LIVE: Coach Rivera speaks to the media after practice https://t.co/m31ARyDuUk— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) November 15, 2023
Ron Rivera addressing the media. Said there is “some concern” about James Smith-Williams, who left the Seahawks game with a hamstring injury— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) November 15, 2023
There is some concern. There is. It’s a hamstring, obviously and he didn’t finish the game. So, it’s never really a good sign.
Jonathan Allen & Daron Payne:
Rivera said of Jon Allen and Daron Payne that “they’ve been fairly consistent” pic.twitter.com/EbVmHV9EZP— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) November 15, 2023
They have been for the most part. They’ve done the things that we’ve needed them to do up front. They’ve held the line. I mean, we’ve done a nice job keeping things inside. Their interior push has been pretty good and they’ve been fairly consistent. They really have.
Reviewing Sam Howell’s tape:
One of the things you see is his recognition of what’s happening, his pre-snap read, and then it’s his post-snap read. They’re one of those things where you get out, you see something and you can make those adjustments at the line. But when you take the snap and then having to react to what you see, that’s been really good. You see him seeing the pressures better, you see him see the rotation, the coverages better which allows him to go through his progression quicker or get to where he needs to so he can release the ball in a timely fashion. You see him feel the pressure and drift in the pocket sometimes.
There was a couple instances, if you go back and look at the New England game, there was one play in particular where he drifts back just enough to give himself time to throw that one to Jahan. So, those are the little detailed things of what he has to do that you really see the growth and improvement on.
Brian Robinson's underrated ability to receive during the draft process:
It was one of the things that in talking with Randy when we were scouting the running backs, and that was one of the things that he said, ‘This kid can catch the ball. A lot of people don’t realize, Coach.’ He showed some pretty good hands in his workouts. So, we were fairly confident in that.
The importance of Robinson and Antonio Gibson being able to contribute by both running and receiving:
It is very important because one of the things that we wanted to make sure in talking with EB back in February, it was about distributing the ball and getting the ball to the players in space, giving them an opportunity to be explosive and dynamic. That was one of the things again that I told you guys earlier, probably last February, that I was really thoughtful about and seeing and listening and looking for ways to get the ball to these guys as quickly as possible.
Sam Howell’s next steps of improvement:
I think just as he continues to go through it really is I think just the continued consistency now. That’s probably the biggest thing. I mean, he’s shown that he can handle the situations that he’s been in. He’s learned from previous situations, he’s learned from his own mistakes. He self-corrects a lot of times. He knows almost instantly the things that he missed.
There was one play that he came back to the sidelines after and said, ‘You know, I had the other throw denied is this what happened?’ Tavita told him, ‘Yep, that’s exactly it.’ He says, ‘Okay.’ So, there’s that positive growth right there, but I think now it’s just the consistent play.
Team preparation changes:
You try to mix it up. You try to do some things differently. One thing that we did this year that’s different is once we got to the midpoint of the season this year, our Wednesdays, we do a modified, I don’t want to call it a walkthrough because we’re still at a good pace, but we’re not doing it with pads on. We’ve really just gone to an up-tempo installation period is what we’ve done on Wednesdays.
It’s more about getting the mental aspects of the game down. It’s more about seeing what looks we’re going to get from the defense and then trying to marry it to what we want to do in terms of attacking them. That’s the best way to put it, I guess.
Opportunity to get back on track:
Rivera said the mindset this week is that it’s an opportunity to get back on track— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) November 15, 2023
Well, just the mindset I talked about today more than anything else is about the opportunity that’s in front of us. It’s a chance to get ourselves on track and keep going. And I think it’s really about focusing and preparing and doing the things that we need to give us the best opportunity to win.
Confidence in Howell reducing sacks vs the Giants:
I just feel good about where we’ve grown to as far as our offense is concerned. Everything from the play calling because you see EB get into those rhythms and things happen very quickly and he’s gotten more and more comfortable with the guys on the field and the guys on the field executing. I think how stout we are up front is obviously a little bit different from earlier in the year.
And then the play of a lot of the guys, I mean in fact, EB and I were talking about this during one of the periods is that the guys were playing faster. They’re playing with more confidence. You see that they do feel good about what we’re doing and they have a good grasp of it.
Sam Howell’s attitude about individual stats:
Rivera said he thinks it means a lot to Howell’s teammates that he doesn’t care about individual stats and speaks a lot to who he is— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) November 15, 2023
Well I think when his teammates see that the only thing that’s important to him is winning, I think that really means a lot to them. I think that they’re starting to feel him and his presence in the locker room, on the practice field, on the game field. I think that’s big. I really do. And it does say a lot about who he is as a young man because this game is really a team game. And if you’re really, truly all about the team, that’s the first thing that comes up. You give praise to the other guys first and foremost.
Due for a win against the Giants?:
No, we do kind of owe these guys one, but that’s not why you play. You play to win the game. You play to do things the right way and you keep the focus on playing the game. That to me is what’s more important. I mean, every one of these games we play are all important whether they’re divisional, whether they’re in conference or they’re out of conference, they’re all important. And you prepare that way, you focus that way and you go out to play to win.
How to eliminate explosive plays through day-to-day practices:
Well, I think the biggest thing more than anything else is the constant emphasis on doing your job and doing the things that you need to do. Whether you’re a defensive back and it’s staying up over the top to keep it in front of you. Whether you’re upfront, its being gap disciplined and controlling the point of attack.
Reminding players about the stats that show their good play despite the losses:
You do because they’ve earned that, they’ve earned that recognition. That’s one of the things that I think that’s really been kind of cool is that we’re talking more about this football team and these players than we are anything else now. And that to me is important because there’s a lot of guys in that locker room that deserve recognition.
That’s what I’m really fired up about. I think that’s a cool thing. What it tells you about them is that they’re not caught up in it because they understand that this is a team game and unless the team is winning, they really don’t want to focus on those things. They want to focus on helping us win football games. That’s what’s important. I appreciate that from our guys.
Multiple QB changes for the Giants offense:
I think the biggest thing is they’re all professionals. They’re going to come out and they’re going to play as hard as they can and do everything they can to win. We’re going to try and counter all that by coming out and playing the best we can and try to win. To sit here and draw anything other than that I think is unfair to the professional athletes.
Teams targeting Benjamin St. Juste more over the past five weeks:
I think part of it is we’ve been putting him in that position, and I think for the most part he’s stepped up. He’s been physical. He’s working hard. He’s doing a lot of things for us. Not only does he play the outside corner position, but we’ll put him inside and we’ll have him play the nickel spot and in certain situations we’ll have him match up. And he’s handled it very, very well.
Again, he’s a guy that we talk about growth and development, this being his third season, this is where you start to really see it. And you do, you see a lot of positive play from him. Hopefully it’ll continue and he’ll continue to grow.
Howell taking coaching points and immediately recalling them in a game:
Oh yeah. And it goes from everywhere. In practice, I get the great fortune of standing behind Eric and his voice carries very, very distinctly. So whenever there’s a correction or whenever there’s an addition or whenever there’s a point to be made, he’ll give it to him and then I’ll sit back and I’ll watch it and I’ll see it happen in practice, and then I’ll see it in the game and you’ll go, wow. It’s like everything from when he sits and says, ‘Hey, on this particular throw take your eyes over here so you can draw the defender and then come right back to the receiver.’ Then you’ll see it and you’ll see where his eyes will be over here. And then he comes right back down there, and you’ll see the defender start to push and then he just brings it right back to where it needs to go.
Those are little detailed things that he’s been really good with. And there’s been a lot of them because you watch and Eric is constantly coaching. EB does a heck of a job because he’s constantly coaching the young man and the players out there for that matter. It’s been really cool to watch his growth and their growth inside the offense.
Specific throws from Howell that stand out:
There’s been a lot of throws. I do agree with you. There’s at least a couple of games that you sit there and go, ‘Wow.’ The one he threw to Dyami in the New England game, I thought was pretty impressive. Throwing it off his back leg, hitting it in stride that was pretty good. The one he threw to Terry earlier in the year at home, that was another big one. There’s some things that make you go, ‘Wow, this kid does have a legit arm.'
Ron Rivera said there is no timeline for the return of Darrick Forrest. He is still hopeful and recovering with the goal of returning this season, but it was a substantial injury.— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) November 15, 2023
Yeah, I was asked the other day about him. He’s coming along pretty well. It was a shoulder and he’s been getting his treatments. I actually talked with him the other day about it, and he started saying it’s starting to feel really good. It’s coming along, but there is no timeline. It was a substantial injury. Didn’t require surgery or anything like that, but it’s one of those that takes a little bit of time.
The Washington Commanders offense is starting to click.— Scott Abraham (@Scott7news) November 15, 2023
How much better can this offense become?
Team captain Terry McLaurin told me, "it's about putting it all together at one time." pic.twitter.com/AI9JADSh10
This is 11 straight weeks of football for the Washington Commanders.— Scott Abraham (@Scott7news) November 15, 2023
Dating back to training camp, it's been a grind.
Jahan Dotson told me, "you can't get bored with the process...it's about who pushes through, those are the teams who end up on top at the end of the season." pic.twitter.com/joBUJ4hqV2
Brian Robinson and scary friend. pic.twitter.com/8p8NFXIZoo— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) November 15, 2023
Brian Robinson Jr. is coming off a monster game against Seattle.— Scott Abraham (@Scott7news) November 15, 2023
He's playing well.
The offense is locked in.
BRob told me, "we can be as good as we want to be...everyone on offense has something to work on." pic.twitter.com/PDNyvq1K5S
I loved this honest, refreshing answer from Commanders RB Antonio Gibson.— Scott Abraham (@Scott7news) November 15, 2023
The offense is playing well, but this team needs more wins.
AG told me, "we know what we're capable of, but at the same time it's about to be Week 11. Like it's gotta click, it's gotta click now." pic.twitter.com/KUWivCXlEm
Is this a "get right" game for the Washington Commanders defense?— Scott Abraham (@Scott7news) November 15, 2023
They are about to face Giants third string QB Tommy Devito.
Kam Curl told me, "we try to play our game, it's not about what he does or what quarterback they have out there. It's about what we do." pic.twitter.com/Hd3ptD9E5B
Commanders CB Emmanuel Forbes was ejected last week for a helmet to helmet hit.— Scott Abraham (@Scott7news) November 15, 2023
Will that force him to play differently now?
Emmanuel told me, "no, I'm going to go out there and play. If they are going to throw a flag because I'm trying to help my team win then so be it." pic.twitter.com/jSxnm0iV2x