Ron Rivera is settling into his new role as head coach of the Washington Redskins and he believes that wide receiver Terry McLaurin can have a big impact going forward.
Rivera took over as Redskins head coach at the turn of the year and now faces the challenge of reversing the recent trends for the Maryland-based franchise.
It has been five years since the Redskins logged a winning record in the NFL, a feat they have managed only twice in the last 13 seasons.
After eight years overseeing the Carolina Panthers, it is challenge that clearly struck a note with Rivera and he is ready to roll with some key players.
With the Redskins as longest at BetOnline to win the NFC Championship next season, it’s fairly clear that ambitions must be realistic for owner Dan Snyder. But, Rivera believes he has the players and tools at his disposal that can see the Redskins at least trending in the right direction.
Quarterback Dwayne Haskins had to fight to be the main man during his first season in Washington but, now that he is established in that position, Rivera must give the talented 23-year-old a platform on which he can succeed.
No doubt Rivera has inherited a team with its share of problems, something he also experienced in Charlotte when he took control of the Panthers, but he has seen shoots of recovery during what has been an unusual first few months in charge.
McLaurin is one of those shoots, having impressed his new head coach in their initial interactions. Getting to know McLaurin is something that Rivera revealed has been a ‘treat’ during his first months as Redskins head coach. The former Ohio State man did enough in his rookie season to suggest he has plenty to offer in the NFL and, according to Rivera, there’s a personality behind the ability that can see McLaurin going to the top.
“He’s a young man I think that had a solid year last year as a rookie. He’s a guy that could be on the verge [of stardom],” added the coach.
His 919 receiving yards and seven touchdowns saw McLaurin leading the Redskins last season, despite the continuing uncertainty in the quarterback position making things tougher than ideal. Once Haskins had secured his status, the pair began to develop their on-field chemistry in a fashion that was promising for Redskins devotees.
They’ll be the go-to pair when Rivera begins his first season in charge at the FedEx Field. His former college mentor Urban Meyer suggested recently that Haskins’ ability to succeed as an NFL quarterback will be reliant on a change of culture at the Washington Redskins.
With Rivera at the helm and McLaurin tipped for further success, it seems as though things are finally starting to look up for Washington with an established coach in place that has a track record in upscaling fortunes of a faltering club.