Washington Commanders Head Coach Ron Rivera spoke to the media on another Monday following a loss. He opened the presser by announcing that DE Efe Obada had successful surgery on multiple leg injuries suffered in the loss. He was placed on IR yesterday, and Washington signed DE Jalen Harris from the Chicago Bears’ practice squad. He also mentioned UDFA rookie Joshua Pryor who was elevated for yesterday’s game.
Rivera didn’t want to discuss his future or the teams, saying he was focused on the Dallas Cowboys after reviewing the tape from the Giants loss. He also hasn’t spoken with ownership after another embarrassing home loss, but he will soon. He also didn’t want t discuss coaching staff or scheme changes.
LIVE: Coach Rivera speaks to the media https://t.co/Ur1gl4cIDO— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) November 20, 2023
DE Efe Obada (fibula/tibia) had surgery last night and will be placed on season-ending IR.— John Keim (@john_keim) November 20, 2023
Being visibly upset last night:
I think more than anything else, my disappointment really wasn’t with the guys as much as it was for the guys. There was a good opportunity in front of us. We had some chances that we didn’t take advantage of, and that’s kind of what I got out of watching the tape. We had some younger guys that got to understand what it takes and what they have to do and what their responsibilities are. But it really clarified a lot of it this morning when I finished watching this tape early and now that we’ve done that, for the most part getting ready to move on to Dallas.
His future past this season:
Rivera on handling next 6 games and the speculation about his status: "I can't tell you what the future will be. Today we came in and had a good meeting and now we're getting started on installation meetings."— John Keim (@john_keim) November 20, 2023
Commanders head coach Ron Rivera had another press conference today.— Scott Abraham (@Scott7news) November 20, 2023
I asked him how he's handling the scrutiny.
Rivera told me, "I can only control what I can. As long as things that we want to be going in the right direction, seem to be doing that. That's a positive." pic.twitter.com/edZNwPJ5MS
Ron Rivera: "What happens beyond the end of the season, that's not in my control. ... I can't focus on what I can't control. I can only control what's going on with this football team today."— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) November 20, 2023
I just stick with the one game at a time mentality. The biggest thing I can control is every day. That’s it. After that, the future, I can’t tell you what the future’s going to be, but I can tell you today we came in, we had a good meeting and now we’re getting started with the installation meetings. And then we’ll have an installation walkthrough in about an hour and a half.
Changes he can potentially make on the staff or with schematics:
No, I said what we’re going to do is we’re going to talk about some things after we watch the tape. So, after we watch some tape, as I said, the biggest thing that’s happening right now is we’ve got some young guys that got to understand what their responsibilities are, what their roles are, and then again, go out and let’s execute it. But again, we also got to make sure we’re doing some things that give these guys an opportunity to be successful.
What stood out on tape:
We had a couple guys that didn’t do the things that they needed to do that they’ve been coached to do. They just got to understand that that’s my responsibility.
How he weighs having to win now versus building for the future:
The biggest thing more than anything else is we got to play them one at a time and see what happens, to see how it unfolds. If you’re implying that, am I looking to the future as far as the draft? No. Am I looking into the future as far as we play on Thanksgiving against Dallas? Yes. We are getting ready to play Dallas. That’s all I can tell you.
If younger players will play more even though many of them are currently playing:
Right, that’s exactly the point is a lot of them are playing anyways right now, so we’ll continue doing that and see how it develops and grows. I mean if you really want to talk about some guys that played well yesterday, got to give kudos to K.J. Henry. He got an opportunity to come out. He played very well. He rushed the passer, he played the run, did a couple real smart things, things that really stood out to us as coaches and just really thought, here’s a young guy that’s taken advantage of his chances to get on the football field and play.
Ron Rivera shouted out DE KJ Henry as one of the rookies who stood out on tape.— Sam Fortier (@Sam4TR) November 20, 2023
Couple clips vs. NYG, including two batted passes and 1.5 sacks: pic.twitter.com/bq9D7AeGM6
Rivera singled out DE K.J. Henry among the young guys who played well Sunday. Liked how he rushed and played the run, did some detailed things the coaches really liked. Said Henry took advantage of his chance.— John Keim (@john_keim) November 20, 2023
How he is handling adversity right now:
Because the truth of the matter, I can only control what I can and as long as things that we want to be going in the right direction seem to be doing that, that’s a positive. What happens from beyond today, what happens from beyond the end of the season that’s not in my control. So, everything I’m going to do is just focusing on today. I mean the now and present, that’s the only thing I have and that’s what I’ll do. I’m trying to get that across to the players as well. I can’t focus on what I can’t control, I can only control what’s going on right now with this football team this day.
The word "culture" has been used a lot from Commanders head coach Ron Rivera over the last couple of weeks.— Scott Abraham (@Scott7news) November 20, 2023
I think there is a disconnect between what Ron thinks a good culture is about vs. what the fans think of a good culture (winning)
Here's Ron's answer pic.twitter.com/1eECqZa5qY
Okay, again, this is how I look at it. Guys learn to do things the right way and then they go out and do it. Now, that’s what we’re trying to work on, that’s what we’re trying to get across, that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to go ahead and get it to the point where we can be consistent with everything we do. Are there some things that are missing right now? Yes. But we’re working to get those things corrected, we’re working to get those things right. At the end of the day, it’s about what happens each day and then forward.
Sheltering players from the outside noise and gets them to focus on the Cowboys:
Because that’s what I try to do. I try to focus on the Cowboys and just take it one day at a time. I mean, the truth of the matter is I’m more concerned about them, I’m more concerned about the coaches than about anything else. I’ve been through this before, I understand what it takes, I understand what you have to deal with, I understand what your responsibilities are. That’s the beauty of this is I’ve been through it. So, what I try to do is just focus in on what’s important today and that’s really just preparing to get ready for Dallas.
How he gets players who made mistakes prepared in a short week:
Well, the biggest thing is you get to them and try to get past it, try to get them so that they understand, ‘Hey, it’s going to happen.’ Okay. Nobody who plays this game is infallible. It doesn’t matter who the player is, that player will make mistakes. Okay. So, the biggest thing is have we learned from it? Have we understood that, ‘Hey, this is how you should do things to protect the football better?’ Again, we will continue to go through this because it happens, it happens in this game and it happens to the best of them.
His message to the fans that are frustrated with the team’s performance:
Well, you know the worst part about it more so than anything else is that we’re all frustrated. We’re all trying to get this thing corrected. We’re all trying to do the best we can. We’re all trying to grow and develop. And that’s all I’ll say. I mean, the biggest thing we can do more so than anything else is, ‘Hey, we’re going to come out and we’re going to give our best effort.’
You know, yesterday wasn’t as good an effort. Why? Because we had some mistakes. We turned the ball over six times, and we allowed some explosives. That’s the thing that’s disappointing. Was it as bad as it looked on film in terms of growth and development? Not necessarily. There were some areas that were really good. I talked about K.J. Henry. There’s some really good things that Sam did.
Unfortunately, there are a couple of things that didn’t allow him to be as successful as he had been in the past but he’s going to learn from those, I promise you that much. And we had some young guys that made some mistakes as well. Those young guys will learn from those mistakes. They’ll grow and they’ll become better.
Ron Rivera on whether he's met with ownership since the loss. pic.twitter.com/daiaSsODou— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) November 20, 2023
Ron Rivera said he hasn't had a conversation with ownership since the loss to the Giants, but expects to at some point soon. They talk regularly in season.— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) November 20, 2023
I will, but I haven’t yet. That’s something that does happen eventually. Whether it’s a day, two days or three days go past. This is a short week and we’ll see what happens.
Ron Rivera's comments on maturity and celebration seemed to me obviously pointed at CBs Benjamin St-Juste and Emmanuel Forbes. They're the most consistent celebrators. Here are a few examples. pic.twitter.com/JqylR60zfl— Sam Fortier (@Sam4TR) November 20, 2023
Rivera: "There's some maturing we have to do as an organization, as a team, as individuals, and as we grow and learn, hopefully we can learn not to do those things and make those mistakes again....— John Keim (@john_keim) November 20, 2023
Does the locker room have the right mindset to turn things around:
I think they do. There’s some maturing that we have to do as an organization, as a team, as individuals. And as we grow and learn, hopefully we can learn not to do those things and make those mistakes again.
What he’s looking for in terms of maturity for the team:
Consistency. Consistency. Then understanding what’s important. You know what I’m saying? To me it’s not about you make a play and you celebrate that play. If it’s something that’s dynamic and huge and big, yes. You know, a 70-yard run for a touchdown, a huge interception, you know, those things to me are more important than doing what you should do.
And so understanding the difference between that I think is big. I really do because it’s about staying focused and being focused each and every time. And that to me is where the consistency comes. You can’t let your mind wander. You can’t lose your focus on what the task is. It’s not to win the play, it’s to win the game.
The plan at the defensive end position:
We’re going to look around and right now Josh Pryor will probably get some opportunities as well. We had him active for this past game and did some special teams things for us. So, we’ll continue with that and probably grow a little bit of a role for him as far as the defense is concerned. But we most certainly are looking around.