Week 12 of the 2020 finally wrapped up on a Wednesday afternoon, and now the Washington Football Team prepares for a game that has already been rescheduled. The Pittsburgh Steelers barely defeated a Baltimore Ravens team that was missing a lot of players, including QB Lamar Jackson. Due to that game being pushed back 6 days, Washington now plays Pittsburgh on Monday at 5pm. Their last game was on Thanksgiving when they completely dominated the Dallas Cowboys in a 41-16 win.
Ron Rivera said the game being rescheduled hasn't changed the way they will prepare for it. They're focused on taking on the undefeated Steelers no matter what day it is. He told the players they can't make a big deal about it, and they have to adapt and deal with it. Rivera is concerned with playing Pittsburgh after multiple players tested positive on each team, but Washington will continue following the protocols and testing.
Terry McLaurin is getting better and better, and Ron Rivera said he would have been drafted by the Carolina Panthers if Washington hadn’t picked him in the 3rd round last year. Route running was the only question about him coming out of Ohio State, but he has worked hard to prove a lot of people wrong about the pre-draft impression that he was just a special teams player.
Rivera said Antonio Gibson’s running style reminds him of Arian Foster. He likes Gibson’s body lean, deceptive speed/burst, and his vision. He hasn’t tapped into pass-catching skills as much yet either.
“He’s learning to be the kind of runner we hope he can be for us."
Pittsburgh Steelers/Monday Night Football:
Ron Rivera is addressing the media. The game being changed hasn't altered the team's preparation. They're focused on being ready to take on the undefeated Steelers, regardless of what day it is.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) December 2, 2020
Head coach Ron Rivera on the Steelers' game getting moved to Monday evening:— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) December 2, 2020
"It hasn't changed much as far as our approach."
He's told his players they can't make a big deal out of it and be ready to adjust and adapt to anything.
Ron Rivera says Washington's game being moved to Monday doesn't make much of a difference. Yes, they're on a short week after that, but he says they'll focus on that afterward.— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) December 2, 2020
Rivera thinks the interior defensive line is still growing, but they're learning how to getting vertical. There's more to being in the interior than being a big body, and he is pleased with players like Jon Allen, Daron Payne and Tim Settle improving.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) December 2, 2020
Ron Rivera on Brandon Scherff: "I love what we're getting from him. He does a great job. ... When you have a guy like that, it doesn't really matter who you line up next to him."— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) December 2, 2020
Ron Rivera really likes what @WashingtonNFL is getting from Brandon Scherff. Said he works well with Chase Roullier and Morgan Moses and has been a big help for David Sharpe, who has played right tackle the past two games.— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) December 2, 2020
Brandon Scherff has been great this year, regardless of who lines up beside him, Rivera said. His combo blocking with Chase Roullier has been good to see, and Rivera added Scherff is doing a great job of helping David Sharpe.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) December 2, 2020
Ron Rivera said before the 2019 draft in Carolina they really liked Terry McLaurin. Said they would have drafted him if Washington had not... Said if he came out now, he'd be a 1st round pick. Only question they had about him coming out was about his route running.— John Keim (@john_keim) December 2, 2020
Steelers vs Ravens:
Rivera plans on watching the Steelers game later today. He likes watching the broadcast for insights.— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) December 2, 2020
Ron Rivera says that since Baltimore plays a different defense than @WashingtonNFL's, watching how they perform collectively against the Steelers will not be of much help. They'll still be evaluating the Steelers' players on an individual basis, though.— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) December 2, 2020
Asked about if he’s concerned about the Steelers and Ravens game regarding its COVID implications with the WFT, and Ron Rivera said of course he’s concerned. The teams will continue to test, and they’ll monitor the situations— Rhiannon Walker (@InstantRHIplay) December 2, 2020
Ron Rivera said that he and VP of Player Personnel Kyle Smith collaborate when necessary during the season. "We work through the things we need to work through."— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) December 2, 2020
Going forward, Rivera said the biggest thing will be making sure everyone is on the same page.
Ron Rivera on Kyle Smith : "Kyle and his guys are doing a good job helping us keep everything active..." to @ScottABC7 & @ABC7News— Chris Russell AKA The Rooster (@Russellmania621) December 3, 2020
"Everything is being evaluated as we go forward." https://t.co/vEbTnFnHTT#WashingtonFootball@WSHFootballSI@LockedWFTPod
Rivera said Jonathan Allen is a very sincere and caring person. Rivera didn't know about Allen's efforts to help under privileged kids, but he does believe helping the community is extremely important.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) December 2, 2020
Rivera said Antonio Gibson's running style reminds him of Arian Foster... Likes Gibson's body lean; deceptive speed/burst. Good vision.— John Keim (@john_keim) December 2, 2020
"He's learning to be the kind of runner we hope he can be for us," Rivera said.
Hasn't tapped into pass-catching skills as much yet either.
Ron Rivera says the potential with Antonio Gibson is really exciting. Said they don’t know all the way what they have just yet — he’s still learning — but what he’s shown has been good to this point— Rhiannon Walker (@InstantRHIplay) December 2, 2020
Antonio Gibson has already had some spectacular moments this season. Rivera said the team doesn't know what Gibson's finished product is yet, but they do see the possibilities, and that excites him and the coaching staff.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) December 2, 2020
Scott Turner is addressing the media. Regarding Peyton Barber, Turner said he works hard and is a short-yardage, four-minute type of back for the offense. He does a good job of moving the chains for them.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) December 2, 2020
Offensive coordinator Scott Turner knows people knock Peyton Barber for his low yards per carry, but he's been primarily used as a short-yardage back and in the four-minute drill.— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) December 2, 2020
"Those yards are hard to come by. ...He's done a great job of moving the chains."
Turner said Pittsburgh is a tremendous challenge for the offense and they have their work cut out for them.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) December 2, 2020
Turner said Terry McLaurin trusts and believes in the process the coaches are teaching their players. That has helped him improve every day, and his teammates have come to appreciate the work he puts in.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) December 2, 2020
Turner said the offense has improved overall throughout the season, and that includes himself as a first-time play caller. Every presents different situations for him, and he has learned when to be aggressive, when to be patient and when to take his shots.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) December 2, 2020
Scott Turner praises O-line coach John Matsko for keeping his unit ready despite having to use several different combinations because of injury.— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) December 2, 2020
With running trick plays, Turner said timing is important, but execution is also critical. They ran a reverse on the first drive against the Lions and it got blown up for a loss. Against the Cowboys, the offense ran two trick plays and they resulted in plus yardage.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) December 2, 2020
Third down conversions:
Offensive coordinator Scott Turner just spoke to how crucial converting on third down has been. When you convert on third down, Turner said, you have at least three more plays. That opens the door for trick plays and explosive plays. https://t.co/eg30BmEuL7— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) December 2, 2020
Choosing Washington in free agency:
Logan Thomas said he had about "two handfuls of teams" that were interested in him during free agency. @WashingtonNFL was one of the first teams to show interest, and that enticed Thomas to play for a coach and organization he respects. He said being from the area helped, too.— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) December 2, 2020
Thomas said he had heard from a handful of teams when free agency opened. He also said there was another team on the west coast, but added that would have been tough being so far from home. Washington hit a number of check points for him. https://t.co/ZYJ5NPzJkl— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) December 2, 2020
Alex Smith is addressing the media. With a young team like Washington going against an undefeated team like the Steelers, he said there isn't any special sort of advice he can give his teammates. It all comes down to executing and doing your job.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) December 2, 2020
Alex has had a front-row view of Terry McLaurin's skillset lately, and the competitiveness he gets in his eyes during game day is apparent. His work ethic has allowed him to be one of Washington's most impactful weapons.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) December 2, 2020
Smith and Rivera's relationship has mostly been virtual for the past few months, but Rivera's treatment and perseverance to attend practices and games has given him and the rest of his teammates a chance to see the kind of person Rivera is.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) December 2, 2020
Smith said Ben Roethlisberger is a Hall of Fame player, and what has impressed him is how Roethlisberger has been able to win in different ways such as with his legs and avoiding tackles. Smith has been impressed with his work ethic leading the Steelers to 10-0 as a veteran.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) December 2, 2020
Smith said he is feeling more comfortable escaping pressure. That is hard to simulate in practice, so the only real experience he can get is in games. Since being named the starter, he has slowly improved his mobility.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) December 2, 2020
Smith said from the time Gibson has joined the team, but his ability to get yardage out of plays aren't there has improved. Those plays don't show up as much on the stat sheet, but they are impactful.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) December 2, 2020
Because of Big Ben's experience — he's played in 228 games! — Kendall Fuller says Washington will have to excel when it comes to disguising on defense. If not, he'll know what they're doing well before the snap and that ain't good— Pete Hailey (@PeteHaileyNBCS) December 2, 2020
Tackle vs Dallas:
Why is Terry McLaurin the best? Because he just called his tackle against Dallas "my job." He takes as much pride in his tackling/blocking as he does in his catches/TDs. He loves the dirty work— Pete Hailey (@PeteHaileyNBCS) December 2, 2020