Ron Rivera not feeling pressure to find franchise QB immediately

NFL: NOV 08 Giants at Washington Football Team
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Washington head coach Ron Rivera has said he made a mistake in not holding a quarterback competition last season. He’s not repeating it, saying on Thursday that veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick will enter camp as QB1, but will have to fend off challengers to keep it.

But Fitzpatrick is 38, with years of experience going from team to team. While he has played better in the later stages of his career, no one is envisioning Fitzpatrick as the Football Team’s long-term solution at QB.

Entering his second year at the helm in Washington, Rivera said during his Thursday press conference that he’s not feeling pressure to immediately find a franchise quarterback.

“I say that just because … if you put all the other pieces into place and now you start going forward, when that guy does show up, when that guy is in the right position, you can grab him,” Rivera said, via Rhiannon Walker of TheAthletic.com. “I went through it the other way my first stint as a head coach in Carolina. We drafted the guy of the future for us in the first round. … At that point, we had not put all the other pieces around Cam Newton.

“So, I’ve always thought if you can do it the other way where you put all the other pieces around and then go out and get your quarterback, that might be a pretty good situation, too. … I’ve seen a lot of teams that have had things in place then drafted their quarterback next year. This could be one of those situations where we put all the other pieces in place and then a year or two from now, the right guy is there and we can make that move.”

Washington has the 19th overall pick in the 2021 draft, which likely takes them out of contention for the class’ top five signal-callers. But having Fitzpatrick, Kyle Allen, Taylor Heinicke, and Steven Montez on the roster will not stop the Football Team from making another move at QB if an opportunity presents itself.

“We’re going to react to what’s going to happen in front of us,” Rivera said. “Picking where we’re picking, there are a lot of things that can happen. We have targets, we have ideas, we have guys that we like, but that always changes just because of the fact that everybody has a choice.”