A mid-August presser for an NFL head coach usually involves strictly football inquiries, with the media asking for updates on the race at slot receiver or wondering why one rookie hasn't gotten more reps with the starters yet.
Ron Rivera's time with local reporters on Monday didn't go like that.
Instead, the Washington Football Team's leader started his session off by explaining what went into the move to cut Derrius Guice and then he faced numerous follow-ups on the matter.
It's not what he should've been doing at this point in the calendar, but that didn't stop him from being transparent and direct.
"On Friday, I made a decision that I believe was in the best interest of this organization, our players and our fans going forward," Rivera said. "Very difficult decision, anytime you have to release a very talented, young football player, it’s always a tough decision. But this type of circumstance, this type of situation, we take those allegations very, very seriously, and we had to make the decision going forward."
Rivera met with the rest of the team on Sunday to discuss Guice's release and told them that he parted ways with the running back because he felt it was the necessary thing to do. While he didn't want to get too deep into the nature of that meeting, any meetings with Guice or the exact timeline of when he found out about Guice's charges, he had no problem accepting ownership of the transaction.
"If it was the right decision, we will benefit from it, and if it’s not, it will be on me," Rivera said. "I will take full responsibility as we go forward to try and make sure we do things the right way."
Some outsiders have since wondered why guys like Reuben Foster or Cody Latimer remain with the franchise while Guice was dropped. The former was controversially claimed in 2018 and has been charged with domestic violence offenses in the past, while the latter is currently facing a handful of charges for an incident that happened in Colorado in May, including second-degree assault, which is a felony.
Well, to Rivera, each circumstance is "unique" and "each one will be handled and dealt with differently." Foster, for example, has "been excellent" since Rivera arrived, so the coach is willing to see what his future holds in Burgundy and Gold. Latimer, meanwhile, is currently on the Commissioner's Exempt List, and Rivera wants to gather more details when it comes to his legal standing.
As Rivera attempts to get the Washington pointed in the right direction — a process that is likely more intensive than he could've ever imagined — he broke down one key question he wants his players to ask themselves. The question can apply to all kinds of scenarios, both on the field and away from it, and he believes it can give guidance as the team proceeds in its rebuild.
"When we decide to do something, when we think of what we’re going to do, we have to honestly think: Is what I’m about to do truly going to help us?" Rivera said. "Is it going to benefit us, and how is it going to benefit us?"
Guice obviously didn't ask that question, and how he's gone. For Rivera's sake, hopefully that'll be the exception.
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