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Jon Bostic Presser: “This is a new year for us to be able to get back on track and be able to go out and prove ourselves as a defense”

Jon Bostic speaks to the media after today’s practice

Jon Bostic was a free agent signing last year, and he went on to start all 16 games, becoming a leader on the defense. That performance earned him a 2-year deal to come back to Washington, and play under new coaches Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio. Bostic echoed Rivera’s statement earlier that last year wasn’t good enough, 3-13 never is.

Washington has made a lot of changes since last year, an the defense has seen a lot of resources poured into it. The team switched to a 4-3, and brought in players like Kendall Fuller, Thomas Davis Sr, Kevin Pierre-Louis, and drafted Chase Young with the #2 overall pick. The defense is working to improve daily as training camp continues.

There have been concerns about tackling that Ron Rivera has expressed due to the lack of mini-camps, OTAs, and the preseason this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Bostic said tackling is something that you have to work on every day. He also said technique is huge in tackling. “Taking good angles to the ball, emphasizing staying inside out on the ball, emphasizing budding up the ball carrier, knocking the ball carrier back.”

Tackling:

“To be honest, you’ve got to work on it every day. Tackling’s always going to be an emphasis for defense. Yeah, you would definitely like to get as much tackling as you can before you get to the regular season, but to be honest you don’t really get a whole lot of live tackling during camp anyway. Regardless of how you want to look at it, whether there were no OTAs or we had OTAs, no preseason games versus preseason games, it’s all about having good angles to the ball and practicing tackling every day. Yeah, we might not be taking them to the ground, but we are fitting up the ball carriers still. We’re trying to knock ball carriers back, and then we obviously let them go.”

Yesterday’s day of reflection on social injustice and racism:

“To be honest, it was just kind of a time that was open floor. Guys were allowed to express how they felt throughout everything and some things they may have gone through. It was something that I think was good for our team. It was good for a lot of guys because it brought a lot of guys together. You don’t have OTAs to have that comradery to get you through that, to get to know some of these guys. To be honest, yesterday, yeah we wouldn’t have liked it to be when it was after [the Jacob Blake shooting] happened, but I do think it was good. I think some guys really got to understand where some guys came from and just listen to them. Everybody comes from different backgrounds. Everybody was raised differently. Everybody’s been through things throughout their life that the next person doesn’t know about, so be able to share those circumstances yesterday and be able to try to get eye-to-eye with each other I think was good for us.”

Ron Rivera:

“To be honest, you see a guy that’s come in and is trying to lead us. Showing us the right ways to practice, showing us the right ways we’re going to have to do to when ball games, giving us statistics showing if we’re able to play this type of style of football, we’re going to have success. But it’s going to take a lot of work to get there.”

Jack Del Rio:

Kevin Pierre-Louis:

Washington LBs:

Shaun Dion-Hamilton/Reuben Foster:

“Everybody’s growing. That whole position group’s growing. Everybody’s getting better day after day after day. It’s only helping our defense. Shaun’s been a guy that can do a little bit of everything. Reuben, each day he’s taking a step. I think that’s, like I said, the fun part about football. We’re all pushing each other. We’re trying to get better each and every day. We’re helping each other, giving each other tips about how we can play certain routes better, how we can play this run fit better, certain things that I may understand better than the next guy where I can explain it this way now and everybody gets it. I think just those two guys along with the group, each and every day everybody’s taking a step.”

Foster returning from injury:

“I’m excited for him. Him and I, we’ve had conversations. Mine wasn’t to the extent of his, but I went through what he went through. I got hurt early in my career. To be honest, a guy like Thomas Davis was somebody I looked up to early in my career because he was a guy that had been through multiple injuries and guys really didn’t think he was going to get back from that injury. To be able to come back and be able to play at a Pro-Bowl level and where he was playing at—when I was looking at linebackers back then, I know a lot of people weren’t talking about him, but he was definitely a top-five linebacker. So, now all of a sudden to be able to share a meeting room with him, these are some of the stories I’d been able to share with Reuben. We’ve had a couple conversations just about my story and where his story’s at. To be able to keep him positive each and every day and just worry about the day in front of you—tomorrow, we’ll get to tomorrow. But, he’s progressing each and every day and going forward. Like I said, we’re all excited for each other.

Improving the defense:

Thomas Davis Sr.:

Blocking out distractions:

Last year wasn’t good enough:

Defensive line 2019 vs 2020:

“I think on the outside, a lot of people kind of make a big deal about it, but it’s not too much of a difference from what they were doing last year. Versus catching blocks and keeping us free, now they’re going to attack. They’re going to make people deal with them. Especially the defensive end position, they just won’t be driving in coverage as much. Last year, they had to drop in coverage a lot. They had to understand a lot more coverages than they’re being asked to this year. Now, we want those guys to get after the quarterback and go hunt. We don’t want them thinking as much, let the back end do the thinking and let them get after the quarterback and change the game that way. I guess it’s more of an emphasis on the outside more than it is on the inside. It is different for those guys in a way, but they’re growing just like we are each and every day.”