Ron Rivera spoke to the media today, and went over the Washington Commanders 34-31 overtime loss against the Philadelphia Eagles. Emmanuel Forbes had a rough game against AJ Brown, but Rivera said, “They’re going to make mistakes, but they’re going to grow.” He said he talked to the rookie after the game, and they will review the tape with him.
Sam Howell had a bad game last week, but he bounced back vs the Eagles, and almost led his team to an overtime victory. Rivera said he was processing faster, and he had a good feel for the game today. He also said Howell was resilient, coming back from the worst game of his career.
LIVE: Coach Rivera speaks to the media to kick off Bears week https://t.co/uymgpUEntM— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) October 2, 2023
Well, for the most part with young guys, it’s about learning, growing, developing, continuing to get reps every opportunity you can and play him as much as you can until they learn. They’re going to make mistakes, but they’re going to grow. You know, a week ago Sam had some issues and I thought he did a nice job coming out this week, and I expect Emmanuel to learn from what just happened.
Postgame process with Forbes Jr.:
Rivera said he spoke with Emmanuel Forbes after the game to make sure he was OK. His position coaches will go into deeper detail of how he can improve. Stressed again it's about learning and growing from mistakes— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) October 2, 2023
Well, what we’re going to do is, I’ve already talked with Emmanuel. I talked to him right after the game and I wanted to make sure he was okay. His head was in a good spot. But what’ll happen is his position coaches and Jack will get together with him. They’ll go through some things, they’ll talk about the positives, they’ll talk about the negatives, get an opportunity for him to look at things and see the things that he needs to work on and correct. I mean, it’s just a process of learning and growth. I mean, he is a young player, he’s a rookie that we’ve put a lot on, we think he’s capable.
Defense giving up more yards and points than expected:
Ron Rivera addressing the media. On the defense, he said the unit is trying to work on limiting the explosive plays they've allowed and creating more turnovers— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) October 2, 2023
Well, I think one of the things that we most certainly are working on is trying to eliminate some of the explosives we’ve allowed. That’s been unfortunate and untimely and then continue to work and continue to create takeaways. We’ve had opportunities, we just haven’t gone through with it and we’ve got to get takeaways, it is a big part of what can help us win football games.
Ron Rivera said Sam Howell's decision making was quicker than last week: "A lot of good growth. His consistency really showed."— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) October 2, 2023
Rivera said he was expecting Howell to play well on Sunday. There's going to be some tough moments since he's a young QB, but there also be some plus moments— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) October 2, 2023
I think he processed a lot quicker, decision making was quicker, he really seemed to have a good feel and good grasp as to what was going on out there. He made some really quick decisions, got the ball out of his hands, kept them off balance as much as anything. So, just again, a lot of good growth and I think his consistency really showed.
I was expecting Sam to play well. He’s a very resilient, very tough-minded young man. He bounces back very well at a lot of things. With him, you’re going to have some really good positive plus moments, there’s going to be some tough moments, there really are, but there’s going to be some really good moments as well. So yesterday was a sampling of a pretty good moment. I think, again, he’s going to continue to grow, and he’ll get better and better. I believe he will. I’ve always been confident in him and just been very optimistic about his potential.
Team evaluation after four weeks:
Well, I think our football team’s doing some good things. I think we’re growing, developing. I think part of it’ll be as Sam goes, I think we’ll play accordingly. I also think that our young guys, the guys that we’re playing a lot of young guys as they step up, learn and develop, it’ll help us as well. So, I think we’re in a good spot. It is still early in the season and we got an interesting game coming up on Thursday.
No moral victory:
Asked about a 'moral victory', Rivera said: "Every game is a must win.... People come up and say 'we're proud of the way you played.' Hell, we didn't win. That's the bottom line. That's how the guys feel. Not getting the W is a hard pill to swallow."— John Keim (@john_keim) October 2, 2023
It’s kind of tough because we went in expecting to win. I mean, every game is a must win. Every game you got to go in with the attitude that you’re going to win and that’s how we felt. I think it’s been kind of tough because people come up and say, ‘Man, I’m real proud of the way you played.’ Well, hell, we didn’t win and I think that’s the bottom line. I think that’s how the guys really felt because they played hard, they played their hearts out, they wanted to win. I think in every case, I believe they expected to win. They really did, and not getting the W is a hard pill to swallow. I think that’s really what the sense is and what the meaning is that there was no moral victory.
If the snap had to do with Tress Way’s overtime punt:
No, I don’t think the snap had anything to do with it. I just think he hit a bad ball. The guy’s been so consistent for such a long, long time. Unfortunately, you’re going to have something like that happen, but it doesn’t shake my confidence or anybody’s confidence in Tress. It’s just unfortunate that it happened.
I think they were pretty solid. I think there were some really good things that they did as far as, it took them five quarters to rush for 100 yards. In the last few weeks, they’ve been pretty good rushing the football. We got at their quarterback, we had him on the run, and unfortunately he escaped a couple of times. I think the biggest thing that you can point to is that we gave up some explosives and that’s probably the one thing that we’ve got to control better.
Ron Rivera said Washington "can't fall asleep" against the Bears and Justin Fields: "Last year, he gave us hell. We can't allow that to happen. ... I like who their quarterback is. Justin is a heck of a young man."— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) October 2, 2023
Rivera said the Bears are 0-4 and hungry to win. Said Justin Fields is "a heck of a young man."— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) October 2, 2023
"Can't fall asleep on a young team like that."
The thing I’m looking at more than anything else is that this is a team that’s going to come in and they’re hungry to win. They’re 0-4, they know it, but they have a very talented young quarterback who’s dynamic and explosive. Last year he gave us hell, we can’t allow that to happen. We’ve got to be disciplined. We’ve got to play our game. This is, again, a young team that’s growing and developing. They were a couple years back. I like who their quarterback is. I really do. I think Justin’s a heck of a young man. He’s got a good receiver and a guy that I think is an explosive player for them. It’s one of those games that you can’t fall asleep on a young team like that because they don’t know the difference. They go out every week, they want to win every week. They’re going to play and be very competitive. I think Coach Eberflus is going to bring these guys in ready to roll.
Kendall Fuller helping Forbes Jr.:
It’s one of those things where afterwards you could see the veteran guys going over and putting their arm around the kid and just tell him, ‘Hey, you’re going to have good days, you’re going to have tough days. You just got to learn and grow from them.’ Pretty much what we’ve been saying about this. He is a young man who’s got some ability and he’s going to take his lumps and as he gets a little more experienced, he’ll understand just how important it is to be on your game every week.
Preparing for mobile quarterbacks:
I think it helps them, just understanding that a quarterback that can be dynamic, that can hold onto the ball and extend the plays, can make some plays downfield, which he did against us. He had a couple of big explosives in terms of throwing it downfield after scrambling around. Then he had a couple explosives last time we played him when he ran the ball. We have to be disciplined up front. We’ve got to be able to keep him contained, keep him in the pocket, and not allow him to get outside of it where he is very, very dangerous.
Not going for two against the Eagles:
I talk to a lot of people when it’s time to make a decision. First of all, I go through it in my head. I have a checklist that I go through on Sunday mornings that I review. I go through some things with Eric that we talk about. When we got to that situation, I asked everybody’s opinion. I listened to what was said. It was a collaborative effort. Thing that’s crazy about it is we won the toss and we had a chance to win. That’s all you can ask is that you have an opportunity. We had an opportunity. We had a great play on the sideline. I’m just kind of disappointed that before it even went to replay, that it was determined that he was out of bounds. For me, it’s a tough one right there because it was a hell of a throw and a great catch.
Would another timeout have influenced the decision:
I don’t know if it would’ve mattered, to be honest with you at that point. Again, we got the ball. Everything was frantic. We went down, marched down, got into position and scored the touchdown, tied the game, and had a chance to win in overtime.
Overtime rules influencing the decision:
It does to a degree. I think the biggest thing you have to always be aware of, more so than anything else, is how’s your team reacting to things.