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Ron Rivera Presser: We want our running backs to have more opportunities to get the ball in space

Ron Rivera speaks to the media after today’s practice

NFL: Washington Commanders Training Camp Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Commanders Head Coach Ron Rivera spoke to the media after today's practice. It was the second day of training camp, and the first that was open to fans. Rivera is very encouraged by Chase Young's recovery, and he is starting to look confident in his knee. Brian Robinson has been impressing in camp with his pass-catching ability, and Rivera wants to see all of the backs getting more opportunities in space.

Daron Payne:

Chase Young:

Oh, it’s good to see Chase moving around the way he did. I mean, he’s light years ahead of where he was last training camp. I think that’s a big deal for us. I think the thing that you can really point to really is just remember last year we talked about how the defense was working on something di(erent and how they were trying to get that zone match down? It’s different now. You see them, they’re comfortable, they’re con-dent in it. I know Jack and them [the defensive staff looked at it, made a couple adjustments to it and those players have just adapted it so quickly. I mean, they are so far ahead of where they were last season.

Encouraging signs for his recovery:

Well, you see the get off first and foremost. Last year he was a little hesitant, a little tentative but last year it took him a while before he got out there completely. So, you see him moving around with a lot more confidence. You see him finishing as well. And that’s the other thing.

Sam Howell:

And I think that’s a big part of it, is just developing the rapport that you need with your teammates around you more so anything else. I think as he gets more and more comfortable and they get more and more comfortable with him, that vibe really comes together and that’s probably the important thing. I think there’s a certain aspect to it where you’ve got to get past draft status. Okay. Because if that were the case guys that were taken in what the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth round people shouldn’t be talking about apparently. I think it’s all about what the player does and the proof will be in the pudding.

Offensive line:

Fans at training camp today:

Brian Robinson catching passes more:

Well, I think for all of our backs, you want to see these guys get opportunities to get the ball in space. Last year, Brian showed everybody, in space, he’s a load. You watch what Antonio Gibson does when he’s in space and he’s elusive. He’s a little bit of a slasher in space because he’s got speed that people don’t realize. I mean, this is a guy that ran a 4.3 coming out, so you know, these guys with the ball in their hands, they’re good athletes. Give ‘em a little bit of space, give ‘em a little bit of room to build up some momentum and they become a load to tackle. So it’s all part of what we’re trying to accomplish offensively in talking with Eric is get the ball out quickly, get them in positions to make plays quickly and we’ll go from there.

Tight ends:

Training camp conditioning:

Well, now it’s all about the conditioning. You know, that aspect of it will come because as practices get extended, guys get a little more fatigued. The thing about when guys get fatigued, now you see mistakes start to increase unless they’re in shape. Unless they’re in condition and you really can’t ever simulate playtime through practice but, that’ll be the first step in terms of getting guys in game shape.

What Eric Bieniemy has implemented at practice:

Well, I think one of the things that, when you watch Eric, he moves from one position group to another. He’s not just primarily focused on wherever the quarterback is. So I think that’s one of the things that he’s done very well. Secondly is, he’s very expressive and very loud. He’s got one of those piercing voices that you just know. Because of that, because he’s very boisterous and demonstrative, he gets a lot of people’s attention. I think that’s something that is getting our guys’ attention as far as that’s concerned.

Dyami Brown:

Well, in this offense, and really anytime Dyami gets on the field, you do expect certain things. One of the things that he’s, you know, was noted for coming out of North Carolina was he was known for the ability to catch the ball in traffic. He led the NCAA in contested catches. He was also one of the top guys in the deep balls thrown as well. So, we’re expecting and anticipating to get that from Dyami. We got a little bit of it last year. Wish we had gotten more because he is an explosive guy with good speed.