Washington Football Team Head Coach Ron Rivera and QB Coach Ken Zampese answered questions after today’s practice. Rivera was fully in charge of today’s practice after missing Tuesday’s and showing up for the afternoon portion yesterday. He began his cancer treatments this week, and he will be doing them 5 times a week for 7 weeks.
Rivera talked to the team captains about the National Anthem, and what players plan to do during it this season. He supports every players decision, and says team unity isn’t everyone doing the same thing, it’s everyone supporting each other and their decisions.
Rivera continues to call the Philadelphia Eagles the gold standard of the division, but says the team is prepared for them this week. This will be a measuring stick to see where the team is. Rivera talked about the rivalries in the NFC East, and says he got his start as a position coach with Andy Reid in Philadelphia. He understands the tradition and the intensity in the NFC East.
Both coaches talked about Dwayne Haskins Jr. and the progress he’s made this offseason in transforming his body, and becoming a leader on the team. He was voted a team captain by his peers yesterday, and now he’s just got to prove it on the field. Ken Zampese has all the confidence in the world in Haskins, and called him a hungry player. They have developed a good relationship, and a communication system to allow for shorter instructions between plays.
Ron Rivera Presser
Press Conference - Ron Rivera https://t.co/LvGlqlMLDj— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) September 10, 2020
Injury Report:— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) September 10, 2020
Thomas Davis Sr. (calf) - DNP
Kendall Fuller (knee) - Limited
Saahdiq Charles (calf) - Limited
Jon Allen (knee) - Full
Antonio Gandy Golden (concussion) - Full
“The Real All Americans”:
Ron Rivera says he's reading "The Real All Americans" by @washingtonpost columnist Sally Jenkins.— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) September 10, 2020
Said he's texted Jenkins about it because he's enjoyed it so much.
Rivera on facing the Eagles: "I like this as a home opener because they're the gold standard in the division. This will be a good measuring stick of where we are as a football team."— John Keim (@john_keim) September 10, 2020
Ron Rivera says his team is ready to play against the Eagles on Sunday.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) September 10, 2020
Coach Ron Rivera said that he just mentioned to the team captains having a conversation about what the team will do during the national anthem. The team captains will be able to express themselves, and whatever is decided needs to be decided as a team.— Rhiannon Walker (@InstantRHIplay) September 10, 2020
Ron Rivera said the team plans to have a further discussion on Friday for what to do during the national anthem. But he's okay if, say, half kneel and the other half don't. He believes that shows unity because it shows respect for each other's decisions.— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) September 10, 2020
Rivera said he met with the captains today about any protests/actions, etc Sunday. still TBD. Said it's about respect: "If half kneel and half stand, that's team unity because I'm mature enough to respect your right as an American to kneel; please respect my right to stand."— John Keim (@john_keim) September 10, 2020
Ron Rivera with strong thoughts on how Washington will handle the anthem Sunday — as well as what constitutes team unity in protest.— Sam Fortier (@Sam4TR) September 10, 2020
From @NickiJhabvala https://t.co/4OQXIBzXL0 pic.twitter.com/ZL80l0Ddll
Rivera said a big thing this season will be about @WashingtonNFL playing the right way. In his opinion, that means playing fast, physical and being on the attack.— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) September 10, 2020
"We've got to give our fans something to cheer about."
Rivera said he was talking to one of his best friends from college recently. The friend asked what he was looking forward to this season. Rivera's answer was simple:— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) September 10, 2020
Washington signed kicker Brett Maher to the practice squad, but it just isn't a backup for Dustin Hopkins. Maher has experience punting as well, so he'll be a backup for Tress Way, Rivera said.— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) September 10, 2020
Rivera said the Brett Maher signing is about covering their bases in case something happens to Dustin Hopkins or Tress Way. When Maher played in Canada from 2014-16, he punted and kicked.— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) September 10, 2020
Rivera said he knows the players are ready to play because of the way they've practiced. They've had a number of up-tempo practices, which Rivera was pleased about.— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) September 10, 2020
The up tempo practices makes Head Coach Ron Rivera believe that the team is ready to play on Sunday. "We'll show up, go through the kick off and see what happens."— Logan Campbell (@loganncampbelll) September 10, 2020
Dwayne Haskins Jr.:
Dwayne Haskins was named a team captain earlier this week, and Rivera said that is a result of all the hard work Haskins did in the offseason. Now he wants to see Haskins go out and prove it during the season.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) September 10, 2020
Rivera on Dwayne Haskins being voted one of the captains by teammates: "It showed everybody noticed, not just me or other coaches or you guys or some teammates. They all noticed he was doing the things he said he would do. It was great to see."— John Keim (@john_keim) September 10, 2020
Ken Zampese Presser
Press Conference - Ken Zampese https://t.co/PzhpQpLvmr— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) September 10, 2020
Dwayne Haskins Jr.:
Dwayne Haskins has a lot of coaches and other QBs in his ear. How do they make sure they aren't giving him too much info? Here's Ken Zampese's answer, complete with an awesome dog analogy pic.twitter.com/o3927kMc29— Pete Hailey (@PeteHaileyNBCS) September 10, 2020
Quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese talking to the media now. Said that about two weeks in, Dwayne Haskins started to settle into the offense.— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) September 10, 2020
WFT QB Coach @KenZampese says Dwayne Haskins improvement was tough to measure at first because of all the ZOOM stuff but it's clicking now.— Chris Russell AKA The Rooster (@Russellmania621) September 10, 2020
He says the work in person "was fun to watch. He loves the drill work." @WSHFootballSI
"He's a hungry player."
Zampese said it's been fun to watch Haskins competing every day in practice. Described him as a hungry player.— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) September 10, 2020
QBs coach Ken Zampese is addressing the media right now. He said he got to know Dwayne Haskins pretty well over Zoom, and he called Haskins a hungry player. He loves to go out there and play, Zampese said, which gave them a good place to start with his development.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) September 10, 2020
Zampese would like to see the emotional ups and downs of the game and how Haskins responds to them. Zampese said he has "all the confidence in the world" Haskins will be able to do that.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) September 10, 2020
"A person alone in his thoughts is a lonely guy on game day."— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) September 10, 2020
Zampese said the relationships QBs develop each week lead to success on Sunday.
.@KenZampese says "we've been spending a lot of time & getting to know each other." on his relationship w/ @dh_simba7 ...Says they have a system of communication that will allow for shorter conversation & instruction. @WSHFootballSI— Chris Russell AKA The Rooster (@Russellmania621) September 10, 2020
Zampese said he will talk with Haskins Saturday and go over certain situations on third down, but he doesn't want to give him too much information before a game. He wants to let Haskins' ability take over.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) September 10, 2020