To no one’s surprise, the report that the Washington Commanders would be moving on from Ron Rivera as their head coach that surfaced on Sunday morning came to fruition on the day following the end of the regular season is infamously known as Black Monday.
Commanders part ways with head coach Ron Rivera. pic.twitter.com/UrkLyjI70X— NFL (@NFL) January 8, 2024
The Commanders, who are entering their first offseason under new ownership, aren’t wasting any time trying to find Rivera’s replacement. They have reportedly requested permission to interview a pair of assistants on a Baltimore Ravens’ coaching staff that is expected to receive a lot of interest from around the league over the next month and a half as teams look to fill vacant coaching and front-office vacancies.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Washington has requested to interview Ravens Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald who is “one of the bright young minds” in the league and is quickly rising up the ranks in the coaching world.
Macdonald is still just in his third season as a defensive play caller and designer and only the second in the NFL after getting his first shot at the collegiate level at the University of Michigan under Jim Harbaugh who is the young brother of Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh.
His unit was been a tremendous catalyst for the team’s success during the 2023 regular season and officially made NFL history with its conclusion on Sunday by becoming the first defense to ever finish as the league leaders in sacks (60), takeaways (31), and fewest points allowed per game (16.5).
The 36-year-old has quickly established himself as one of the best and most innovative defensive minds in the league who sets up his players to succeed by putting them in roles that maximize their individual skill sets, an excellent trait for any and every coach to have. Prior to his ascension to stardom, Macdonald was a longtime assistant coach on the Ravens staff serving in different roles from 2014 to 2020 that included defensive assistant coach, defensive backs, and linebackers coach.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Commanders have also requested to interview Ravens Associate Head Coach and Defensive Line Coach Anthony Weaver to fill their head coach vacancy as well.
Commanders requested permission to interview Ravens assoc HC and DL coach Anthony Weaver for their head coach job, per source. https://t.co/LCXBkyLH1M— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 8, 2024
Weaver is a former defensive coordinator who has served as Harbaugh’s right hand for the past two years and oversaw the development of the Ravens defensive line for the last three years. Under his tutelage, 2020 third-round pick Justin Madubuike blossomed into one of the most disruptive pass rushers in the league who made his first career Pro Bowl and led both the team and all interior defensive linemen in the league with 13 sacks.
The 43-year-old is a former player turned coach and has been in the professional ranks since 2012 and has experience working with five different teams including the Ravens as an assistant. Even though he is not as hot of a name as Macdonald, Weaver is still highly regarded around the league and has been learning everything it takes to be a successful head coach from one of the best in Harbaugh.