Day 2 of the Washington Commanders mini-camp kicks off with Ron Rivera answering questions before the start of practice. He said Chase Young looked good in his first practice with the team this offseason. Rivera noticed more explosion and confidence, and noted the same from Logan Thomas who also suffered a torn ACL.
LIVE: HC Ron Rivera speaks with the media before Day 2 of minicamp https://t.co/liFFom4P4Q— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) June 7, 2023
Ron Rivera on Chase Young: "He looked good... looked like he had some explosion back... looked like he was more confident. We're seeing that watching Logan Thomas [as well]."— John Keim (@john_keim) June 7, 2023
“He looked good. He really did. Real excited about it. Looks like he’s got some explosion back, which was one of the really neat things in terms of watching him, his get off. He looks like he’s more confident. We noticed that as well and we’ve been seeing that in watching Logan Thomas. Another guy that was coming off a year removed now from having had knee surgery. So, feel very good about what we’re seeing from our guys.”
Air quality issues:
Rivera said they had discussions with Dr's and medical personnel about the air quality and if they needed to move indoors. they were assured they're OK to work outside. Said if any players have respiratory issues, they can be excused. Definite difference in AQI out here— John Keim (@john_keim) June 7, 2023
Rivera said Cole Turner has had a good spring. One thing that stands out the most is that he has a good grasp of the offense— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) June 7, 2023
“Yeah, I mean the thing about Cole more so than anything else is obviously last year was that the injury was a major setback and it did take a little bit longer to heal up. So the hard part for us was we really did see a guy that had a lot of potential coming in for us. And what we have seen obviously has been, he’s had a great spring. He’s been here almost the entire offseason on a voluntary basis doing the things that he needs to do and develop. One thing is you’ve seen this, he’s got a really good grasp of the offense so far. He’s still learning it, but he’s learning it quickly and doing the things that we need to have him do to be able to help us go forward.”
When he can tell that a player is ready to go to another level:
“Well, I think a lot of it has to do with them showing us what they’ve learned, what they’re doing out on the field. And part of it too is in this offense, with what Eric’s doing with players is being able to play more than just one spot in terms of the skill guys. For the tight ends there’s the Y, there’s the U or the F depending on how you wanna look at it. There’s like about four or five different tight end positions. That and having him be able to play one and go to the other and play it as well, I think that’s the thing that we’re looking at.”
Working on more pass game concepts than run game concepts at this point in the year:
“Well, two things. Mostly on the offensive side is getting the throws for the quarterbacks more so than anything else. This is a precision offense. A lot of it has to do with timing and accuracy. Putting the ball where it needs to be thrown. And then quite honestly, secondly is one thing is that in sitting down and talking with the coaches that if we limit the run game right now when we’re actually doing some of the competitive stuff, it’s gonna limit the collisions. And so we got whacked last year, lost a couple of practices and stuff and you know we’re trying to limit those collisions and it’s one of the things that we gotta constantly remind our guys is that we’re not asking them to compete for the ball right now. And so just trying to be careful with them.”
How defensive ends can work on finishing plays better:
“They get to the quarterback and again, not necessarily getting him down as much as impacting the play. Forcing the quarterback to throw the ball sooner than he wants to, throwing the ball away, tucking it and running. That’s more of the finishing a lot of times instead of just, winning but then getting washed by, that’s not effective enough because all the quarterback does is step up and throw the ball or get a little more deeper and throw the ball. And so then when they talk about finishing, that’s getting to the quarterback, impacting the quarterback, getting him to move and impacting the play.”
Rivera said the team is pleased with they have gotten out of Emmanuel Forbes so far. So far, everything he's shown is what they expected when they drafted him— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) June 7, 2023
“Well, I think the biggest thing in terms of just watching him move around more so than anything else, it’s what we were hoping for. I mean, we’re looking for a guy that can impact the ball when it’s being thrown, when it’s in the air, and that’s who he was in college and that’s what he’s showing us so far. So it’s been pretty exciting. We’re feeling really good about it so far. Obviously there is the physical nature of the game that we’ll have to watch once we get the pads on, but as of right now everything else he’s done, he’s done exactly what we saw. He is a ball hawk. He does time it out very well, does put himself in position. He’s working against some of the best route runners right now in the league, and that’s kind of neat to watch this young man grow already. So it’s been a very good offseason with him so far. I believe it’s only two and a half weeks that we’ve had him, but it’s been good to watch.”
On the depth of the OL ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/M5uU6hiHYR— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) June 7, 2023
Asked by @sam4tr how to gage offensive line without pads on, Ron Rivera said of the Commanders group: "I think so, as far as right now theyre going in the right direction."— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) June 7, 2023
“Well, I thought it was really good. I really did. You know, the nice thing is the depth is showing itself right now and that’s a huge plus for us because as far as the depths concerned, while Charles was out, Cornelius Lucas, who has started for us in all three years he’s been here with us, just stepped in and did the job that we know he’s capable of. And if he has to become a starter again, he would come in and help us just like he has. So we feel good about that.
What I’ve really enjoyed seeing is some of the young guys, younger guys that have gotten more and more opportunities. We’ve put Sam Cosmi in one position and we’ve left him at right guard and he seems to really settle in really nicely working alongside Andrew. That was kind of cool to watch.
And then looking at the left guard position, Saahdiq has really done a nice job, but you know, Chris Paul’s really just nipping at the heels of all of our offensive linemen because one thing we found about Chris is that he has got great position flex. He’s shown that he can play both guard positions and we believe so. There are some questions to whether he can do tackle. I mean, it’s something we’re gonna look at once we get into the pads in the summer and see if he’s capable of that as well. So that’s another huge plus.
Then watching some of the depth things that we have going on at center, that’s been another nice spot. We brought in Trent Scott as far as another tackle backup, a guy that can help us in those situations. We drafted Braeden because of that. We drafted Ricky because of that. We got Tyler who’s coming off the injury who last year when as our starting center, we were 6-1-1. So, we feel good about the depth right now and we gotta get through it, stay healthy obviously, and we think we’re doing some things the right way.”
Sam Cosmi switching to guard:
“Was really good just because of the fact that knowing that he was up to it and whether it was at tackle or guard, he was more than willing to play either spot. And what it did was it really helped us in terms of going out and seeing if we can get Andrew knowing that Andrew would come in and be able to play the right tackle position. Nice thing about Andrew though is he could play either side as well as guard but knowing that Sam was up to it and we just feel with Sam’s athleticism as a guard, you know, it would be a real big plus for us. So, it’s been good for him. I know it’s been good for him because you can see it on tape. And also, just developing the rapport with one guy right now has been, I think also another thing that’s helped him.”
Interesting note from Rivera there talking about Commanders secondary - "if we can keep him on the field" when talking about how good St. Juste can be. Gotta think inside the building the injury stuff w BSJ was a factor in going DB first 2 rounds of draft— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) June 7, 2023
Tools Eric Bieniemy is bringing to the offense pic.twitter.com/WQKP9fuZ0Q— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) June 7, 2023
“Oh, most certainly. I think one of the things that is interesting is a lot of the stuff is being put on the quarterback and the center immediately. There’s a lot of things that Eric has in terms of tools for the quarterback to identify things. So, it’ll be up to them to make sure they’re communicating. That’s one of the things that Sam and Jacoby, and Jake for the most part, all three of those guys, have really picked up very quickly to help identify stuff for the offensive line. And then also having the tools of being able to audible into something quicker to get the ball out of the quarterback’s hands sooner. So there’s a lot of positives that Eric has really been instilling in these guys and they’ve seem to have grasped it pretty well.”