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Ron Rivera speaks to the media: “This might be linebacker by committee because this is a very talented group”

The coach answers questions about Derrius Guice and football to start the week

The Washington Football Team started off the week with Ron Rivera answering questions from the media on Monday morning. Later this week we will hear from Dwayne Haskins Jr., Ryan Kerrigan, Montez Sweat and Terry McLaurin.

The coach opened up with a statement about his decision to cut Derrius Guice, taking full responsibility for it. He said that he spoke to the players about it on Sunday. He also said that “each situation is unique” and that each would be dealt with individually, clearly not wanting to say that the Guice decision will set a precedent that binds the club in the future.

The discussion prompted questions about parallels to Cody Latimer and Reuben Foster. Rivera stressed that each situation is unique, but reading between the lines, Ron sounded more positive about Foster’s situation than Latimer’s, saying that things would have a chance to play out for both players.

Coach talked about the range of talent at linebacker and eschewed the opportunity to discuss which players would fill which linebacking positions, suggesting that different players might start different games depending on defensive alignment.

One new thing we hadn’t heard from coach before was an emphasis on players practicing with tempo, and exhorting reporters to let him know if they don’t see that in practice. This seems to be a priority for Ron Rivera as part of his new culture.

The coach praised Dwayne Haskins and discussed Alex Smith’s situation, reminding everyone that if Alex gets healthy he will be competing for a roster spot. Coach Rivera also talked about the running back group without Derrius Guice, and reminded people “not to forget about Peyton Barber”. He reviewed the TE position and Logan Thomas’ re-activation from COVID reserve list, saying at one point that fans might see one, two or even three tight ends in formation when the season begins. While he was talking about COVID, the head coach stressed that awareness and prevention are ideas he has asked the coaching staff to talk about every day.

He had praise for the defensive linemen as well, at one point calling attention to each of them individually by name.

After the fairly subdued opening comment about the Derrius Guice situation, the media session was fairly upbeat. I got the sense that Coach Rivera is enjoying the opportunity to spend so much time with players, and with on-field practices right around the corner, the energy level is ratcheting up bit by bit.

Derrius Guice:

Reuben Foster:

“Linebacker by committee”:

You play the way you practice:

Dwayne Haskins:

Running back group:

TE Logan Thomas & COVID-19:

DE Montez Sweat:

Alex Smith & QB competition: