Ron Rivera was pleased with the defense’s performance in Washington’s upset victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers yesterday. The defensive line has developed over time, and they are buying into the coaching. Pittsburgh was limited to 21 yards rushing, and Rivera said the DL and LBs were a big part of that. The team converted from a 3-4 to a 4-3 this year and had to break some bad habits from previous coaching. Rivera criticized the linebackers recently, and they took that to heart and have improved.
Yesterday was the 1 year anniversary of Dan Snyder’s first conversation with Ron Rivera about taking the Washington head coaching job. They discussed building, and maintaining a winning culture in Washington. Yesterday’s win over the 11-0 Steelers was a big sign that the culture here is shifting to where they want it to be. Now they have to focus on the final 4 games of the season, and winning the division.
Ron Rivera hasn’t spoken with the trainers, and he said he usually avoids that before his day after a game presser to avoid answering injury questions. That means there is no update on RB Antonio Gibson who left yesterday’s game after his 2nd carry with a toe injury.
Logan Thomas had his breakout game yesterday, but that didn’t come as a surprise to Rivera. TE Coach Pete Hoener saw his potential when they signed him, and he has been getting better throughout the season in all aspects of his position.
Chase Young is a student of the game, and coming out of Ohio State he was truly trained at the position. Young is an emotional leader, he brings energy on the field and on the sidelines, and his teammates feed off of it.
The Steelers did everything they could to not get burned by WR Terry McLaurin yesterday. He was held to 2 catches for 14 yards, but he opened up the rest of the offense. Cam Sims, Logan Thomas, and J.D. McKissic all took advantage of the attention McLaurin received.
Everyone loves the white on white that Washington wore for the first time since 2009 yesterday. Ron Rivera learned early on here that the fans wanted to see that color combo again. He wanted to save it for a big game, and facing the 11-0 Pittsburgh Steelers fit the bill. He didn’t tell the players, but when they finally saw the uniforms, you could hear the excitement. Rivera loved the white on white combo in Carolina, and wanted to bring that look back here.
Press Conference: Head Coach Ron Rivera | December 7, 2020 https://t.co/Aa9ZbbvsDP— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) December 8, 2020
The defensive line is ascending, Rivera said, and that's what you hope for at this point in the season. The players have bough into, and they're starting to believe in what the group can become.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) December 8, 2020
Ron Rivera on limiting the Steelers to just 21 rushing yards: "The play of the linebackers has gotten better." He also says the defensive line have gotten used to the new techniques within the scheme.— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) December 8, 2020
Ron Rivera said the team's improved run defense has really just been about "development over time."— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) December 8, 2020
Going from a 3-4 to a 4-3, the defensive linemen had to break some previous habits. Rivera also highlighted the play of the LBs. He criticized them and they "took it to heart."
Ron Rivera time. On the improved run defense. Said some players took time breaking habits from prior coaching. Now buying in. Also the linebackers have stepped since he called them out a few weeks back.— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) December 8, 2020
Ron Rivera says the linebackers now understand it's more than just 'getting to the crease' but it's about 'attacking the crease' for linebackers..— Chris Russell AKA The Rooster (@Russellmania621) December 8, 2020
Mentioned Bostic & Holcomb especially. @WSHFootballSI @LockedWFTPod
Ron Rivera said that during the season, he has allotted "more than enough time" for special teams work. The team has added an extra period on Thursdays solely dedicated to field goals. That includes having to run on the field for a field goal w/o timeouts.— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) December 8, 2020
Rivera points out that getting sacked as Alex Smith did, in a weird way helped the field goal unit.— Chris Russell AKA The Rooster (@Russellmania621) December 8, 2020
1 year anniversary:
MUST SEE #WashingtonFootball Head Coach Ron Rivera (@RiverboatRonHC) says exactly a year ago yesterday (same day as the win over Steelers) was his first conversation with Dan Snyder about the Washington job @wusa9— Darren M. Haynes (@DarrenMHaynes) December 8, 2020
LISTEN TO COACH pic.twitter.com/it8exFfxZv
Right after the game, Ron Rivera called Dan Snyder and told him the win came exactly one year after Snyder first called Ron about Washington's job. Their conversation in that initial chat was about building a culture, and Monday night's win showed that culture taking shape— Pete Hailey (@PeteHaileyNBCS) December 8, 2020
Ron Rivera said he told Dan Snyder it was a year ago to the day (yesterday's win) they both talked about building a culture for Washington. He said everything came full circle.— Lake Lewis Jr (@LakeLewis) December 8, 2020
.@RiverboatRonHC— Chris Russell AKA The Rooster (@Russellmania621) December 8, 2020
"I wasn't angry about getting let go in Carolina."
Says he was hell bient on getting back at it right away.
Snyder reached out to Rivera's agent & was prepared for the phone call.
Says the conversation was about re-establishing culture & Joe Gibbs was a key
Final 4 games:
Rivera: This is going to be a tough stretch of final games. This is going to be about our character and culture and where we are.— Lake Lewis Jr (@LakeLewis) December 8, 2020
No Antonio Gibson update from Ron Rivera. He delays talking to the trainers the day after games until after these media sessions.— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) December 8, 2020
Pete Hoener highlighted Logan Thomas' name in the offseason and felt like he was on the cusp. In fact, Rivera said Thomas had just been scratching the surface of his ability. Thomas has several "wow" moments. Yesterday -- nine receptions for 98 yards -- was definitely the biggest— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) December 8, 2020
Ron Rivera on TE Logan Thomas:— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) December 8, 2020
"Each game he does something that makes you go, 'Wow'"
Thomas smashed his previous career highs vs. Pittsburgh with 9 catches for 98 yards and a TD.
Rivera calls Chase Young a "student of the game" who is an emotional leader: "Getting him from Ohio State, you got a guy that was truly trained at his position."— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) December 8, 2020
Ron Rivera: Chase Young is a student of the game and is still learning. Getting him from Ohio State, he was coached up. Chase is an emotional leader. He brings emotional energy that his teammates feed off of.— Lake Lewis Jr (@LakeLewis) December 8, 2020
Ron Rivera with some more good things to say about Chase Young. Coming out of Ohio State, Young was a player who was "truly trained at his position." Rivera also called Young an "emotional leader" whose energy resonates with the rest of the team.— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) December 8, 2020
Rivera said the Steelers were rolling their coverage to Terry McLaurin, freeing up other opportunities for others.— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) December 8, 2020
The Terry McLaurin effect: Rivera pointed out that the Steelers would often roll their coverage towards him, which created opportunities for his teammates. Defenses are respecting McLaurin, and as a result, Logan Thomas, McKissic and Cam Sims combined for 260 receiving yards.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) December 8, 2020
White on white uniforms:
I asked Ron about wearing the white-on-whites and who decided it. Sounds like he led the charge. He loved the look in Carolina and wanted to save the combo for a "big game." He didn't even tell the players, so when they first saw it, they got firrrreeeed up— Pete Hailey (@PeteHaileyNBCS) December 8, 2020
That white-on-white look. Ron Rivera said he learned early on folks wanted this uniform combo. He decided to wait for a big game. Boom.— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) December 8, 2020
Rivera detailed why Washington went back to its all-white uniforms: "I'm going to save them for big games. .... We didn't tell the players. It was funny because when they came in and saw it, you could hear the excitement."— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) December 8, 2020
Ron Rivera has a PowerPoint presentation planned for the players.— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) December 8, 2020
The topic: Humility.
Monday afternoon game:
Rivera said oddly enough, playing at 5 p.m. on Monday felt like a Monday afternoon. They've tried to keep everything as normal as possible, despite all of the meetings being virtual, and that has really helped the players.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) December 8, 2020
Coming back from 14-0:
Ron Rivera did not see any despair from his players on the sideline after @WashingtonNFL went down 14-0. They always believed they could come back, and that's exactly what happened.— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) December 8, 2020
Daughter’s work with social media:
The story behind "Underdogs Win"— Darren M. Haynes (@DarrenMHaynes) December 8, 2020
Just listen to @WashingtonNFL Head Coach @RiverboatRonHC:
- There was a video
- @LFletcher59 voiced it
- Ron's daughter edited the video
- Video was texted to every player before Steelers game.@wusa9 @WUSA9sports pic.twitter.com/yHLq8kcBzV
Ron Rivera just told us his daughter, who works for Washington's social media wing, helped put this video together, and he 1) Showed it to his players on Sunday night and then 2) Had it texted to all of them a few hours before kickoff https://t.co/2YZ9V4QUwd— Pete Hailey (@PeteHaileyNBCS) December 8, 2020