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Washington Redskins officially hire Ron Rivera

One coaching vacancy has closed

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Washington Redskins Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

After days of speculation, the Washington Redskins did what we all had come to expect and have officially hired Ron Rivera as their new head coach.

There was frequent speculation that the New York Giants could have interest in Rivera after he was dismissed by new Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper. Washington, however, was aggressive and moved quickly on their primary coaching target, becoming the first team off the 2020 coaching carousel.

While Dan Snyder does remain the franchise’s owner, Washington has committed to systemic changes around their organization. They opened by firing long-time decision maker Bruce Allen, as well as head athletic trainer Larry Hess. Washington has had recurring injury problems, from Jordan Reed’s inability to stay on the field to rookie running back Derrius Guice requiring multiple surgeries to address one injury.

Both of those decisions could help to woo All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams back into the fold. Williams he split with the organization following a persistent mis-diagnosis by Washington’s medical staff and serious cancer scare. With Allen and Hess gone, Rivera might be able to convince Williams to return to the team.

If so, Rivera walks into an intriguing situation. If Williams returns and Washington is able to re-sign OG Brandon Scherff, their offensive line will improve significantly over what they showed in 2019. Likewise, rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins showed remarkable improvement over his final five games, improving his completion pecentage by 36 points and improving his yards per attempt from 5.4 to an average of 9.1 in his final two games.

Armed with the second overall pick and potentially without the pressing need to find a new left tackle, Rivera could effect a quick turnaround for the Giants’ division rival.

Meanwhile, the Giants’ leading candidate appears to be Baylor head coach Matt Rhule, who turned down an interview request with the Cleveland Browns.

The Giants are looking for “leadership” in their next head coach and have a broad set of coaches in mind for interviews and, in addition to Rhule, they are seeking interviews with: