There aren’t many coaches in the NFL who can offer a former player’s perspective, quite like Washington head coach Ron Rivera.
Rivera played nine NFL seasons as a linebacker with the Chicago Bears before retiring after the 1992 season. One reason he chose to retire was the Bears were moving forward without him.
Now, as every NFL team has the unenviable task of trimming their rosters to 53 players, it’s something Rivera remembers well and does not enjoy.
“Tuesday is going to be a really tough day for me personally because I’ve been through it,” Rivera said. “I know what it’s like when you have to bring in young men and cut them. I’ve been cut, so I understand that. I don’t take that day lightly. A lot of times, when I talk about the things I experienced as a player on the field, that helps because I talk about my own experiences off the field. I can relate.”
It’s certainly part of the job every NFL coach likes the least.
Trimming the roster to 53 players will be difficult for Rivera and his staff this time around. Washington has its best roster in years, meaning it will be letting go of some good NFL players. This week, we saw it when Washington released Steven Sims Jr., and he quickly signed with the Buffalo Bills.
Releasing NFL players is a difficult job. You are ending the football dreams of some young men who may never play football again. While it’s certainly not easy for any coach or player, having a coach who has been through it is a unique experience because Rivera can offer perspective and advice few others can.
As the #WashingtonFootball preseason winds down, and roster cuts loom, it’s a topic that hits close to him for Ron Rivera, not only as Washington’s head coach, but as a former player himself.
— NBC4 Sports (@NBC4Sports) August 26, 2021