Ron Rivera leans into name speculation with humor

Ron Rivera leans into name speculation with humor

ASHBURN — Ron Rivera claims he doesn’t know the next name of the Washington Football Team, but that didn’t stop the coach from having a little fun with the speculation and rumors over what it might be during Tuesday’s season-ending press conference. 

At multiple points, Rivera leaned into possible candidates by emphasizing certain words during answers. 

First, Rivera said he didn’t want to throw players “to the Wolves” — and then paused to acknowledge the reference. Team president Jason Wright ruled out “Red Wolves” and “Wolves” as the team’s new moniker last week, citing trademark issues. The Burgundy and Gold will announce the new moniker Feb. 2.

Shortly after, Rivera then made his second reference when he said he would not “command” — raising his voice slightly when saying the word — anything out of linebacker Jamin Davis, prompting more laughs out of the room. 

The joke was a reference to Commanders, believed to be one of the front-runners after an image of the name and logo was sitting on Wright’s lap during an episode of the team’s “Washington Football Today” on NBC Sports Washington. 

The best exchange happened when a reporter joined the bit. 

Ron, I don’t want to ‘hog’ the conversation,” The Athletic’s Ben Standig said, a reference to “Red Hogs.” 

“That’s very ‘admirable’ of you,” Rivera replied, a nod to “Admirals.”