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Jack Del Rio and Eric Bieniemy talk about the Eagles loss, trades, Sam Howell and more

Jack Del Rio and Eric Bieniemy at the podium

Washington Commanders v Cleveland Browns Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Jack Del Rio

Montez Sweat/Chase Young trades:

I treat it, for me as a coach, I treat it like next man up, like somebody was injured. It obviously provides opportunities for others to play and we’re excited about working with them and looking forward to going out and competing.

Different ways to create pressure:

We’ll adjust as we feel we need to. Bottom line is we’ve played with James and Casey before Efe. The two young guys will get some opportunities now, Andre and KJ. We’re excited to see them compete.

Bill Belichick:

You’re always getting a team that’s well prepared. I think they have tremendous situational awareness, so we’re going to need to have that ourselves. They’re physical and well coached.

Involvement in personnel discussions:

That’s not my role, so I’m just sticking to my role. I’ll just keep it at that.

Game planning after the trades:

Game planning starts on Tuesday for us. The bulk of our game planning took place once we had the news and had adjusted.

K.J. Henry:

We’ll see, he’s been inactive for the most part. He’s had really zero opportunities in live games, so we’ll see. It’s a little bit of an unknown, kind of curious, looking forward to getting a look at him.

Does the trade affect coverage schemes:

It doesn’t change a lot. As far as like the back end, it’s next man up. You guys have seen us deal with injuries over the last several years. Next man up men mentality is what we take. We’re prepared. The guys that are getting opportunities are excited. We’ll just approach it like that and go compete. That’s where it is. We’ll put together a good plan and go out and compete.

Mac Jones:

He’s been a lot better the last two weeks. I think they’re gaining confidence. They’re working at it. It’s a lot like we are. I think the early part of the year hasn’t gone how we all would envision or would’ve liked. But what do you do about it? You go to work, and you come in every day with a good attitude and good work ethic and prepare, and then you go compete. I think he’s done a good job over the last couple of weeks of doing just that.

Andres Jones:

Andre was excellent coming out of training camp. He had really done a lot of good things, primarily was involved in special teams, did not get a lot of defensive snaps, so obviously now he’ll get an opportunity. One of the young guys we’re looking forward to getting a good look at.

Chase Young:

A lot of possibilities to how things can come down. There are no guarantees. I’m certain of one thing, and that is when that pick was selected back then, nobody envisioned that it would go the way it has in terms of missed time to injuries and whatever. Then ultimately ended up being traded. Not exactly what we all kind of were anticipating, but look he’s a great young man, wish him the very best and for us, we’re moving on.

Jonathan Allen


Eric Bieniemy

Sam Howell:

You know what? I think Sam is right where he needs to be. He’s making the necessary steps moving forward. We just got to find ways to make sure that we continue to take care of business so we can continue with the improvement.

Facing Bill Belichick/Patriots defense:

Every week will be a huge test, but obviously when you’re going against Bill Belichick and his defense, there’s always a challenge. These guys are pretty good. They do a hell of a job. They’re a well-coached staff, they got some good players. We got to go out and be on top of our game. More than anything, we got to find a way to finish. We got to find a way to make plays when needed and we got to find a way to finish.

Where the team is at after the trade deadline:

This is what I told our guys, we’re right where we are because this is where we put ourselves. At this particular time, what are we going to do about that? We’re not going to dwell in pity. We know exactly what we can be, but when it’s all said and done, we need to put consistent behavior on tape. Once we start doing that, we’ll give ourselves a chance. We will, I promise you.

Which adjustments helped the offense last week:

I’ll say this, I thought the guys, their mindset was in the right place. The attitudes was right where it needed to be. I thought we went out and accepted the challenge. I thought for the most part, we played hard, we played fast, we gave ourselves a chance. But when it’s all said and done with, we got to learn what the term accountability means. Once we figure that out, we’ll be all right. But like I said, we’re not going to celebrate small victories, meaning we had some success, we didn’t find a way to win. We got to continue to find a way to win.

Not celebrating small victories:

Offensive line vs the Eagles:

I thought those guys did a heck of a job. They stepped up. They played hard. The communication was great, but like I said, we played good enough just to entertain folks. We didn’t win. So, did they play well? Yes. Did we do enough to win? Absolutely not. So now it’s about making sure that we can get over the hump of just playing whatever minutes it is of good football but finding a way to complete it by playing 60 minutes.

Pass-heavy offense:

I blame Coach Reid for this, he’s always had a saying, ‘If when in doubt go deep’. He learned that from John Madden. It’s not intentional. Okay. We’ll continue working the ball and running it. I thought last week the guys did a heck of a job. I still got to become a better play caller and give those guys more opportunities to run. There’s a lot of things that I need to continue to work on, just like the players. So, as we continue growing together at this stage in the season, we will improve. And I’ll say this, that I promise you.

Sam Howell’s quicker game in Week 8 compared to Week 7:

Well, I thought he did a heck of a job of just processing the information. Obviously, there’s a rhythm when you’re calling plays. I thought we did a heck of a job of just over-communicating clarity as a staff. I thought collectively as an offensive unit, the communication, the chemistry was there. I thought Sam just, he just had great rhythm and when you have that rhythm, there isn’t any disruptions. You get an opportunity to just take a snap, go through your progression, let the ball loose. You know, that’s a great feeling, but when it’s all said and done with, we got to make sure that that great feeling can last where we can come out victorious. But I thought the kid did a heck of a job.

How to get Howell consistent:

I’ll keep saying this as long as we are here, all right, every day is a new day. Every day I’m still learning who Sam is. Now the thing that I know of him is that he’s a competitor. He hates being wrong. He auto-corrects. It’s very important to him. He takes a tremendous amount of pride in the position that he’s in. So those are the things that I love and those are the things that I appreciate about him. Now, the unknown is the unknown. He hasn’t taken enough snaps to know exactly where he needs to be or where he’s going. Obviously, he’s still in that growing process. So, I’m excited about the steps that he’s made. I think that he’ll continue making the right steps, but he will have some missteps as well and we’ll be okay with that.

What more he wants to see from Howell:

More than anything, just his leadership skills taking over. I want to see him and the guys develop that chemistry, whereas we’re not adding all the input it’s coming from within. When you have it coming from within, that’s when you know those guys are in the right place. So, I just want to continue to see him grow as a leader. The coaching aspect, I mean, we’re going to continue to coach all our players the same, but when it’s all said and done with, I just want to see Sam continue to grow as a leader.

Jamison Crowder’s performance:

You know what, he’s a young man that had played in this league for a while. You always knew what he can do. I’m not shocked nor surprised about the numbers that he put up, but he will continue being him, that’s just who he is. He’s the ultimate professional. He doesn’t take anything for granted. I love the energy and the excitement that he brings to the table, but he’ll be the first one to tell you, he’ll say, ‘Hey coach, I didn’t do enough. I got to do more’. That’s where we are and that’s why I know we will be better because guys understand.

Jahan Dotson’s confidence:

I don’t think Jahan has ever lost his confidence. I mean, he just hasn’t had as many opportunities as he would like. Obviously, he’s had a few drops. If you play receiver long enough, you going to have some drops throughout the course of the season. This week he did a great job making some catches, made some big-time plays. I thought he played fast and explosive. You know, my biggest thing with him is just making sure he’s consistent with his behavior and he’s consistent with everything that he’s putting on tape. And just like I reminded him, you put it on tape, now I need to make sure that you’re putting it on tape week in and week out.

Being a better play-caller:

What he’s learned about himself as a play caller:

Play calling is actually a lot of fun, which I’ve known for a number of years. But, it’s all about making sure that you could be creative. On top of that, you get a feel for what the defense is doing, making sure that you can keep your guys one step ahead of what the opponent is doing. But more than anything, just making sure the overall communication is where it needs to be. So, at times, I can’t assume that they all know, because I didn’t spend 10 years with them. I’ve only spent a few months with them.

So, I got to make sure that I’m becoming a clearer communicator at times. Then I just got to make sure that I’m growing and putting them in the best situations because regardless of what takes place, I’m always going to point the finger right back here, right back at me because I always feel I can be better. So those are the things that I’m learning more about myself is just making sure I’m humbling myself so I can continue to grow and learn and become a better listener and observe.

Play calling in Washington vs Kansas City:

Play calling is play calling. I’ll say this, you celebrate it differently when you’re winning in comparison to losing. So, now you just want to make sure that you’re dotting your I’s and crossing your T’s. You want to make sure that you’re giving them all the necessary info and insight to help your coaches and these players to be the best that they can be. So, it’s more about making sure that everything is on point in staying the course and not deviating from your plan.

Where Howell has improved:

Keeping his eyes down the field. I think as a quarterback, when you’re keeping your eyes down field, that helps. On top of that, I thought he was more poised in the pocket, obviously that has to do with a lot with what the five guys did up front. I thought he played with more consistency. I thought he had more urgency. I thought he was more of a field general and he was in rhythm. You know, I thought the kid was out there having fun. Obviously, he had the one bad play. You never want to see him have a bad play, but you just love him up and tell him, ‘Hey, you know what, we keep it moving, we keep playing because it ain’t like we going to stop playing just because we made a mistake.’ I thought he came out and continued to plan as well as he could play to help us give us a chance to have a chance.

Difference in play between Chris Paul and Saahdiq Charles:

I don’t think it was necessarily just about Chris Paul, which I thought Chris Paul did a good job. I thought having an experienced center in there where those guys could calm the storm, I thought the communication up front was a lot better. That doesn’t knock anybody else. I just thought these guys were in chemistry and in sync together. Now just because it happened last week, we need to make sure that we can reproduce exactly what we did. But obviously we need to finish better. So, when it’s all said and done with, I want those guys always over communicating and always on the same page and that starts with the center.

Dyami Brown:

Dyami is a heck of a football player. We love what Dyami brings to the table. He’s doing an exceptional job on special teams. On top of that, his role when he’s involved in the offense, he does a great job. Whether it’s we’re asking him to block or he’s involved in the route concept. Dyami is a heck of a player. There’s a lot of games left to be played, and I’m sure he’ll start defining who he is. But as a coaching staff, we’re very aware of what he brings to the table, and that’s all good.