SNIDER: Angry Ron means hope for Commanders turnaround


Angry Ron is back. And, that’s a good thing.

Washington Commanders coach Ron Rivera has been unusually cursing this week, but his postgame remarks after beating the Chicago Bears on Thursday showed "Riverboat Ron" is once more the volatile coach from his Carolina Panthers days when film room reviews were R-rated.

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It's time for taking names and kicking butts. No more Mister Nice Guy. Either the Commanders get better or get out because Angry Ron is back.

When asking about an ESPN report that owner Dan Snyder forced the offseason trade for Carson Wentz, Rivera snapped.

"I’m the f—ing guy that pulled out the sheets of paper, looked at the analytics and watched the tape," he said before abruptly ending the presser.

The past near three years of constant controversies and losing have finally caught up with Rivera. No more playing politics. No more hiding from the truth this team was inches away from 1-5, maybe 0-6.

It was the lack of Rivera’s passion that was most alarming, though. What happened to the guy who could kill people with simply a glare? It was like he was transformed into a kindly grandfather lately. Understanding poor play, looking to grow prospects rather than quick success.

But, enough already with the negative waves, you bunch of social media Moriartys. Maybe the Commanders just beat another of the NFL's worst teams by literally an inch, but they held three times in the red zone. The week before saw that last-second winning play go against Washington, so pardon Rivera for backing his boys.

Maybe it's a short-lived high as Washington gets 10 days off before returning against the Green Bay Packers. But, it beats a five-game losing streak. And, Washington is nearing midseason when Rivera's teams historically play better.

The break is well needed. Carson Wentz's shoulder and hand are aching after too many hits. He gutted out the Bears win when maybe Washington should have sent in Taylor Heinicke. Wentz know he can't surrender the field for fear of never returning as a starter. His stats were pretty meager, only 99 yards passing. But, a win is a win. Wentz didn't make the killer mistake that cost games. The Bears did.

How many knees did defensive tackle Jonathan Allen take before rising each time to make plays? Now that's what team captains do.

And youth served well with running back Brian Robinson stabilizing the backfield and scoring a touchdown while cornerback Benjamin St-Juste made the winning last-second stop at the goal. Safety Darrick Forrest has been the surprise of the season. Ballers one and all.

A victory wasn't enough for social media haters, who now see success as tanking for the top pick. That upsets Angry Ron, too. You play to win the game and for now, the Commanders found a way to win when many past seasons they wouldn't have done so.

That probably makes Angry Ron smile.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks.

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