The Washington Football Team’s new head coach, Ron Rivera, did a few media appearances Friday morning and shed some light on the franchise’s new nickname and rebranding.
The long and short of it: Prepare to wait.
In an interview with Gayle King on “CBS This Morning,” Rivera said the team is “not close to making a decision” on a new name and that the process will take time.
“The biggest thing that we’ve learned is that this is going to take steps,” Rivera said. “This can’t happen automatically, so we’re going to have to go through the process.”
The franchise dropped its longtime nickname earlier this month and announced Thursday that it will go by Washington Football Team until further notice, with the 2020 season ostensibly around the corner.
So how long could those steps take? Rivera also appeared on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” and suggested that it could take more than a year to stamp a new nickname and brand.
“What happened was we found the realization that this is about a 16-to-18-month process,” Rivera said. “This can’t happen instantly. So we’ve really got to do our homework, we’ve got to be very thorough with what we’re doing going forward. Because we want to get it right.”
Why the delay?
Earlier in July, Rivera had said it would be “awesome” if the team could settle on a new nickname prior to this season. But that’s not happening.
“We want this new name, this new nickname, to be able to stand the test of time, [to] stand for 100 years,” Rivera told GMFB. “We’re going to be real busy with that. We’ve hired a firm that wants to be very diligent with their work, they want to be inclusive with their work. We’re going to do this right.”
People from outside the organization agree with the WFT approach, telling Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Eisenberg that it’s a process that must be handled properly and carefully — and that Rivera’s timetable might be on the conservative side.
On the flip side, Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson said the NFL is playing a dangerous game if it lets Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder take complete control of the renaming process.
However the process plays out, be warned: It’s going to be a slow-moving affair.
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