Sports Rivera Strong: Washington in hunt, rallying around its coach
Opinion: Raheem Morris' quest for redemption leads Falcons interim coach to long-sought opportunity
Nine years removed from his last head coaching job, Raheem Morris now has another chance to prove he can lead a team as he takes over the Falcons.This second chance — as interim coach of the Atlanta Falcons — may not have come in the fashion that 44-year-old Morris envisioned. And many may view taking on an 0-5 squad with an aging quarterback, injured stars and ill-fitting pieces on defense as an undesirable assignment.
Ron Rivera rang the bell signifying his final treatment for squamous cell carcinoma and walked out of the Inova Schar Cancer Institute to a round of applause.
Rivera may be finished with his battle against a form of skin cancer, but he's not done inspiring players in his first season as Washington’s coach. The 58-year-old fighting cancer has defined the start of this season, which has Washington in the thick of a division race at 2-5 at its bye week because of the sorry state of the NFC East — and ready to continue rallying around Rivera, whose toughness has rubbed off on his team.
Former NFL star Dana Stubblefield sentenced to 15 years to life for rape conviction
Three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Dana Stubblefield played 11 years in the NFL for San Francisco, Washington and Oakland.In July, a jury in San Jose, California, found the three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle guilty of rape and the use of a gun during the commission of a felony in luring the victim to his home with the promise of a babysitting job.
“You look at what he’s going through daily in his life right now and the fact that he comes here every day willing to be here with us and operate in a way that he’s still our head coach and we still feel him as our head coach, it’s an inspiration just to come in here every day and to give your best,” longtime starting right tackle Morgan Moses said this week. “How can you not suit up on every Sunday and play for a guy like that?”
Rivera never wanted this to be about him. He bristled at continued questions about his cancer diagnosis and the toll of undergoing treatment during a pandemic, and wanted things to be “business as usual."
They were, at least in the rare cases Rivera couldn't run practice, and he didn't miss a single game. Before his final treatment Monday, the veteran NFL head coach said he's looking forward to just doing his job again without his health being a factor.
LT teams with toy drives to help underprivileged children
Pro Football Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor has teamed with DonateAToy.org for his own charity, Fore Life, Inc., a Florida-based not-for-profit organization that uses the game of golf and its character-building skills to empower vulnerable youth to help them survive and succeed. “When the pandemic forced us to cancel our 12th Annual LT Throwback Celebrity Golf Weekend event, we needed to find another way to raise funds to support the at-risk youth we serve,” Taylor says. “I encourage everyone to visit the DonateAToy.org website or ForeLifeInc.org website to learn more or to donate a gift to a child who needs it most during this holiday season.” DonateAToy.
“The hard part is I get my treatment, I come back, do a couple things, then I have to take a break before practice,” Rivera said . "It’s hard trying to map everything out. Traditionally, you’re here until 8:30, 9:30, 11 o’clock at night. I hit 5 o’clock and I’ve got to go home. The fatigue, really, like I told my wife, is having a 300-pound gorilla on my back.”
Rivera still needs additional tests and checkups, but the gorilla is off his back two months after feeling something was off during a self check and getting diagnosed. Assistant coaches saw Rivera go to work despite his energy level being low, and that alone gave them and players extra motivation.
“His strength is unmatched,” offensive co-ordinator Scott Turner said. “We’re here for him and really happy for him that he’s pushed through that. I think everybody, whether it’s our support staff or our coaching staff or our players, we’re all behind coach.”
Washington Football Team's Coach Ron Rivera Finishes Last Cancer Treatment with Round of Applause
Ron Rivera's wife Stephanie said it was a "very emotional moment" for the 58-year-old NFL coachBack in late August, the 58-year-old football coach announced that he had been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma located in a lymph node, detected through a "self-care check." Rivera continued to coach the NFL team between treatments.
Rivera's tenure in Washington hasn't been without its bumps, like benching 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins and installing Kyle Allen as the starting quarterback. His shift in approach from building for the future to attempting to win now because the division is so weak drew more questions.
But Rivera is looking prescient after blowing out the Dallas Cowboys 25-3 and seeing the Philadelphia Eagles struggle to beat the New York Giants. Washington can't be more than 1 1/2 games out of first place by the time it hosts the Giants on Nov. 8, so the belief is strong that this rebuilding team can contend now.
“The division, it’s in a scramble right now: We’re 2-5 and the division is wide open,” said Moses, who has gotten to play in one playoff game in five full seasons as a starter. “Our job right now is to take care of our division opponents and win this division and what happens is what happens.”
That was Rivera's approach when he turned to Allen, who followed him from Carolina after an off-season trade. While there's plenty of young talent accumulating on offence with rookie running back Antonio Gibson and second-year receiver Terry McLaurin. And on defence with No. 2 pick Chase Young and fellow pass rusher Montez Sweat, Allen exemplifies Rivera's grind-it-out attitude.
“He’s setting the example for us and it’s right in front of our eyes, and I just want to do my part, and I think everyone on this team wants to do their part, too, and transfer that onto the field,” Allen said. "You want to see that toughness, you want to see that grit, you want to see that fight. And there’s going to be mistakes made. We’re a young team and new coaching staff, but we can overcome those mistakes by fighting hard.”
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Stephen Whyno, The Associated Press
Browns donate $350,000 to close digital divide in poverty-stricken East Cleveland schools .
Browns players, coaches and the organization pooled together to donate $350,000 to help close the digital divide in East Cleveland City Schools.Rather than kick off their day with their typical planning meeting for the final practice leading up to Sunday’s game, coach Kevin Stefanski and his players carried out a more pressing mission: continuing their fight for social justice in their community. More specifically, the Browns took steps toward eliminating the digital divide that has placed students in the East Cleveland City Schools district at a severe educational disadvantage.