LIVE: Coach Rivera speaks to the media after practice https://t.co/i4p1CF88H8— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) December 20, 2023
Ron Rivera addressing the media. Said he wants to see consistency from Sam Howell for the rest of the season. Thought it was good for Howell to sit back and watch Jacoby Brissett play free when he came in the fourth quarter against the Rams— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) December 20, 2023
Ron Rivera on Sam Howell: "If there's one thing it's the consistency...It's been a tough few weeks, we havent played how we want to as a team."— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) December 20, 2023
If there’s one thing, just to me, is just the consistency. To continue with the consistency. It’s been a tough few weeks. We haven’t played the way we’ve wanted as a team. I think again, it is a good opportunity as we just look at them, focus in on them one at a time and play consistent football.
Is Howell is trusting guys enough?:
That’s the thing that, when in talking with Sam the other day about getting a chance to take a step back and watch Jacoby was that he thought that exactly. It was just the freedom in which Jacoby was playing and it’s one of those things that you think back about a couple of games and you think about what he did in Denver and the way he played and you think of the way he played against Philadelphia and you say, ‘wow.’ That’s the thing that he’s capable of. That’s what you want to see is that consistency there.
Where throwing with anticipation ranks among aspects Howell can improve upon:
I think that’s something that will come in time. For a guy that, really, this is his real first year of being a starter and getting the opportunity to grow within the offense. I think those are things that he’ll continue to learn and have a better feel. I believe going forward is just the anticipation part of it.
Playing younger players at the end of the season:
We look to find opportunities to get them in there. Obviously, it’s a good opportunity for them to show us what they’re capable of and for us to see it. It is something that we do try to make sure that we find the right opportunity.
Positive takeaways from the defense’s performance:
I thought some of the communication aspect of the coverages with the exception of really just the one big miss. We miscommunicated on a switch and we turned the guy loose. But other than that, you look at the consistency in which they were playing, the way they fought, creating takeaways, getting the takeaways in the red zone, that was big. The way we handled the sudden change in the red zone and force the field goal attempt.
Those are the things that you build off of. I thought we had moments where you could really see the guys getting through some of the things that we needed to do as a defensive unit. And it got pressure on a quarterback. We’ll look at those things and continue to try and get better at them.
Jets offense and containing RB Breece Hall:
I think first of all, they’ve had to use a whole bunch of quarterbacks, so there’s no continuity at that position. But knowing what that offense is capable of, and having seen it in full operation when it was in Green Bay, you know that what they’re trying to do, obviously, they’re trying to run the ball and control the line of scrimmage. Then off of that, you see a lot of their play action comes. They do have a really good running game. They try to control the pace and tempo. It’s not like they’re trying to go a hundred miles an hour. They’re slowing the pace down. I think the thing that they’re trying to do is just be very steady with their game. But to me it, it really starts with their running game.
Keeping players motivated:
No, I think that’s part of my responsibility is to get the guys to understand that, this first and foremost starts about being a professional and showing up and doing your job. Secondly, you’re playing for more than just the opportunity to play. You’re playing to put out good tape. You’re playing to show your teammates that you’ll continue to fight and play and you’re not going to quit on anybody. It’s that sense of pride that you appeal to.
How the defensive line has performed a moved forward since trading Montez Sweat and Chase Young:
On the defensive line, Rivera said the trades of Chase Young and Montez Sweat have led to opportunities for young players. Highlighted KJ Henry for what he's done as a run-stopper— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) December 20, 2023
It’s been kind of interesting because there’s been an opportunity to watch a lot of young guys play. At one point, we had four rookie defensive ends up and Casey. It gave a chance for those young guys to get some really good experience.
We got a chance to watch KJ Henry play a little bit and show his physicality as a run stopper. He’s got a little bit of work to do on his pass rush stuff. We think Andre’s got a little bit of ways to go. We think Dre’s got some ability, but he’s got to learn. Getting Jalen Harris and plucking him from Chicago. He’s a guy that showed he’s got a really good head on his shoulders. He’s athletic, he’s physical and it’s just one of those things that when you do something like that, you’ve got to continue to work and develop it.
One of the things that we’ve tried to do is try to find ways to manufacture pass rush. We’ve blitzed a little bit more than we had in the past, trying to create those opportunities. We’ve run some load fronts just trying to do some different things. I think that’s part of what we’re learning about our guys.
How Terry McLaurin’s performance can help him mentally going forward:
I think not just for him, but for the team, it is about finishing strong and doing things like that. And, and again, we’re going to continue to work it and see if we can find more ways to create those things. We’re at the point now I think where you should have the familiarity with what we do as a group and we got to find the ways to be explosive and use him in these last few games.
Different ways that can use him:
Well, to your question, find more ways for him to be more explosive.
What makes the Jets pass defense a challenge:
First, I think it starts a lot with their pass rush and then how physical they’re at the line of scrimmage. They’ve got tall long corners, guys that are very physical with their hands. You’ve got to be able to get off clean and get into your routes quickly, and you just can’t win off the line because they come back at you. You got to win on your second release downfield when you’re getting ready to make your break and you get the top end.
If Brissett’s experience led to his success or something else:
I mean, you looked at it, I thought a lot had to do with his experience and who Jacoby is in terms of that. He does have a little bit of a gun slinger mentality, but he’s also very smart, very savvy football player. And he came out and saw a couple things that he liked. And based off of those things, I believe he went and did those things.
What he’s seen from Curtis Samuel and Kam Curl:
I think both those guys have had terrific years for us, they really have. They’ve been very competitive, they compete. Curtis really from the very beginning, has been all in in what we do. He’s been very dynamic for us, especially underneath, being that underneath go-to-guy and especially in third-and-short. He’s a guy that shows his tremendous flexibility and not just being a good route runner underneath, but he’s got the speed to get vertical and he’s also a threat anytime he’s running the Jet Motion to get the ball.
With Kam, he’s been such a steady veteran for us, and he’s a guy that has some diversity to his game. He can play in the box, he can play deep, he can come down, cover tight ends, and he can work on some receivers, bigger receivers. He’s pretty good. He’s just shown his versatility for us.
LIVE: QB Sam Howell speaks to the media after practice https://t.co/eIPIWSBBMN— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) December 20, 2023
His performance vs the Rams:
Howell on what he saw from is performance: "I made some of the easy things hard. I try to learn from every game and I learned a lot from last week."— George Wallace (@GWallaceWTOP) December 20, 2023
I just think I made some of the easy things hard and I think there was a lot more out there that I didn’t take advantage of. But excited for this week, obviously going against a really good defense, so it’s a great opportunity for us to face another good defense and try to bounce back. I try to learn a lot from every single game and definitely learned a lot from the last one.
What he learned from watching Jacoby Brissett:
He did a good job. He went through the plays how we’re taught to go through them and took what the defense gave him. He’s a really good player, he’s shown that every single time he’s got an opportunity to play in this league. So, every time I get the chance to watch him, definitely a lot to learn.
Was there anything different in-game that allowed Terry McLaurin to be more involved:
It’s kind of a case-by-case thing. Every play is kind of different and there were some chances late in the game where they kind of left him one-on-one and we took advantage of it. But I mean, we try to do those things every single game when we get those opportunities.
Did he change his prep for this week’s game?:
I mean, the same process. I feel good about the process that I’ve gone through every single week and how I prepare for games. I just got to make sure I translate that onto the field and that I’m playing at a more consistent rate and give my team more of a chance to win.
Number of sacks this season affecting his body physically:
Honestly, not really. I feel pretty good. I didn’t take very many hits on Sunday. I think the O-Line is doing a really good job, they’re playing some really good football right now, and so I’ve been able to stay healthy for most of the year and haven’t had too many things that have bothered me. So definitely been pretty blessed in that way. But yeah, I mean, nothing really major that I’m doing differently. Just blessed that I’ve been able to stay healthy and have those guys up front that I do have.
Preparation for staying healthy this season:
I don’t think so. I pride myself on working really hard in the offseason and trying to take it to the next step in the offseason, just prepare myself for the season. So, I think that has maybe something to do with it. But I think there is probably some luck that goes into it as well. You got to try to avoid some bad situations and at times I’ve done a good job of that and at times I haven’t. That’s just something I’m still trying to learn and get better at, try to take care of my body, do it better every single week. But I don’t really know if you could pinpoint one thing, it’s just kind of a situational thing where you just kind of do the best you can to protect yourself.
Final three games of the season:
On the last three games, Howell said he wants to be really consistent and playing his best football to end the year— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) December 20, 2023
I want to put good ball on tape. I feel like for the most part, I’ve played some good ball this year and I just got to do it at a more consistent rate. I want to go into these last three games and be really consistent and be really good and just be efficient and give my team a chance to win. I just want to be playing my best football for these last three games.
Opinion on opting out of college bowl games:
There’s always people that’ll tell you, obviously everyone has a lot of different opinions on that topic. For me, it was just one of those things where I feel like I started something, and I should finish it. I think bowl games, to me in college, bowl games were some of the most fun, and some of the best memories that I had when I was in college was that week when we traveled to the bowl game, wherever it was at and got to spend time together. I wasn’t ready for it to be over yet, and I feel like it was something that I started the season and wanted to finish it with my teammates. I don’t have anything against people that do opt out, I certainly understand it. But for me, I just kind of wanted to finish what I started.
Where he wants to be more consistent:
Obviously, I think I want to complete more passes, get the completion percentage back up and just stay on schedule. I could hang in the pocket a little bit more. I think I’ve bailed out of pocket sometimes where I didn’t need to. So, there’s just some little things here and there that I know I could do a better job of that’ll help me play more efficient football.
Sam Howell on if he thinks much about the future: pic.twitter.com/wCK4FhCDfA— John Keim (@john_keim) December 20, 2023
I honestly don’t really look at it much. It really doesn’t mean anything right now and I think what matters is how I play each and every week. Obviously, you can worry all year long about what’s going to happen next year, but for me, I just kind of take the approach of taking it one week at a time and really try to focus in and do everything I can on a week-to-week basis to play my best football. Just because obviously there’s a lot of questions about what’s going to happen after this year, but I feel like if I’m playing my best football at a consistent rate, then those questions won’t be there. So, that’s just kind of the way I look at it. I’m just going to try to keep doing what I can to play good football and put good film on tape these last three games.