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Ron Rivera Presser: 3 players getting MRIs; looking to add multiple DTs after Phidarian Mathis injury

Ron Rivera answers questions from the media

Ron Rivera spoke to the media this morning and gave some updates following yesterday’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Rookie DT Phidarian Mathis suffered a serious knee injury and was getting an MRI as Rivera spoke. He was concerned with the amount of snaps starters Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne got, and talked about shifting other players like Efe Obada into the rotation along with Daniel Wise. Rivera expects to add multiple DTs to the 53-man roster if Mathis’s injury is as bad as feared. They are also looking at some young players for the practice squad. Wes Schweitzer(hamstring) and Jonathan Allen(groin) are also getting MRIs today, but their injuries aren’t expected to be serious.

Rivera talked about Carson Wentz’s debut for the Washington Commanders and the two interceptions that could have sank it. Wentz stared down Jahan Dotson on the first one and threw a screen that this year’s #1 overall pick Travon Walker made a “helluva play” on. Rivera liked that Wentz took ownership of those mistakes in the locker room after receiving a game ball, and moving forward in the game to score on the last drive.

Issues need to be cleaned up:

“I thought just some overall play by several players I thought was very good. Just really plays with that. I think some of the negatives that we see and that we’ll talk about later on as coaching staff, are all things that are correctable. It wasn’t as if somebody just wasn’t good enough, it was just, we missed some opportunities. Couple of them were everything from poor alignment to poor footwork, the poor hand placement on both sides of the ball. There also were a lot of good things that we’re gonna build off of.”

Carson Wentz’s INTs:

“Well, I think the first one was, and based on what we saw watching the tape on the screen pass that got intercepted, it looked like the defender was actually in the wrong crease. At least that’s what we’re looking at going well, shouldn’t he be rushing over here? But he came underneath and made a hell of a play. Maybe if Carson sees him coming, he throws it into the ground as opposed to throwing it, trying to throw it to the back. I mean, that’s the hard part about that play. The interception on the out, it looked like he was going through his progression and held a little longer on one spot and was a little bit late throwing it to the out. It’s one of those things you tell him, ‘Hey, if you’re gonna hang on the guy, throw the ball to him. If not, you’ve gotta go a little bit quicker through your progression.’ I mean, that’s something that I know Kenny and Scott will talk with him about more so than me commenting on it. And then on the touchdown, hey, we just can’t miss can’t miss a tackle. We’re in position, we just gotta make sure we make a tackle.”

“Well, I think that’s very important. I really do. But what I thought was really cool was in the post-game locker room talk, he accepted responsibility right away saying, ‘Hey, I gotta throw the ball better, you know, I can’t do that.’ I think speaking up like that, I think his teammates hearing him take responsibility and ownership of his own play, that was huge. So, that’s important, not just, you know to me and his teammates, but to him, and I think that was, that was huge.”

Injury updates:

Cornerbacks:

“I thought they played some good football, I did. I thought there were a couple times that, you know, early on they’re a little cautious, but as the game went on, you start to see their aggressive nature. I appreciated some of the plays they made. I was a little concerned with a couple of calls. I don’t necessarily agree with ‘em all, but, you know, we just gotta be aware and play smarter than that. But I did like the way that they came up and they were physical, you know, we blitzed them a couple of times, they got involved in the run game a couple of times and threw their bodies in there to help make some tackles. So I thought they played pretty well.”

Jamin Davis:

“There are a couple issues that came up that we can correct. And again, it’s, it’s one of those things that we’re gonna look at it by game plan knowing that some people think that that’s one thing they can try and exploit. Well, we’ve got to be able to have an answer to take that away and not allow them exploit that. I will say that on one of ‘em you’d love to see Jamin stay more inside and force that guy to go up over the top. If he does that it makes it a tougher throw on the quarterback. Unfortunately, he didn’t take the air out of that one particular one across the middle. But you know, with his ability to run and and t’s not that much of a mismatch if he does his techniques, the way he should. The young man’s got a tremendous skillset. He’s a run through tackler and, you know, he’s just gotta understand that, Hey, I’ve got to play to my leverage side, understand where my help is coming from.”

Cole Turner:

Curtis Samuel:

“No, I think early on the plan was to get the ball to him and to really kind of help set a tone. But once the success started to roll, I think Scott [Turner] kind of continued to go to him. And then what it did eventually was it opened it up because if you look at it, you know, we had five different guys run the ball. We had 10 different guys have passes thrown to them. I mean, I’ve talked about that. If we can spread it and keep it spread, it spreads the defense and then we’ll see some plays happen. We’ll be able to use the underneath passing game now they tighten it down. We can throw it over the top. I mean, those are the things that happened when you can spread the ball and they just don’t focus in on one guy. I think that was important.”

Adding DTs:

“Well, it really did because typically you don’t want those tackles to play as much as they did. And one thing we did do is we did take Efe Obada and used him inside as the three-technique. In fact, Efe I believe lined up one time as the one. But that’s his versatility and that’s really his worth for us. That’s where you find value in players like that, that can switch positions. Going forward, we most certainly are looking at an opportunity to bring in at least one defensive tackle, that we may put on the 53 and another defensive tackle we may put on practice squad. I mean, these are all options that we have to have. There’s several names that we’re looking at, young names, young guys, guys that we think have opportunities to come in and help.”

Brian Robinson/Antonio Gibson: