After the cut down to the 53-man roster, Coach Rivera and Washington’s GM Martin Mayhew held a press conference. By and large, they were tight-lipped about any tactical steps they might take over the course of the next 24 hours, not wanting to jeopardize any strategic advantage they might have.
As the presser wore on, however, both Rivera and Mayhew offered a few, deeper explorations of their thoughts on some of the players that they kept and some of the ones they cut. I’ve transcribed those passages below.
LIVE: HC Ron Rivera and GM Martin Mayhew speak to the media after roster cuts https://t.co/crgtq9HBo2— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) August 31, 2021
Asked of Mayhew: What do you think Jaret Patterson can be as an NFL running back?
I think Jaret can be pretty special. He’s got a ways to go, obviously. He’s a young player. Did not have a great game that third game, but we saw a lot in those first two games that was very promising from him.
He’s an explosive guy. Has really good vision. He brings a lot to the table. He reminds me a lot of Ricky Ervins, a former teammate of mine. Jamie Morris, a former teammate of mine. Both those guys were built low to the ground, hard to tackle. And both of them had really great vision and acceleration.
That’s what Jaret has too. Jaret can squirt through the hole. A lot of times, the linebackers can’t find him behind the offensive line.
Asked of Ron: How disappointing is it when you have to release a former draft pick like Antonio Gandy-Golden in his second year?
It’s a sign of where the position has gone, and it was tough to let him go because he had his moments. You know, not having a full year last year, missing out after the Giants game last season, really kind of set him back, and then as we started to see him come in, it was pretty much as if he was starting with this new draft class.
One guy that had a real strong camp, obviously, was Cam Sims, a big-bodied receiver. As we were looking and trying to decide, that’s kind of where we went. But, I do think that AGG is the kind of guy that, you get the opportunity to have him back, he’s going to grow and get even better. I mean he really took some huge strides this summer, and it’s something we really have to look at.
Asked of Ron: Looking at special teams returners, was it important to you to have a veteran in that group?
Right, that’s exactly what happened too. Deandre (Carter) had a very good camp first and foremost. Did some really good things as a WR in the practices and in the preseason games.
But his return ability is really one of the things that caught our attention. He’s a dual returner. He’s got that kind of flex. With Dax you have a guy with dual return ability as well. If we need a kickoff guy, Jaret is more than available.
And then we have a safety guy that basically catches everything, and that’s Humphries. We don’t really want to use Adam in that position, but having four guys that have some return ability individually gives you some depth at that position.
Asked of Ron: Specifically for your defensive line, what were you looking for your depth pieces there?
[He speaks first about the vets]. With James Smith-Williams and Casey Toohill, we have a couple of guys that played some snaps for us last year. Both young guys that got their feet wet and we feel good about them.
And then what we got from Shaka Toney was a young guy that flashed. He did some really good things in the Baltimore game. One play in particular, that if I had been able to see a replay, that I would have challenged was a tipped ball.....I would have challenged it in the regular season. It could have been a sack/fumble. Just watching that happen early in the 4th quarter, here Shaka has played a lot of football and he still showed some juice on the end. So, that was one of the things we were looking for, was a guy like that.
We like William Bradley-King, another young guy, but we just didn’t have room at that point. He’s a guy that probably needs a little bit more developing, but he could be a future guy.
Asked of Martin: I was curious to get your take on Shaka Toney. What did you see and what has he showed for you since then?
We saw a very high energy guy that plays really hard and he’s got a lot of juice off the edge. He can run, you know 4.5 for a defensive end, which is really good. We saw some of that juice in the Baltimore game on the play that Coach was talking about. When he gets off, and he usually gets off the ball pretty quickly, he really stresses offensive tackles. So we see that with him. It hasn’t been as consistent, but he’s a young player, and we want to keep working with him, to keep trying to develop him.
Overall the tenor of the press conference was upbeat and characterized by a sense that the team was on the right track, building the “sustainable” culture that both Rivera and Mayhew are seeking, and finding youthful developmental players who can be brought up alongside the young veterans that the team has started signing to second contracts.