Yesterday, Ron Rivera joined Chris Collinsworth on his podcast to discuss a variety of topics, from his battle with cancer, to the social justice and name change issues facing the team last year, to Alex Smith’s comeback, and the 2021 draft class. It’s a 30-minute interview, so packed with great information. I would highly recommend any WFT listen to the whole thing, as Rivera is incredibly forthcoming on a number of fronts.
I’m going to hone in on a 3-minute segment of the interview (starting around 22:15), however, that really caught my attention.
Collinsworth: “Such an interesting year. We saw Taylor Heinicke, we saw so many different people, Dwayne Haskins you let go. Lot of people thought this year might be a year that, despite the fact that you signed Ryan Fitzpatrick, you might have made a move in the draft and come up and take one of those 5 quarterbacks that everybody was talking about. Did you consider that at all?”
Rivera: “Oh yes. Oh, we did, Chris, we really did, but the thing also that stood out in our mind was the amount of draft capital, the price that we were going to have to pay to try to get the right one, the one we liked the most. That was hard, because we’re looking at our teaming saying, “God, we need a linebacker, we need a left tackle - for the future - we need so many other things that just getting the one guy might not have put us in that position.” Now, with what we’ve done, we’ve secured some of our positions. We feel good about those positions, and the rest of the team. And, I’ll say this. This is one of the things we talked about too was - other than Tom Brady - who’s won multiple Super Bowls? You know, you can say Peyton, you can say Eli, but then who else? You look at the other guys that have won them, and there are a lot of one-timers. And what do those one-timers have in common? Well, they’re guys that were very efficient, they managed the game, they didn’t turn it over a lot, and they made plays when they had to.
So, we’re just wondering if, is that the other formula? If you’re fortunate enough to find this guy, you ride him. But if don’t, and you find these guys, what says you can’t win with them? Other than Tom Brady, think about this. So we went through that back and forth. Now I’m not saying that if the right guy, in our mind, is there, that we don’t ride with him. So we’ll see.”
Collinsworth immediately proceeds to squander this goldmine, digressing with a crack about Ryan Fitzpatrick and “Hawaiian shirts,” but I have no intention of doing so.
This has been the topic of endless discussions, particularly in the lead up to the draft: Does a team need a “franchise QB” to enjoy the ultimate success, or can it be done with a very solidly built team with a “good enough” QB plugged into the middle of it? It sounds like Ron and his management team have had those discussions as well, and that they’re leaning in a pretty logical direction: “Don’t pass up the franchise QB if he drops in your lap, but build your team soundly enough so that a “good enough” QB can compete for the Lombardi.”
I’m sure other coaches or GMs have said this before, though I can’t really remember an instance of it. And, I certainly can’t remember an instance of it here - although it’s exactly what Gibbs 1.0 did. But, it’s just the freshest breath of air that I can imagine.
On the heels of two impressive free agency cycles (and this one isn’t over yet), two apparently impressive drafts, and a front office team with a unified philosophy (or any philosophy) for the first time in decades, I just couldn’t be any more pleased with what Rivera is doing with this franchise.
In my opinion, his approach to handling the QB position is spot on, and should put to bed hand-wringing about the “long term solution” at quarterback. As long as Ron and company keep stocking the rest of this team with deep talent, the “quarterback dilemma” is a problem the WFT appears content to leave the other 31 teams to worry themselves over, and I love it.
What do you think of Ron’s thoughts on QB?
This poll is closed
He has found the path to enlightenment.
He has lost his way.