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Ron Rivera not 'desperate' entering fourth season in Washington: 'I could be gone in a year, that's football'

Ron Rivera is keenly aware that 2023 is a big season for his future in D.C.

Entering his fourth season at the Commanders' helm, he's compiled a 22-27-1 record in three years in Washington, never finishing above .500 despite one playoff appearance. Beyond the potential ownership changes in Washington, that stat alone would leave Rivera in a precarious place entering this campaign.

"I could be gone in a year, that's football," Rivera recently told The Washington Times. "I understand that. But what I want to do is when I leave, I want everybody to go and say, 'Boy the roster's in a good place.' ... That's great. I want to walk away saying that's what I did. I'm good with it. I understand it.

"I'm not going to be desperate. I'm not. Because when you're desperate, you make bad decisions."

The Commanders' roster on paper is solid. The offense has receiving weapons in Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson and a steady back in Brian Robinson. The defense has names up front with Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen and Chase Young, and the back end showed some baby steps forward late last season. However, along with offensive line and secondary upgrades this season, the glaring question mark for Rivera is the QB spot.

The coach has insisted Sam Howell is in line for the QB1 job. Given that the former fifth-round pick started just one game in his rookie season (even if it was a solid performance), it's somewhat a surprise Rivera has been so overt regarding his faith in the former North Carolina product. Jacoby Brissett inked an offseason contract with Washington and would bring some stability to the position if Howell falters or Rivera feels the early season pressure and needs to make a move at QB. But the lack of an obvious franchise quarterback has made the Commanders a wild card moving toward the draft -- especially if a QB starts to slide in the first round (Washington owns the No. 16 overall pick).

Rivera, who has been open about the potential Commanders sale, said he hopes -- if it does happen -- things will go better than they did when Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper bought the organization before the 2018 season. Rivera lasted 28 games with the new regime before being fired with a month left in the 2019 campaign.

"I've got to be very specific and very clear cut with what our vision is going forward," Rivera said. "And it has to mesh. That's one of the things I learned from [the Panthers change] is that not having it mesh, not having an explanation of what we're going to do and how we're going to do it ... slows that process down.

"When that opportunity comes, when I sit down [with new ownership] and go through the explanation, I'm going to be very concise."

Winning would also help persuade any new bosses that Rivera remains the right person to lead the Commanders forward in what is shaping up to be a competitive NFC East division for years to come.

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