Ron Rivera 'not worried' about his job security after blowout loss (0:53)Commanders coach Ron Rivera says he's not worried about his job following the team's third defeat in a row. (0:53)
DALLAS -- The Washington Commanders didn't want to focus on possible coaching changes -- and they're not convinced any would help.
After the Commanders lost 45-10 to Dallas -- their eighth loss in 10 games dropping them to 4-8 -- speculation once again turned to the job security of fourth-year head coach Ron Rivera and his staff.
Rivera said about his situation, "I've told you before I'm not worried about anything. All I'm going to do is do my job and see how things go. That's the only thing I can do."
But multiple players said they're not focused on the coaches fate.
"It's only when you guys ask," Washington left tackle Charles Leno, Jr. said. "No one else is bringing this s---- up. We don't talk about this s----; we don't care about this stuff, we're listening to our coaches following game plan and trying to win games."
Because it's the fourth year of Rivera's regime and the first of owner Josh Harris, there has been constant talk about the coach's future. Washington won the NFC East under Rivera in 2020 but hasn't finished with a winning record since 2016.
According to multiple sources, Harris has said he wants to give the staff a full season to better evaluate the entire operation. But the Commanders have lost three in a row and, in two nationally televised games, have been outscored 85-30.
"Who's going to step in and be the head coach? Who?" Leno said. "I don't know. ... Where we are right now I don't know that's going to help anything. I just feel like when you do stuff like that in the middle of the year, I don't know, I really don't know."
Leno said even if Harris promoted assistant head coach/offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy to interim coach, "it will be the same because at the end of the day EB will be focused on offense and [defensive coordinator] Jack [Del Rio] will be focused on defense. What's the difference?"
Multiple players have said privately that Rivera has not lost the locker room and want to see him remain as their coach for the remainder of the season. It's possible he could opt to change the staff before season's end, but after the game when asked about that he said, "I'm not going to get into that stuff."
"It really doesn't impact anything in the locker room," Washington quarterback Sam Howell said. "We just focus on what we can control, try to get better. Obviously, when things aren't going well people are going to talk about jobs for everybody -- not only coaches, players, too. We just have to zone it all out."
Receiver Terry McLaurin went through a coaching change here during the 2019 season. Then-owner Dan Snyder fired coach Jay Gruden after an 0-5 start; Gruden was in his sixth season. Washington won its first game after the firing, against the winless Miami Dolphins. But the Commanders finished the season 3-13.
"Just because you make changes here or there doesn't necessarily impact the result all the time," McLaurin said. "I'm not in those type of discussions, but I think even my rookie year when we had some change, we still had ups and downs. It's a matter of the players still having respect and pride. You can't come in here with your head hanging down and not go hard and not give effort. I just don't think that's a reflection of how personally the player you want to be. So that's kind of my mindset."
Washington was coming off an 8-8-1 season and hired Bieniemy to revive a struggling offense. The Commanders opted to start second-year player Howell at quarterback after he played well in a season-finale win over Dallas.
The Commanders anticipated offensive struggles because of the changes but did not foresee the defensive stumbles. Washington finished seventh in points and third in total yards last season defensively. It was hopeful of building on that success, but instead have struggled all season.
The Commanders rank last in scoring defense and 29th in yards allowed. Players say their conflicts extend beyond the coaches.
"In the NFL, you have to do your job and as players we're not getting the job done," Washington defensive tackle Jon Allen said. "As coaches, we're not getting the job done so I don't think anyone is getting the job done."