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Ron Rivera continues to reshape the front office, and bring in talent familiar with his hand-picked executives

More front office moves

NFL International Series-Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Football Team announced the hiring of two more college scouts. Matt Evans, who was with the team for 8 years, and handled the southeast region, recently left the scouting department. The team went with two people that the Martyvera Tribeca was very comfortable with.

The hiring of Jeff Beathard was reported yesterday. He has been with the Carolina Panthers for the last 13 years, and is very familiar with Head Coach Ron Rivera and former Panthers GM/current Washington Executive Vice President of Football/Player Personnel. He also happens to have a connection to the franchise through his father Bobby Beathard who was the GM from 1978-88.

Jeff Beathard's NFL experience via the WFT:

Beathard is entering his 25th season in the NFL and spent the last 13 seasons as an area scout for the Carolina Panthers. He was assigned to the southeast region. Prior to joining the Panthers, Beathard was a scout for the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 2003-05. He also worked in the San Diego Chargers scouting department from 1994-2002. He got his first NFL scouting opportunity with the Los Angeles Rams in 1992 and worked with the club until 1994. Prior to working in the NFL, he held the roles of director of player personnel and running backs coach for the Orlando Thunder of the World League of American Football in 1991. Before joining the Rams in 1992, Beathard held the positions of director of player personnel and tight ends coach for the San Antonio Riders of the WLAF.

Washington also hired Sheldon White who worked with current Washington Football Team GM Martin Mayhew when they were both with the Detroit Lions. White moved up from scouting into the personnel department in 2000, and has extensive experience there at the NFL and most recently college level.

Sheldon White's NFL experience via the WFT:

Sheldon White is entering his 20th NFL season and most recently held the position of Executive Director of Player Personnel and Recruiting for Michigan State University. At Michigan State, he led the programs recruiting efforts and developed and implemented strategic planning along with supervising the entire recruiting staff. White also coordinated all player evaluations of current players for the coaching staff.

Prior to his role at Michigan State, White worked for the Detroit Lions for 19 years and spent six seasons as the vice president of pro personnel along with being named interim general manager in 2015. White became a scout for Detroit in 1997 before being promoted to director of pro personnel in 2000. In 2009 he was promoted to vice president of pro personnel and the team advanced to the playoffs twice during his tenure in that role. In 2004, he graduated from the NFL’s career development program at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

Ron Rivera continues to reshape the front office to surround himself with people he trusts, but also people that will challenge him as he works to build a consistent winner in Washington. He recently spoke with Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer about year 2 with the team, and the moves he has made to change the culture here.

Owner Dan Snyder was supportive of Rivera when he wanted to bring both Hurney and Mayhew into the fold after they had both interviewed for the vacant GM position. They both bring different talents and approaches to the franchise as Rivera describes here:

“The biggest thing, Marty’s a little bit more get-my-hands-dirty out there in the scouting world, and going out on trips and being out of the office for a week or two at a time, where Martin is a little more in the office, on the tape, handling the day-to-day stuff, the communication between us and the league,” Rivera said. “That’s where you see the difference; Marty does a little more of the road work that you have to do in pooling all the information you get on the player, where you see Martin do it a little differently.”

And the perfect example, from Rivera’s perspective, is how the team reworked its offensive line from all angles. Indeed, Hurney was the one on the ground in Austin for Texas OT Sam Cosmi’s dynamite pro day workout, while Mayhew was in the office sifting through veteran options—eventually landing on a predraft trade to bring ex-Washington guard Ereck Flowers back to D.C. from Miami, with the cost standing as just an exchange of late picks.

Another example of their contributions this year was Mayhew orchestrating the team's only trade during the draft:

Then, during the draft, Rivera was looking to bolster the special teams with Michigan snapper Camaron Cheeseman. Hurney made the connection with the division rival Eagles on the idea of trading next year’s fifth-rounder for Philly’s sixth-rounder (225th), and Mayhew worked on valuing the trade, imploring that Washington should push for another pick as part of the deal. The Eagles, in the end, wound up throwing in its their seven (240th).

Rivera also discusses similar themes when scouting players in the draft and free agency here that our own Bill Horgan analyzed and discussed expertly in his 'Paying attention to what Ron Rivera says about leadership and culture' article this morning. Culture fit first, then judge the talent.

Washington's decision not to draft a quarterback was also discussed. Breer points out that he heard the team was content with the QB room of Fitzpatrick, Heinicke, Allen, and Montez if nothing fell the way they wanted in the draft. There's bo mention of the team's pursuit of Matthew Stafford earlier in the offseason, but this is the timeline we're riding now and Rivera had this to say about QBs in this year's draft, and in general:

“That was probably the biggest part of the conversation—if we do this and this and this, then we’ve gotta give up this draft capital and that draft capital, and then we’re still looking to fill these needs,” Rivera said. “That was always a part of the conversation, what we were going to do and how it would take away from our opportunity to fill those needs. Some of the early conversations we had on what people were looking for, what they wanted, we just didn’t want to give that up.

“The other thing too, this is the other thing to think about now, go back and look at who’s won the Super Bowl the last several years. How many of those guys are repeat quarterbacks other than Tom Brady. I mean, you see Nick Foles won a Super Bowl. Good for Nick, that’s outstanding. But let’s understand they had a good football team around him. If you have a good football team around the quarterback, what’s to say you have to have Brady? Now, it’d be great to have a Brady–type guy. But if it’s not out there, why are we gonna force it?”

This article started as a simple welcome to Washington for the new guys, but turned into a look at a head coach who has been given full control of an NFL franchise. From Day 1 this was labeled a coach-centric team, and now in Year 2 we're seeing Rivera completely enter his comfort zone. Players love him, and he helped lead them to a division title after a rocky start.

Washington hasn't had sustained success under owner Dan Snyder since he bought the team. Ron Rivera is bulldozing his way through decades of piss-poor management and a culture of losing and ineptitude. He has all the tools he needs to build a winner here, it's just a matter of how well he can navigate the issues that have befallen his predecessors.