Ron Rivera answered questions from the media after the third, and final, day of mandatory minicamp. He said Sam Howell has shown improvement, and he's shown the coaches what they needed to see in practice. He still has things to work on in training camp, but the second-year QB has been taking all the first-team reps ahead of free agent signing Jacoby Brissett.
Eric Bieniemy's offense will work on getting Washington's weapons to take advantage of mismatches. Rivera was asked about Antonio Gibson, and said Bieniemy wants to get him opportunities to show what he's capable of in this offense.
LIVE: HC Ron Rivera speaks with the media at the conclusion of minicamp https://t.co/Ekn01z8f4D— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) June 8, 2023
“No, nothing necessarily to be majorly concerned with. He worked through a couple of the tweaks and stuff he had and just feeling that we’re feeling pretty good about what he’s done. So, we’ve kind of tried to be a little more maintenance than anything else. He’ll do a lot of the warmup stuff and then we’ll just settle him down.”
Ron Rivera said he really appreciates Sam Howell's work ethic this offseason and noted his footwork continues to make progress: "He's shown improvement and that's probably the biggest thing."— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) June 8, 2023
On Sam Howell, Rivera said he has appreciated how the QB has dived into the process this offseason. Still some things to learn and tweak in training camp, but there have also been some bright spots— Zach Selby (@ZachSelbyWC) June 8, 2023
Rivera said Howell has done enough to remain QB1 entering training camp. "He's young, we know he's young... Lot of room for growth and we know that but he has a good skillset."— John Keim (@john_keim) June 8, 2023
Lists: quick twitch, decisions, arm talent. "That's the thing that excites us."
“Well, I think a big part of it right now is improving on some of the little things that we were concerned with coming out of last season. Now again, footwork probably one of the things that you always want these young guys to understand how important it is, especially coming from one program to another. You’ve gotta understand that it’s a little bit different. speed’s a little bit different, so we just gotta make sure those things are corrected.
Second thing, I really appreciate his work ethic, the way he’s really diving into this, the extra work he’s putting in. Some of the decisions he makes out there are really good. Some of the other ones, he’s still learning, still growing and he’s shown improvement and that’s probably the biggest thing that we’re excited about.”
“He’s pretty much shown us what we want to see. I mean, again, he’s young, we know he is young. He’s a second-year player who, you know, got an opportunity to start last year. But there was a lot of room for growth, and we know that, but he’s got a good skillset. He’s mobile, he’s got good foot movement, he’s got quick twitch to him, good decision maker. He is still learning to make those decisions, but he’s also got the arm talent and that’s the thing that that excites us.”
Antonio Gibson in space:
“Most certainly. I think it’s one of the things that when you look at some of the options that Eric has as far as the offensive personnel are concerned. That’s one of the things that he’s looking for is guys that are gonna create those kinds of matchups and are gonna be matchup nightmares for the opponent. He is a guy that we mostly want to continue to work with and Eric wants to make sure this guy gets as many opportunities right now to show us what he’s capable of because I think that’ll be a big part of the game planning.”
Eric Bieniemy’s offense:
Rivera says Bieniemys offense will be focused on taking advantage of matchups week to week, “creative ways that got the ball to playmakers”— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) June 8, 2023
“Well, first and foremost, we always know Saahdiq had the skillset to do it. He’s gotta stay healthy. That’s probably the biggest thing right now for him. I mean that always seemed to be the issue. If you go back and look at the times he’s played, um, something has come up whether it’s been the calf, it’s been the ankle, the shoulder. You just hope that he stays healthy because he has the skillset. He’s got the physical makeup and again, it’s just a matter of being able to stay healthy, I believe.”
Breaking down the TE room heading into the summer pic.twitter.com/EI3Oo0v37x— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) June 8, 2023
“Well and not just him, but I think one of the units that that I think is vastly improved, it’s that one. The tight end unit and a lot has to do with the development of the young guys more so than anything else. I mean, you look at John and you say, wow, this, that guy’s really grown. I mean, you know, his role for us is gonna be a little bit different than it’s been traditionally then you look at what you’re getting from Cole. You look at some of the dynamic things he’s doing. Showing that’s pretty much same thing we saw last year until, like you said, he got dinged up a little bit. Curtis Hodges is a guy that’s really stepped up. We were able to put him on injured reserve and then never got a chance to get him off of it. At the end we designated him for return and we obviously ran out of time with him, but we got to see some of the things that we wanted to and we’re seeing it again. And, and, and that’s caused for optimism. And then the guy that’s back and you’re real happy to see him back obviously is Logan. He’s really showing us that some of the things that they did in Kansas City we’re gonna be able to do with him and the other guys.”
Sale of the team:
Rivera said the sale of the team is “the biggest thing we’re waiting for” during the time off before training camp.— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) June 8, 2023
Rivera says it “would help a lot” if the sale is finalized before training camp opens. “We’re kind of on hold.”— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) June 8, 2023
Rivera said having the sale done by training camp "would help a lot" with various matters. Extensions, etc certainly among the matters.— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) June 8, 2023
If they have been able to talk to other agents about contracts with a pending sale:
“Well what we’ve tried to do more so than anything else is just kind of let everybody know exactly what you said. We’re kind of on hold and just being able to let those people know that hey, yes, just a matter of time. We’ve gotta go through this. We’ve gotta be able to present the plan to the ownership and they gotta be in agreement with it too. I mean, we can’t go on until we get a chance to explain to them exactly what our thoughts and ideas are and whether they agree or disagree. I mean, that’s gonna be very important to be able to get those kind of answers going forward to help this organization more than anything else. This really is about making sure we’re in the right position going forward more than anything else.”
New NFL kickoff rule:
Coach Rivera on the NFL's new kickoff rule pic.twitter.com/A1ksCs5eay— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) June 8, 2023
One more practice:
Commanders will hold one last OTA before breaking for the summer next Tuesday, Ron Rivera said.— Sam Fortier (@Sam4TR) June 8, 2023