Washington Redskins first-year head coach Ron Rivera reiterated his top focus of developing a "sustainable winning culture" during a Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce Virtual Leadership Luncheon on Thursday afternoon.
In an interview conducted by the "Voice of the Washington Redskins" Larry Michael, Rivera talked about topics ranging from identifying leaders to the 2020 NFL Draft to working together to reach a common goal.
"We are going to need everybody," Rivera said. "Just because I'm the head coach doesn't mean anything good is going to happen. It's going to take a lot of work."
Rivera is entering his 10th season as a head coach in the NFL. He guided the Carolina Panthers to the playoffs in four of his nine seasons, highlighted by an NFC Championship and an appearance in Super Bowl 50.
"I just have a plan that hopefully I can implement and get it going," Rivera continued. "Get our players behind it, we got our coaches behind it and more importantly, we need to get our fans back behind us. Get them out there 100 percent. We need everybody pushing and pulling all in the right direction to give us a chance to win."
Rivera is attempting to become the first head coach to lead the Redskins to a playoff win since Joe Gibbs did so during his second tenure with the team in 2005. Part of Rivera's plan is to bring in players on the cusp of taking the next step.
"We want to find guys that we believe will fit into our culture that we are trying to build here," he said. "We want to build a sustainable winning culture here. We don't want to just be a flash in the pan. We want to build so it has to be a very steady process. During that process, you have to go out and find guys who want to be here, guys who want to commit to the way you do things and then incorporate them in what you do."
Along with speaking highly of the leadership provided by some of the team's veteran players, Rivera noted that he's pleased with the amount of youth on Washington's roster.
"The last three drafts have been really good ... you got to see how many of those first-, second- and third-year guys were getting a lot of playing time," he said. "So you know there is potential for continued growth and development. We've had a lot of young guys play a lot of football for this team so I'm excited about it. Hopefully, we can compliment that with some good draft picks."
The Redskins are currently set to make seven selections in the 2020 NFL Draft, scheduled for April 23-25. Rivera agreed with Michaels that most of the heavy lifting in regards to preparation has been completed.
"Now, it's about refining the draft board," Rivera said. "You talk about what your specific needs are going into this process and as you go through the process, now you start to look at what players are available and where you can project those players."
"You don't necessarily want to pick strictly on need and you just don't want to strictly pick the best player on the board," Rivera continued. "What you want to do is pick the best player on the board that fits you as a football team."
Fans are eager to learn what the Redskins will do with their first pick, the second overall selection in the draft. A majority of mock drafts predict Washington will select Ohio State defensive end Chase Young, a Maryland native who set the Buckeyes' single-season record with 16.5 sacks as a junior last season.
Rivera acknowledged the organization is excited about the pick and the draft overall, but he obviously remains coy about the team's plans.
"Nobody knows what Cincinnati is going to do other than Cincinnati," Rivera said of the team with the first overall selection. "Once Cincinnati makes its pick, we'll go from there."