Ron Rivera's team isn't delivering wins
Mr. I-don't-have-the-patience-for-a-five-year-rebuilding-process' roster has glaring holes in Year Four, holes every layman saw before free agency and the draft, then watched in stupefaction as the team did little to plug them. We tried to talk ourselves into what the organization seemed to be thinking. After all, this is the sort of thing you more-or-less expect from a retread coach given broad power, who hasn't managed a winning season without prime Cam Newton. Despite the legion mediocrity, it's the petulance that really tears it for me.
'Do Your Job' hung in the locker room after a three game losing streak. The implication is clear.
"Because," Rivera said, "looking at the tape, watching the games, our previous five games, looking at some of the stuff that I read, the numbers, obviously to me, there's a sense and a feel that we're not doing the things that we need to do." - Mike Fisher, SI
'Do Your Job' is a sentiment telling you someone has been equipped with everything they need to be successful; all they have to do is remember their marks. This is a familiar tone from Rivera. Players aren't where they need to be, the system is fine, the coaching is fine, the players just need to do what they're being coached to do. Bullshit.
So, what excuse for the man who says quarterback was the only thing separating last year's team from competing in a tough NFC East? If he's fired, but the team is successful without massive roster turnover, "Send me my Super Bowl ring." What a leader of men. He sees what others don't. He is a genius defying convention.
When reality smacks him in the face, he faces the reckoning with a calm equanimity. Now, he is zen, and 'Do Your Job' becomes "I want us to be right and to see this community have that excitement again." These things sound good, but always seem a shallow attempt to bury poor results under good intentions. I don't buy those good intentions from a man who said Kyle Allen could do what Alex Smith did during the '20-'21 stretch run and claimed his comments were misconstrued when he threw Carson Wentz under the bus in a room full of reporters.
For Jack Del Rio, what defensive coordinator has done less with more?
The silence from ownership is getting louder
The fire in the locker room is out. Fans are dejected, while Ron Rivera shows us what the word 'welp' would look like in human form. This is the organizational failure of a coaching tenure and it is not a small moment. How comforting that the new ownership group did not shy away from their first opportunity to steer this team into the future.
Montez Sweat and Chase Young represented a failed investment of draft capital in the defensive line. Rather than indulge in a sunk cost fallacy, ownership put their thumb on the scale and brought back Day 2 draft picks. Still, why not give Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio the rest of the season? Same reason they traded away players who would have helped the team this season. The future begins now.
Keeping Rivera is the same sunk cost fallacy as keeping Sweat and Young. There is no future here for Rivera or Del Rio (or the Martii). Eric Bieniemy is next up and I want to see what he does with as many games as possible. I want to see the players given a leader who isn't staring at the gallows and talking in the press about post-mortem vindication. I want there to be film for the new GM on what the defense looks like when Jack Del Rio isn't in charge.
Josh Harris and Company are faced with the first true ownership test of the new era. The decision to fire a head coach and defensive coordinator is bigger than what they did at the trade deadline. The test question can be left blank, if they ignore the opportunity cost of allowing Ron Rivera's last ride. They shouldn't.
Let's hope the new ownership is prepared to be decisive.
...we all realize that ultimately we have to deliver wins on the field, so you don’t really need to say anything. It’s just out there. - Josh Harris