pointing any fingers. You turnaround and point that finger at yourself. You do your job. If you do your job, then we will win this football game.' And he came in and just laid it out there and he is a very blunt person and he is going to tell you exactly like it."

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In the second half Chicago only allowed three more points and eventually the Bears offense put up enough points to win the game 24-23. That loss drove Green to his infamous postgame tirade, and it was Rivera's speech that put his defense into overdrive. 

So what exactly did he say?

"I don't know if I can speak any of it in mixed company. But it was intense. It was intense, it was very intentional and it was very blunt. He kind of told it like it is. He didn't sugarcoat anything. We weren't playing well defensively," Harris said. "He got his point across and guys came out and we played a really good second half of defensive football."

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The Bears finished that season 13-3 before an eventual Super Bowl loss to the Colts. As for Harris, he played under Rivera for two seasons in Chicago and now gets the chance to work for him in Washington. 

Green passed away in 2016 after a long and successful coaching career. He was 67. 

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Eagles head coach Doug Pederson tests positive for coronavirus

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson tests positive for coronavirus

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has tested positive for coronavirus, the team confirmed on Sunday. Pederson is currently asymptomatic and following the established protocol which includes a self-quarantine.

Pederson is the second NFL head coach to contract the virus, as New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton shared that he tested positive back in March. 

Positive tests throughout the league come as no surprise as the pandemic continues on and players and staff begin to report to training camp. The situation around the league is a reminder of the health and safety risks that come with football restarting.

RELATED: REPORT: NFL PLAYERS MUST DECIDE TO OPT OUT OR NOT BY AUG. 5

Players and coaches are aware of that, and many have already announced that they are opting out of the 2020 NFL season. In Washington, Caleb Brantley is the only member of the roster to have removed himself from the campaign so far.

By Wednesday, August 5, all players will reportedly have to decide whether or not they will participate in the season as the league has set an opt-out deadline for that day. With 40 or so players already withdrawing and COVID-19 not going away in the near future, that number is likely to increase.

Though the NFL is working hard to put the proper protocols in place, the results from initial tests show that challenges remain. 

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Report: NFL players must decide whether or not to opt out by Wednesday

Report: NFL players must decide whether or not to opt out by Wednesday

The clock is ticking for NFL players to make a decision regarding their playing status for the 2020 season.

The league is expected to set an opt-out deadline for Wednesday, August 5, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. While the decision is not finalized, Wednesday's deadline appears imminent.

Across the NFL, we've seen several players opt-out of the 2020 season as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage across the United States. The New England Patriots have seen a league-high eight players forego the 2020 season. While none of the league's top stars have decided to sit out the 2020 season -- yet -- New York Jets Jets Pro Bowl linebacker C.J. Mosley and Chiefs Super Bowl hero Damien Williams headline the most notable players to opt-out.

Locally, Washington has had just one player -- defensive lineman Caleb Brantley -- opt-out, while the Ravens have lost two players for the season in De'Anthony Thomas and Andre Smith.

There's a reason the NFL is setting its opt-out deadline for nearly six weeks before Week 1. According to ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio, the league wants to shorten its opt-out window because teams feel that players on the roster bubble are using the benefits of opting out as leverage.

For players that choose to forego the 2020 season, they will either earn a $350,000 stipend (for players who are deemed high-risk) or a $150,000 stiped (those not deemed high-risk).

The NFL is not the only league to see its players decide to skip the season in the midst of a pandemic. Several NBA players opted not to travel to Orlando for the season's resumption, while the MLB is still seeing players opt-out two weeks into its season.

With the NFL's opt-out reported deadline less than four days away, it's likely more will join the nearly 40 different players that have decided to pass on the season.

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