Head coach Ron Rivera is aiming to maintain his focus on the Washington Football Team after revealing his skin cancer diagnosis this week.

Rivera, who was hired at Washington in January after leaving the Carolina Panthers, has been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, although it is at an early stage and "very treatable and curable".

The coach is determined to lead Washington in the coming NFL season and believes the distraction could help him.

"It is very good [to focus on coaching], it really is," Rivera said. "That's one of the things that the doctors talked about: when I can work, focus.

"Focus on that because it'll detract from the other things that are going on. A lot of the time that helps get people get through situations and circumstances.

"My intent is to do everything that I'm supposed to do, follow the doctors very carefully and, again, the things that I can do, I will do."

Rivera is aware he may yet have to take some time to himself, though, adding: "For me, personally, it's another challenge. It's a challenge that I accept, I understand what it is.

"I'm realistic about it. I've got to continue to be the person that I am and be disciplined about it, go about my business, do things that I need to do, take care of those things.

"But more importantly, and one of the doctors said it very eloquently, is that: 'At some point, coach, you're going to have to be selfish. Take care of you.'

"So again, I'm realistic about this. I'm trying to be realistic about the approach."

The coach even suggested his potential absence could prove a "learnable moment" for Washington.

"Without a doubt," he said. "Because to me - let's say coach has to step back - are we going to wait for somebody else to step up or are we going to step up ourselves?

"So, I think this is all part of our growth, I really do. Again, it's going to be a learnable moment and we'll find out a lot more about ourselves."

Ron Rivera has hinted Dwayne Haskins role as Washington Football Team's starting quarterback is not secure and Alex Smith could challenge him as he bids to make a remarkable comeback.

Haskins – a first-round draft pick in 2019 – seemed set to serve as Washington's first-choice quarterback in 2020 after an indifferent rookie season.

The 23-year-old shared quarterback duties last year, but Case Keenum has since moved on to the Cleveland Browns.

However, Rivera has suggested it will not be straightforward for Haskins, with veteran Alex Smith making progress towards a return to the field few thought possible when he suffered a compound fracture of his tibia and fibula in 2018.

The devastating injury saw Smith miss the entire 2019 season, with the former first overall pick then developing life-threatening sepsis and requiring 17 surgeries to prevent his leg from being amputated.

Smith was cleared to resume football activities in July but remains on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.

"The biggest thing we've got to do is not make sure we're divvying up the reps as evenly as possible, but we divvy up who they work against," Rivera told a news conference.

"This could be a very interesting challenge for us because of Alex Smith. If Alex is healthy and continues to get healthy and we do activate him, he's going to be in the throes of this competition.

"It's going to unfold very nicely as a football team for us because competition is only going to make you better. It's going to push the young guys as well.

"I just feel really good about what we're going to be doing as we start going forward. It'll be a very challenging situation to make sure everybody's reps are equitable, and their competition is the same."

While Rivera seems set on giving Smith a chance, he also backed Haskins to become a leader for the team this season.

"I think the one thing I did say to Dwayne in one of the opportunities he came to first see me was being the leader is not just what you do on the football field, but what you do off of the football field as well," Rivera said.

"He's taken that to heart and has done a great job. He's competing, he's doing the things we need him to do, he's being very professional about the way he's handling himself and he's really been very thoughtful in terms of his actions.

"So that's one thing that's been a big plus. It really has. I've been really pleased with what we've got from him."

Ron Rivera said he decided to release running back Derrius Guice for the good of the Washington Football Team organisation.

Guice, who was selected in the second round of the 2018 draft, was released on Friday after he was arrested on domestic abuse charges.

The 23-year-old, who missed his rookie season with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, was charged with one felony count of strangulation, three counts of assault and battery, and one count of destruction of property.

In a news conference on Monday, Rivera confirmed it was his decision to release Guice.

"I made a decision that I believe was in the best interest of this organisation, our players and our fans going forward," he said.

"A very difficult decision. Anytime you have to release a very talented young football player, it's always a tough decision. This type of circumstance, this type of situation, we take those allegations very seriously.

"We had to make the decision going forward. Sometimes, it's one of those things where there are processes, there are situations, there are circumstances that you go through.

"Each situation, each circumstance is unique. Each one will be handled and dealt with differently to what we believe is best for the organisation going forward, and that's probably the most important thing.

"I talked with the players and basically told them I made a decision I thought was in the best interest of our organisation. If it was the right decision, we will benefit from it. If it's not, it will be on me.

"I will take full responsibility as we go forward to try and make sure we do things the right way. From that, I want to move forward."

Washington have undergone a significant change in the offseason, with the team ditching their previous "Redskins" nickname, and Rivera spoke of the challenges ahead when it comes to tweaking the culture of a franchise starved of success.

"It has been part of what I have to do. As we look at the entire situation and circumstances of trying to establish who we are as a football team, there are going to be some decisions that will have to be made that are tough and difficult," Rivera added.

"There are some things that we will continue to grow on and improve. It is hard, but the thing that I've got to do, and I tell the players, is that when we decide to do something we have to think about what we're going to do.

"We have to honestly think, 'Is what I'm about to do truly going to help us? Is it going to benefit us, and how is it going to benefit us?'.

"In these situations, making those decisions to do what I believe is right, I will continue to do. I will own those decisions."

Josh Norman is ready to "start something new and fresh" after confirming he has been released by the Washington Redskins.

Norman joined the franchise on a five-year contract worth $75million in April 2016, making him the highest paid cornerback in the history of the NFL at the time.

However, the 32-year-old fell out of favour towards the end of the 2019 season. He did not start in their final six games, suggesting his spell with Washington was coming towards an end.

In releasing the player, the Redskins – who are yet to officially confirm the roster move - will save $12.43m in salary cap space.

"It's their choice not mine," Norman told Julie Donaldson of NBC Sports Washington. "Now I can start something new and fresh."

Norman previously played for the Carolina Panthers, where he worked with new Redskins head coach Ron Rivera.

The fifth-round draft pick was named first-team All-Pro after the 2015 season but failed to agree terms on a new long-term contract in Carolina, leading to him becoming an unrestricted free agent.

In his four years with the Redskins, Norman had seven interceptions and eight forced fumbles.


Jay Gruden is hoping for a swift return to a coaching role, and would be open to joining his brother Jon at the Oakland Raiders.

Gruden was fired by the Washington Redskins – who on Wednesday appointed former Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera – early in the season following five straight defeats.

He has been out of work since then, though with several head coaches either already fired or set to be relieved of their duties following the end of the regular season, Gruden is eager to return.

However, Gruden will only consider a job which he feels is the right fit for him culturally, whether that is as a head coach or as an offensive coordinator.

"It's a pretty unique feeling [when you are fired]," Gruden told the Rap Sheet podcast. "You wake up at the same time in the morning ready to go to work but you don't have work to go to.

"I'm itching to do something. You definitely miss the camaraderie of the players, the coaches. You've just got to get used to it and wait for your next opportunity.

"We'll see what happens. There's going to be some changes made. Hopefully I'll be in a position to talk to some owners and get another opportunity as head coach.

"I could take a year off if I don't get that opportunity I'm looking for, we'll have to see what's available. Some of these jobs aren't easy.

"You have to make sure you look at the right player. Whether it's coordinator or head coach you've got to make sure you mesh with the people that you're working with."

The possibility of Gruden linking up with his brother Jon – who is head coach of the Raiders – has been touted, though he does not think a move is likely while his sibling has a full complement of staff.

"He's not got any job openings right now. If anything comes at a later time then I'd have to look at it," Gruden said.

"You want to make sure you work with people you know have the same core values that you have, work hard and are loyal. I know Jon fits all of that criteria, so he'd be a great guy to work for."

While Gruden is frustrated with how things ended with the Redskins, he acknowledged he expected to be fired.

"I was kind of ready for it. I knew it was going to happen," he added. "We didn't have any success, we were 0-5 at the time and there was frustration on both sides.

"Some changes had to be made and they made them. I was frustrated with the injuries and our best players never playing. We parted ways, all in good spirits and I'm ready to move on."

Ron Rivera has been hired as the new head coach of the Washington Redskins, the team has confirmed.

Rivera was fired by the Carolina Panthers in December following eight seasons at the helm, having guided the team to three successive divisional titles and an appearance in Super Bowl 50 in the 2015 campaign, with his last game in charge a defeat to Washington.

The Redskins finished the 2019 season bottom of the NFC East after losing 47-16 to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday to close out a 3-13 year.

On Monday, amid links to Rivera, the Redskins – who fired previous coach Jay Gruden in Week 5 of the 2019 season – parted ways with long-time president Bruce Allen, who had overseen a 62-97-1 record during his nine years in charge.

"After several meetings with coach Rivera, it was clear he is the right person to bring winning football back to Washington D.C.," said Redskins owner Dan Snyder in a statement announcing Rivera's arrival.

"He is widely respected around the league as a man of great integrity and has proven to be one of the finest coaches in the country."

Rivera, meanwhile, is hoping to restore Washington as one of NFL's powerhouses after years of underachievement. 

"While I love the storied history of the franchise, I am focused on the future and excited for the opportunity to win football games with this talented young team," Rivera said.

"After meeting Dan Snyder, it was clear we are aligned in our passion for the game and he supports my vision to turn the team around. I look forward to surrounding myself with great people and getting to work."

Rivera has reportedly signed a five-year deal with the Redskins, who had placed Bill Callahan in interim charge after Gruden was relieved of his duties.

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder has confirmed president Bruce Allen has been relieved of his duties, as the team continue to be linked with Ron Rivera.

The Redskins finished the 2019 season with a 3-13 record, coming bottom of the NFC East after losing 47-16 to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

With Allen as team president since 2010, the Redskins had a 62-97-1 record.

Snyder has now decided to act, confirming on Monday that Allen had been sacked.

"As this season concludes, Bruce Allen has been relieved of his duties as president of the Washington Redskins and is no longer with the organisation," a statement read.

"Like our passionate fan base, I recognise we have not lived up to the high standards set by great Redskins teams, coaches and players who have come before us.

"As we re-evaluate our team leadership, culture and process for winning football games, I am excited for the opportunities that lie ahead to renew our singular focus and purpose of bringing championship football back to Washington D.C."

Allen's departure comes as the Redskins continue to be linked with Rivera, who was fired as head coach by the Carolina Panthers in December.

According to an NFL Network report, Rivera had meetings with the Redskins scheduled for Monday in Washington D.C. and is expected to be named as the team's new coach.

Ron Rivera has no plans to give up coaching and is confident he will soon get another opportunity in the NFL.

Rivera was relieved of his duties by the Carolina Panthers on Tuesday after nearly nine seasons at the helm following a run of just one win in six games that dropped their record to 5-7.

A two-time Coach of the Year winner, Rivera led the Panthers to Super Bowl 50 at the end of the 2015 season, in which they went 15-1. Carolina reached the playoffs four times under his stewardship.

The 57-year-old still believes he has more to give and told a farewell media conference on Wednesday: "My intent is to coach again. I love coaching.

"Not just coaching because it's about winning football games, but coaching because you have an opportunity to impact young men and people. And that's what I want to do."

When asked what his pitch would be to prospective new employers, Rivera said: "I've got the right kind of experience.

"Having gone through the things I've gone through, been where we've been, it gives me experience. It doesn't mean I'll be better than anybody else, but it gives me perspective.

"At the end of the day it's production-based and if you don't produce then it's time to move on. I'll be honest, I'm kind of excited. I really am. I'm really looking forward to a lot of opportunities."

Looking back on his tenure with the Panthers, Rivera said: "My biggest regret is not winning the Super Bowl.

"I'm proud I took over a 2-14 team and won back-to-back-to-back NFC South division titles.

"I want to reemphasise: I'm proud I took over a 2-14 team and won back-to-back-to-back. See the emphasis? Won three in a row.

"Whether you define it by wins or losses or you define it by winning the division, to me that's three years in a row. ... I get tired of hearing, 'They couldn't win [two] years in a row.' No, we won three years in a row, so let's get that straight. And we were the first team in the NFC South to do it, so I'm doggone proud of that."

The Carolina Panthers have fired head coach Ron Rivera following a run of one win in six games.

Rivera led the Panthers to Super Bowl 50 in the 2015 campaign, but a team who went 15-1 in the regular season were stymied by the Denver Broncos in a 24-10 defeat.

The Panthers have not won a playoff game since, though there were signs of life this year after they recovered from an 0-2 start to win their next four games despite the absence of injured quarterback Cam Newton, who has not played since the Week 2 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because of a Lisfranc fracture.

However, since their Week 6 win over the Buccaneers in London, the Panthers have suffered an alarming slump that has dropped them to 5-7 and effectively ended their hopes of reaching the playoffs.

A 29-21 loss to the Washington Redskins last Sunday proved the final straw, with owner David Tepper - who bought the team in May last year - indicating further changes will be coming throughout the organisation.

"I believe this is the best decision for the long-term success of our team," Tepper said. "I have a great deal of respect for Ron and the contributions he has made to this franchise and to this community. I wish him the best. I will immediately begin the search for the next head coach of the Carolina Panthers.

"We are going to take a comprehensive and thorough review of our football operation to make sure we are structured for long-term sustained success. Our vision is to find the right mix of old-school discipline and toughness with modern and innovative processes.

"We will consider a wide range of football executives to complement our current football staff. One change that we will implement is hiring an assistant general manager and vice president of football operations.

"We all must recognise that this is the first step in a process, but we are committed to building and maintaining a championship culture for our team and our fans."

Secondary coach Perry Fewell will serve as the interim head coach for the Panthers' final four games of the regular season. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner will switch to become special assistant to the head coach, with quarterbacks coach Scott Turner taking on his father's role.

Rivera ends his Panthers tenure with a 76-63-1 record in the regular season. He went 3-4 in the playoffs.

The Carolina Panthers have fired head coach Ron Rivera following a run of one win in six games.
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