The Redskins are about to get pretty defensive.
Rivera was a member of the 1985 Chicago Bears defense, maybe the greatest unit of modern football. Del Rio was a relentless linebacker for four NFL teams over 11 seasons. Rivera hasn't changed on the eve of turning 58 years old. The confidence is still there of someone used to proving it on the field.
"I believe in me and I'll bet on me," said Rivera on his Thursday debut as the latest Redskins head coach.
There's a new swagger in Ashburn. No hesitation among the one-time steely linebackers in changing the 3-4 scheme of the past decade to a 4-3. Thank goodness, because it never really worked. The old defense couldn't cover a tight end in the flat to save its seasons.
Maybe the change is slightly overrated given the team will play both schemes throughout games, but the Redskins will need more aggressive players pressing the passer rather than behemoths filling the line, and bigger linebackers rather than speed.
But maybe there's some odd men out in this turnover. Perhaps the Redskins will go with a relentless four-man rotation inside with Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen, Tim Settle and Matt Ioannidis. Otherwise, a valuable player needs to be peddled for some secondary help.
Linebacker requires some thought on Ryan Kerrigan, whose $11.5 million can be cut without salary cap penalty. Kerrigan might just be squeezed while Jon Bostic might not be re-signed as a free agent. Montez Sweat, Ryan Anderson, Cole Holcomb and maybe coming No. 2 overall pick Chase Young could make up the unit. Kerrigan is just too expensive unless he's willing to redo his deal.
Either way, a 4-3 could be much more effective and Rivera and Del Rio will hammer it to be more aggressive.
"We're going to play the run on the way to the quarterback," Rivera said.
And who knows, maybe all the way to January.