Washington head coach Ron Rivera was fired up, to put it lightly, after his team held off the Seattle Seahawks in the final minute of Monday night's game to secure its third straight victory and unofficially squeak back into the playoff picture.
"LET’S F***ING GO!" Rivera roared to the home crowd at FedEx Field as he stomped toward the locker room. " LET’S F***ING GO!"
His enthusiasm is justified. After Monday's narrow 17-15 victory, in which his defense had to stop a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Wilson from converting a two-point conversion with 15 seconds left in regulation in order to seal the win, Washington leapfrogged the also 5-6 Minnesota Vikings for the seventh and final playoff spot. If the playoffs started tomorrow, Washington would be in as the third Wild Card. Now, with six games to go, Washington officially controls its own destiny.
Rivera carried that fiery demeanor into the locker room to address his players in victory.
"I told you! I told you! Everything we need is in this room!" the head coach declared, as if he were breathing fire through his lungs. "Everybody in this room, we need!
"We've got to work together, stay together and be the team that we can f***ing be! We will not take it from anybody! I don't give a sh*t how they stack it against us! We're whipping [a**]! Now let's play football! Everybody, 'TEAM' on three! One-two-three..."
"You know what? It was the moment," Rivera explained the reason for his passion during his weekly appearance with The Sports Junkies on Tuesday morning, presented by F.H. Furr. "And it's funny, because, as I start to feel better and better in terms of health-wise, my energy levels really begin to spike. And it's good. I'm progressing very nicely, thank you."
"The emotional part, that's one of the things I've learned and I understand, that I need to be that guy. I need to be more that guy," Rivera told The Sports Junkies. "And so I'm working, trying to get myself up to do that so I can be that guy for our players and our coaches.
"And the energy that the players are playing with, they're practicing with... but then when we got out of the break, coming off our bye, and we practice on Monday and then practice on Wednesday getting ready for Tampa Bay, the energy level was phenomenal. I mean it really was. It was really neat to see."
"And we've been able to capture that and carry that," he continued, "and we've got to maintain it as we go forward because, again, part of this game is about your attitude. It's one of the things I preach with players and I've told them this, and they're probably tired of hearing me say it, but back in my day, who we were — we were the '85 Bears. And when we got off the bus, that was worth seven points. Just showing up was worth seven points.
"I said, 'Guys, that's what we want to create here. We want to have the opportunity where, when we get off our bus, when people see us coming, it's like Ah, hell.' Well, that's worth something, you know what I mean? And we're working towards that. But the way they practice, the way they've handled themselves these last four weeks has been really cool to watch. It really has. And to me it's just showing the growth of this football team."