How Joe Gibbs helped Dan Snyder recruit Ron Rivera

Ben Krimmel
January 03, 2020 - 11:10 am

After the Carolina Panthers fired Ron Rivera he was disappointed, but he said taking the time to study the league and find the right fit for him in his next move was exhilarating. 

"The longer I talked, the more I talked, the more people I reached out to about the situation, the more I learned," Rivera told 106.7 The Fan's Chad Dukes. "And probably the one person that really helped me through this entire process was Joe Gibbs. He was tremendous. He really was.

"I reached out to him, we talked for about 20 minutes. Then I reached out to him again and we talked for a little bit longer. And in between I'm visiting with Mr. Snyder," Rivera said on 106.7 The Fan.

Rivera added that after one of his big visits with Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, he said he had to go speak to Gibbs again.

"And then I came back after one of my big visits with (Snyder), and I said, 'You know, I've got to go talk to Coach,'" he said on The Fan. "And Coach invited me to his home and we sat down and we talked about what Mr. Snyder talked about, of being coach-centric. We had a great conversation about what that means and what it should look like.

"So as he and I went back and forth about that, I really kind of pictured that, and so the last time I sat down with Mr. Snyder, I had a much clearer vision as to what he was talking about, what he meant and I really felt that the message I was trying to convey and his vision really seemed to meld very nicely.”

Now the meeting between Gibbs and Rivera perhaps was by design. ESPN's John Keim reported Gibbs told Snyder to go get Rivera and so Snyder contacted the coach's agent within days of his firing by the Panthers. Keim goes on to report Rivera's agent, Frank Bauer, said Gibbs gave Rivera this message: Snyder is passionate and will do what you ask, but you must be upfront with him and keep him in the loop.

To Rivera, this coach-centric approach means there will be a great deal of collaboration: "We're gonna do everything we can to make sure that myself as the coach has the tools," Rivera told Dukes. "That doesn't mean I'm omnipotent and make the big decision, what it means is that I'm part of the collaboration and I explain my point of view, 'this is why we need this guy,' 'this is why we need to get away from this guy,' 'this is why we want to do these types of things.' 

"And then, now these guys will come and say 'This guy fits what we do,' 'oh, yeah, let's see what we can do here,' 'this guy doesn't fit, OK, I get it, I agree.' And if we can't come to a collaborative agreement, then that's when we'll ask Mr. Snyder to get involved to help us through this situation."

Rivera added this approach isn't about one person telling a group on what to do, but "a group of people trying to make a decision that is best for the coach, to give him the best tools, so he can help this football team be in a good position."

And the Redskins new head coach is excited for the next five years.

"So, I'm excited, I really am," Rivera told 106.7 The Fan. "I just think the situation, the circumstances are coming together very nicely."

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