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Ron Rivera: Sam Howell’s done a really good job for us, and it’s a long year, it’s been a tough year

Ron Rivera speaks to the media after another loss

Ron Rivera lost his 10th game of the season vs the Rams on Sunday in Los Angeles. This was Rivera’s 37th regular season loss as Washington’s head coach, and he has three more games left to get to 40. Rivera was asked about releasing long snapper Camaron Cheeseman, who had his worst game of his worst season. He said the issues he’s had all year haven’t been fixed, and it was unfortunate because he had two solid years before that. Washington signed Tucker Addington to replace him.

Rivera talked about Sam Howell, and his growth and struggles during his first year as a starter. Howell was pulled from the Rams game, and replaced by veteran Jacoby Brissett who led the team on two scoring drives to get the game within reach.

Rivera was asked if the team was still in playoff contention, would he stick with Howell or switch to Brissett:

Well, if this was about playoffs and we’re right in the middle of it and stuff like that, that’s something you have to most certainly consider. Do we still have that opportunity to continue to win? That’s one of the things you always consider because again, you want to make sure everybody’s getting the opportunity to be successful.

Releasing LS Camaron Cheeseman:

Well, it’s just one of those things that there’s a certain point where it hadn’t been fixed the way it needed to be fixed to be consistent all the time. It’s unfortunate because for two solid years, we got some real good stuff from him and unfortunately this year it was not as consistent as it needed to be.

Long snapper replacement:

Sam Howell’s development:

There has been some positives and it continues to be positive, but the thing you always want to make sure is, as you’re saying, we’re still seeing the growth and that’s something we have to sit down and discuss and see exactly where we all feel he is.

Conversations with Howell this week:

As long as he understands why we’re doing things, that’s probably the most important thing. I think if you communicate with everybody and they understand, that’s probably the most important thing.

Seeing Howell improve and on some of the challenges Howell has faced:

Absolutely, and that’s stuff that I have to take into consideration is exactly where he is and how is he handling these things. Then again, just see him reset himself and get it going. He’s done a really good job for us and it is a long year, it’s been a tough year. But again, this is stuff that we can hope that he understands, and he learns and he grows.

Specific plays where Howell can improve:

Those would be the things that EB and Tavita most certainly will be working with him on.

If batted passes are correctable for Howell:

Well, the one he had yesterday is most certainly one of those things that if we can get into him a little bit more as a blocker, we can get his hands down, then the ball doesn’t get batted.

Are batted passes a problem for Howell?:

No, on this one, he was on the move, and he was working outside the pocket. And again, one of the things that you try to get is if you can get the blocker into the defender, the defender has got to protect for himself and more than likely doesn’t get his hands up.

If he would continue to start Howell if they were in playoff contention:

Well, if this was about playoffs and we’re right in the middle of it and stuff like that, that’s something you have to most certainly consider. Do we still have that opportunity to continue to win? That’s one of the things you always consider because again, you want to make sure everybody’s getting the opportunity to be successful.

Emmanuel Forbes Jr. played less due to wanting to get DB Quan Martin involved more?:

That was a lot more about what Quan was doing and really what we had as a matchup going into this game.

How to remain positive despite five-straight losses:

I think it’s about getting the opportunity to go out and play more than anything else. I mean, this really is about wanting to be out there, wanting to play this game. And again, you also appeal to their side as professionals. As a professional, you play for what’s out there for you and for these guys, yes, it’s the opportunity to go out and play and just go out there and want to play, first and foremost. That is what we’ll continue to emphasize.

The connection between Terry McLaurin and Sam Howell:

I think it’s still developing. I think, again, early on when they had it rolling together, it was really about Sam getting the ball fed to Terry. He saw a couple opportunities early on in the game and he took them.

What he hopes Howell takes away from watching Jacoby Brissett’s performance:

I think a couple things is, I’d almost say that just seeing the approach that Jacoby had once he was in there, it was almost a carefree, ‘Hey, let’s go, there’s everything to gain.’