No one in the NFL has dealt with an issue quite like the coronavirus outbreak, which has altered everything about the offseason, and potentially longer.
But Washington coach Ron Rivera has been forced into a long break, so he’s adapting lessons as he can.
The lockout wiped out his first offseason as a coach in Carolina in 2011, meaning he didn’t meet his new team on the field until training camp.
“The biggest thing I learned was ‘Be ready,’” Rivera said, via Mike Jones of USA Today. “We were ready in every phase. We kept saying, ‘If we come back here, this is how much time we’ll have left to go.’ I kept adjusting the schedule weekly as we’d get into it.”
That’s good training, as no one’s quite sure when NFL teams will be able to work together again.
“This is one of those things that’s really going to test you, and test to find out how good your basics are,” Rivera said. “How good you are in your college scouting department, how good you are as evaluators as coaches and figuring out how this young man is going to fit into your system, just how good you were when you interviewed him. What kind of a feel did you get? This is going to test us, and it’s kind of interesting that we’re going back to the basics of fundamentals of scouting and coaching.”
For the moment, all he can do is prepare his (digital) materials and await guidance from the league. But he knows that starting from the ground up, and working on those fundamentals is the best way to push through an uncertain situation.
Having done something similar can only help.