Ron Rivera said the team worked through one position today as they continue to prepare for roster cuts on Saturday at 4pm. They will work through more positions throughout the week as they make some tough decisions. The lack of preseason games hurts undrafted players like Steven Sims Jr who made the team last year after a strong training camp/preseason. Rivera will work closely with Vice President of Player Personnel Kyle Smith, but the responsibility is his to make the cuts.
The team is looking for a complete tight end, something Rivera says the team had last year with Vernon Davis, but unfortunately he retired. Logan Thomas has been getting the most reps and attention at training camp this year, and Rivera said that he’s done a good job, and he likes the direction he’s headed.
Offensive line is one position you can’r have a catastrophe at, and Ron Rivera plans on keeping a good amount of them. The team has to evaluate players that are currently injured, and plan for who they want to try to get on their 16-man practice squad. Washington just traded for Raiders OL David Sharpe, and there are still a lot of questions about the depth(and the starters on the left side of the line).
Training Camp Press Conference - Head Coach Ron Rivera https://t.co/NWVdoB0fKD— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) September 3, 2020
Ron Rivera said they've worked through one position and will go through the others in the next day and a half before finalizing their initial 53 by Saturday at 4.— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) September 3, 2020
Rivera acknowledges the roster variances this year including expanded PS that are going into these final decisions. I factored in things like that and who might breeze through waivers or not. https://t.co/GESrAtKya0— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) September 3, 2020
Ron Rivera on working with Kyle Smith, VP of player personnel, on roster decisions: pic.twitter.com/FunK2NoShp— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) September 3, 2020
Rivera said he and Vice President of Player Personnel Kyle Smith have been talking all week. They'll continue to meet as roster cuts loom.— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) September 3, 2020
sole responsbility lies on me
Rivera said the team is looking for a "complete" tight end. Rivera had that in Carolina with Greg Olsen, and Washington had that in Vernon Davis. Do they have one now? "Maybe," Rivera said. Then went through the tight ends.— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) September 3, 2020
Ron Rivera said they're looking for a complete TE, a la Vernon Davis and Greg Olsen, as opposed to primarily a pass-catcher or blocking TE. "Do we have that? Maybe. Logan Thomas has done a great job. ... I like the direction he's headed."— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) September 3, 2020
Ron Rivera says Washington is going to keep a good amount of offensive linemen, and not just on regular roster but on the practice squad too. To me that sounds like at least 9 OL on the 53— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) September 3, 2020
Rivera on COVID-19 risks: "If there's one position you cannot have a catastrophe at, it's the offensive line." Said they're taking a long look at the position, not only for the 53-man roster but for the practice squad.— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) September 3, 2020
For the roster builders out there: Rivera said, because of "safety sake" you need a lot of OL. He typically kept 10 in Caro (h/t @PCinOz). Note: Was told the other day didn't expect Charles to go on IR so that means might want to keep 10 since he hasn't practiced in a while. ♂️— John Keim (@john_keim) September 3, 2020
Ron Rivera on analytics: "Figures lie and liars figure." That's another shirt— Pete Hailey (@PeteHaileyNBCS) September 3, 2020
However, Rivera said he sifts through all of the analytics and information. If the stats support his opinion, he feels better about it. If they contradict his opinion, he might get a little concerned. But statistics do not totally influence his decisions.— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) September 3, 2020
Rivera said after games sometimes he'd hear from analytic guys that he made the right call on a play that failed, based on the numbers. He'd say, "Did I really? we lost. What if we had kicked that field goal? Sometimes 3 is better than none." He'll listen, but not ruled by #s— John Keim (@john_keim) September 3, 2020
Think the preseason is gone forever? Think again. Ron Rivera said it’s “absolutely harder” for teams to make their 53 without preseason.— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) September 3, 2020
Rivera said it has been harder to evaluate players because there have been no preseason games. He gave Steven Sims Jr. as an example of a player who made the roster as an undrafted free agent last year.— Zach Selby (@ZachDSelby) September 3, 2020
Rivera said that "absolutely it's been harder" figuring out the 53-man roster without preseason games. Said it's unfair to some of the young guys who have not had game opportunities to prove themselves.— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) September 3, 2020
Rivera said this has been one of the hardest years to put together the roster. More discussions b/c no preseason games. Going to be interesting with a few guys/spots. Hard on this end to get a feel for the overall thinking at some areas.— John Keim (@john_keim) September 3, 2020