Washington Football Team Head Coach Ron Rivera addressed the media for the first time since it was revealed that he is starting his fight against cancer. He confirmed that Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio is Plan B for days when he perform his duties. Rivera plans on being at every practice, but Del Rio has enough experience to step in if needed.
Rivera has very vocal about his displeasure with the team and the way today’s practice went. He lit up the team, and explained that they have opportunities, and what is happening in practice now isn’t good enough to win in the NFL. Second-year left guard Wes Martin was named as a player who has every chance to win the starting job this year. Rivera praised Geron Christian Sr. in practice today for improving day to day.
Rivera is emphasizing decision making over accuracy for his quarterbacks for now. All three had their ups and downs today, but the defense was definitely the dominant unit again today, even when they were dropping INTs. He is pretty happy with the cornerbacks he has, and also mentioned the safety depth. He said the secondary is better than some he had in Carolina.
Training Camp Press Conference - Head Coach Ron Rivera https://t.co/n1ljSyOVKj— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) August 22, 2020
Not good enough in practice:
Ron Rivera: "As practice lingered on, it wasn't good enough. ... WE have to take ownership."— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) August 22, 2020
Rivera said the team did some things early today, but he said "it wasn't good enough" as practice went on. He told them the team has to take ownership. The defense played well, he said, but he doesn't feel the team practiced well overall.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) August 22, 2020
Ron Rivera, on Zoom with us now: "Today wasn't good enough. Today is not acceptable. ... I can't allow that to happen. That's why I voiced my feelings to the players."— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) August 22, 2020
Rivera said the team has to take advantage of the padded practices. It's an opportunity to build a "callousness," he said. He wants players to get better during this three-day period of padded practices.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) August 22, 2020
.@RiverboatRonHC says they are going to be in pads two more days in a row, so that they can build "calluses" ..— Chris Russell AKA The Rooster (@Russellmania621) August 22, 2020
Says they play 3 hour games...you don't want to see the tempo & energy wane....
You don't want to see a "team dragging our butts"@WSHFootballSI @SInow @theMMQB
Jack Del Rio:
Ron Rivera says Jack Del Rio is "Plan B" and that on days when Rivera has struggles due to treatments Del Rio will run the team. "If I'm there it's business as usual, if not, it's Plan B."— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) August 22, 2020
Ron Rivera acknowledges related to his cancer diagnosis that he will struggle. He's prepared for that, and Plan B is Jack Del Rio taking over. He's done it before, Rivera hopes he can be at practices, but in the case he can't, Del Rio will be at the helm.— Rhiannon Walker (@InstantRHIplay) August 22, 2020
QB decision making:
Rivera said all the QBs "had their moments." The biggest thing that Rivera and the team wants to stress right now is making the right decisions. That will help in their development.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) August 22, 2020
Rivera again emphasizes decision-making over accuracy w/quarterbacks. During the move-the-ball portion of practice, he said he was not as happy as he wanted to be.— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) August 22, 2020
Rivera, who singled out second-year LG Wes Martin after practice, said Martin has to realize the opportunity he has and do everything in his power to capitalize on it. Martin has taken most, if not all, of the first-team reps during the first three padded practices.— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) August 22, 2020
Rivera said Wes Martin is "certainly" one of the young OL that they are looking at to be a part of what they're doing. But Rivera also said that Martin "has to grasp" what that means. That includes communicating better with the center and whoever is out there at LT.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) August 22, 2020
Rivera said "we believe enough" in Martin to put him in position to start. But Rivera also said Martin has to play better all the time.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) August 22, 2020
Rivera on calling out W. Martin for not taking advantage of his chance: "I didn't intend to make him an example but I wanted him to understand that we believe enough in him that we're willing to give him this opportunity...He has to understand you have to play well ALL the time."— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) August 22, 2020
Geron Christian Sr.:
After imploring Wes to make the most of his situation he lauded Geron Christian for taking advantage of his, made a point about how much he’s improving day by day https://t.co/YnitjhXiGx— Mitchell Tischler (@Mitch_Tischler) August 22, 2020
Geron Christian is paralleling Erick Flowers situation last year ... he’s proving himself and I think he’s your week one starter at LT— Mitchell Tischler (@Mitch_Tischler) August 22, 2020
Rivera declines to say if he'll need surgery for his cancer.— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) August 22, 2020
Rivera on Thaddeus Moss. Since the foot is still sore and he was falling behind, they decided the waive/IR plan made the most sense.— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) August 22, 2020
Rivera on Thaddeus Moss (foot), who will go on IR if he clears waivers today: "Knowing what his potential is, knowing what he did in college football, knowing his skillset ... he's not healthy enough to get out there every day and he would just fall further and further behind."— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) August 22, 2020
Rivera stress the importance of depth, especially for teams like Washington that are young and developing. He needs the young guys to understand they need to step up and take the opportunity.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) August 22, 2020
Rivera said you have to have depth, especially when you have young guys at key positions. Mentioned how at wide receiver, there are plenty of opportunities for players to step up.— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) August 22, 2020
Ron Rivera has stressed playing fast all throughout the offseason and every day at practice. Much of his disappointment today was because of that - he felt players were dragging at practice.— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) August 22, 2020
Rivera said he feels "pretty comfortable" with the cornerback position. Washington has had a lot of young players step up, while veterans like Darby and Fuller have played well.— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) August 22, 2020
Rivera said the secondary is a "good group." Mentioned Fuller, Moreland, Darby, Moreau and Aaron Colvin at CB.— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) August 22, 2020
"As five guys go, you feel pretty strongly about that."
Rivera said the secondary is "a good group." The young group of CBs has stood out. He likes what he's seen out of the safeties as well. He said they're taking a long look at Apke and they like what they see out of Everett.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) August 22, 2020
Ron Rivera says he ideally wants "continuity" at CB....pleased with what he's seen out of just about everyone.— Chris Russell AKA The Rooster (@Russellmania621) August 22, 2020
"We have 5 or 6 safeties that we like" Says he was talking to Eric Stokes saying this is a better group than some they had in Carolina. @WSHFootballSI @theMMQB
Rivera said their group of secondary is better than some of the players they had in Carolina from 2013-2017. However, they still have to take advantage of the opportunities the coaches present to them.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) August 22, 2020