Washington Football Team Head Coach Ron Rivera spoke with reporters again this morning. The good news is that he didn't have any major injury news to share. He did point out that he didn't talk with Head Trainer Ryan Vermillion yet, but it looks like the team returned from New England healthy.
Rivera continues to like the development of TE1 Logan Thomas. He is comfortable in the position, and the team can expand his responsibilities. Rivera liked what he saw from rookie John Bates, but there is work to be done. Sammis Reyes could be the team's most physical TE. He does need to work on catching the ball cleaner after bobbling both his catches last night.
The team will continue to look at different players in the return game. Rivera has a lot of faith in Danny Johnson returning kicks, but liked what he sees from DeAndre Carter too. The team would also like to see last night's offensive player of the game, RB Jaret Patterson, get a look at returning the ball.
Don't expect to see competition at a position fans have been calling for for a few years. Dustin Hopkins missed two kicks vs the Patriots, but Ron Rivera pointed out that the team has a new LS in 6th round pick Camaron Cheeseman, the timing is off right now between him, Hopkins, and Tress Way. Rivera liked his snaps, but did say he snaps a hard ball, and there is an adjustment to a new snapper. Cheeseman's snaps looked slightly off last night, but Hopkins needs to be better as well.
Rivera spoke highly of a lot of the rookies who saw a lot of time in their first preseason game. Sam Cosmi was the highest-rated rookie for Washington per PFF. Rivera liked his hand placement, and feet movement, but there were areas he can improve on.
Jamin Davis is thinking too much right now, and just needs to play fast. Rivera likes to say that players need 5,000 reps, the 1st round rookie still has a while to go before the game starts slowing down. Rivera also mentioned conditioning issues for rookies Shaka Toney and William Bradley-King. They need to not go crazy the first time they get in, and learn to use their energy wisely. He did like that they wanted to stay in even though they were gassed.
Daron Payne had a chance for a fumble recovery on a Chase Young hit that was eventually ruled an incomplete pass. Rivera said the team practices takeaways daily and they use the phrase city and country. If you're in the city(tight space, lots of people around) just fall on the ball. If you're in the country(wide open space), try to scoop and score. The other players were having fun with Payne when he got back to the sidelines, asking him what he was doing, he was in the subway. This will definitely be something that gets brought up in practice this week.
LIVE: Coach Rivera speaks to the media after last night's preseason debut https://t.co/XdrUHgt8V7— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) August 13, 2021
No injuries vs Patriots:
Ron Rivera time. On the injury front, says preliminary report from.the training staff is no notable injuries. He'll get a full report later.— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) August 13, 2021
Ron Rivera is addressing the media. Logan Thomas has continued to get more comfortable in his position. Rivera said they're not necessarily giving him new responsibilities, but they are expounding on what he can do.— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWFT) August 13, 2021
Ron Rivera on John Bates: "I liked what he did. I thought he blocked well for the most part." He says there were a few plays that could have been improved.— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) August 13, 2021
Another tight end question, this time on Sammis Reyes: "We saw the results yesterday of what he can grow into. ... He might be our most physical tight end."— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) August 13, 2021
Ron Rivera said Sammis Reyes “might be” the team’s most physical blocker. Doesn’t want to get too far ahead of himself, but likes what he saw— Rhiannon Walker (@InstantRHIplay) August 13, 2021
More on Reyes: Rivera said he blocked well and even though he would like to see Reyes catch the ball cleaner, he showed some positive plays.— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWFT) August 13, 2021
Rivera mentioned liking Reyes' progress. Saw him bury his man on one block when in a 3 point stance. Also saw him whiff on a block in a move TE role. For first action of a guy who never played in a game at any level, wasn't bad at all. Ways to go with him; just keep progressing— John Keim (@john_keim) August 13, 2021
Rivera said the coaches have been challenging the kick returners. He likes Danny Johnson on KR, and Dax Milne has caught their attention. Also liked what he saw from DeAndre Carter.— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWFT) August 13, 2021
Ron Rivera said he liked what he saw from DeAndre Carter, Dax Milne and Steven Sims Jr. in punt return last night. He added he has trust in Danny Johnson, who returned kicks, and wants to get Jaret Patterson some reps as well.— Sam Fortier (@Sam4TR) August 13, 2021
Here's an interesting one: Ron Rivera says he wants to see Jaret Patterson get return reps. He hasn't gotten them so far, I believe.— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) August 13, 2021
Ron Rivera has compared rookie RB Jaret Patterson to Chargers great Darren Sproles. And now Rivera says he wants to see Patterson get some reps as a punt returner. Very, very interesting. Patterson looked good last night in preseason opener— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) August 13, 2021
Rivera really like Cosmi's hand placement and feet movement. The little things were an area Rivera wanted to see the rookie improve upon. Sounds like he's making the improvements the HC wants to see.— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWFT) August 13, 2021
Rivera liked Cosmi's hand placement/footwork. also liked his communication.— John Keim (@john_keim) August 13, 2021
Me: That was evident on how he handled stunts. A nice job. Had some hiccups in pass sets but overall a solid job and saw some good run blocks too. Drove his man a few times.
Ron Rivera asked about players who reacted well to the spotlight. First mentioned Steven Montez: "When we were going to hurry-up, when we were going no-huddle ... he really seemed to just relax."— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) August 13, 2021
Rivera mentioned a couple of players who got their first real opportunity, and he could tell the moment wasn't too big for them. Singled out Reyes, David Bada, Steven Montez and several others.— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWFT) August 13, 2021
Ron Rivera on Shaka Toney, William Bradley-King: "We gotta work on their conditioning." Said he's seen it before in young players. They go all out early, then look gassed. "I thought they handled it well. They're a good mix of young players & we think they have a chance to help."— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) August 13, 2021
Ron Rivera said he can see Jamin Davis overthinking, but believes with added reps, added practice it will start to become second-nature for him so he doesn't play with hesitance.— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) August 13, 2021
Ron Rivera asked about Dustin Hopkins. Says it's not just on him: "We got to look at the whole operation. It's about having a rhythm and timing with the holder and snapper. ...You can tell they don't have a rhythm.... We'll continue to get it going. That's what preseason is for."— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) August 13, 2021
Ron Rivera, asked what he saw on film from K Dustin Hopkins' misses: "We've got to look at the whole operation."— Sam Fortier (@Sam4TR) August 13, 2021
He added the unit does not have its timing down. He mentioned Cheeseman snaps hard so he needs to develop a rhythm with holder Tress Way.
Rivera says Cheeseman snapped pretty well. But: says the operation has no rhythm/timing with all 3 of them. "The timing is off," Rivera said.— John Keim (@john_keim) August 13, 2021
To me, that was clear on 2nd FG miss. Hopkins had a hitch -- why? End result is a miss. MUST get this solved. Need better FG % in '21