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Ron Rivera Presser: I love what we’re seeing on the defensive line; the offensive line is a work in progress

Ron Rivera speaks to the media after today’s practice

Ron Rivera answered questions from the media after Day 6 of Washington Commanders training camp. Fans were back, and the pads came on which allowed the coaches to get a better look at where team was in the second week. Rivera is very happy with the defensive line, which has been a strength on the team for the last few years with heavy investments in the draft. The offensive line will look different again this year with several new faces, and Rivera acknowledged they are a work in progress. They need to work together and build coordination as they look to protect either Sam Howell or Jacoby Brissett this season.

First day in pads:

Well, I think the biggest thing, first and foremost, when you throw the pads on, you want these guys to prove to me that you have some coordination and as they work together and they practice together, we’re looking for that continuity in the groups, whether it be the offensive line or the defensive line, picking up where they left off last year, just proving to me that you have some coordination and you’re working well. And that’s one of the things that we looked at, we saw today. Really pleased with that. I thought there was a lot of positives from it as well. The tempo did get ramped up a little bit. Yeah. And there was some energy out there, and that’s what we’re looking for. I mean, you know, we’re getting into the dog days. It’d be nice if it was a little bit warmer, but it was a good practice. I liked the tempo more than anything else.

Well, I think that’s one of the things you look for is that there are some guys that do enjoy the contact. They think that’s a big part of the game and they play that way. And those are the guys that you’re looking for. Those are the guys that you like to set the tone and tempo. I mean, today was, I told the players, there’s gonna be a tone setter. You know, we’re gonna put a lot on you. We’re gonna do a lot of things and we’re gonna be physical and we’re gonna expect it out of you. I thought the way they stepped up. I thought the way they reacted to it and the way they practiced smart and we tried to get them to play with their eyes and not the top of their heads. And I think the guys are doing a real nice job with that.

1st-string vs 2nd-string:

Offensive line:

I mean, we had an opportunity to grab a guy in Wylie that we felt really comfortable with. Here’s a guy that knows the system, is gonna come in and help everybody else. And that was the idea behind that. And what that did was prompted us to just go ahead and make a decision on Sam and say, ‘Hey, we’re gonna throw you at right guard, leave you at right guard. Use your athletic ability, use your power and strength and do the best.’ And that’s what he’s doing right now. And we’re all excited to watch him as he continues to grow and develop. As far as Saahdiq, we know he can do a lot of things. And with Charles, again, we keep him at that high level play. At that level, it gives us a chance to protect the quarterback, which I think is one of the most important things you gotta be able to do.

Redskins name:

Well, I think it’s a big part. I mean, again, remember 1932 is when this all started. So it’s one of those things where, you know, I think it gets ingrained and there’s a lot of people that still hold onto it. And, again, just understand it is with all due respect that we do. That’s the one thing, if anybody ever brings it up or talks about the previous name, it’s with a tremendous amount of respect and admiration.

Defensive line:

Well, there’s a number of guys that jumped out. I mean, I don’t want to get specific right now because it’s only been day one, but there were a couple guys that showed some stuff, you know, in the secondary. I like some of the things that we are doing. It’s funny, Jack and I had a conversation about the different nuances to what we do and how these guys are adapting, and you see those guys that we were talking about do the things that we want. I love what we’re seeing on the defensive line. I think, you know, you see how Chase and Jonathan and Montez and Daron have just picked up where they left off. I mean, that’s a huge plus for us. Then look at the offensive line, it’s a work in progress because it’s five different guys working together and we got to build that coordination, you know, they got to show me that and that’s what we’re looking for.

Emmanuel Forbes reacting to more aggressive receivers in pads today:

That’ll be something I got, I’ll be taking a much deeper look at as we get into film study. I really didn’t get to focus in on him every chance I got. So when I get a chance to review the tape, that’s one of the things I will be looking at.

Forbes’ size vs physical receivers:

Well, I mean, you saw when you put the tape on from his college days, and again, he was in the SEC and there’s some pretty good stuff. So, you know, I expect to see pretty much the same thing that he did when he was playing at Mississippi State.

WRs vs DBs:

See, I think the young guys, you know, it’s getting used to the contact and the physicality of our DBs. But watching our veteran guys and seeing how Terry just, you know, it’s natural for Terry and Jahan learning how to do it. Watching those two specifically that’s been big. Curtis it’s no stranger to Curtis. So he’s pretty good with it. But as you watch the younger guys, you see that they’ve got, they can’t let themselves get knocked off line. They got to get back into their routes or back into their path as quickly as possible so that they can give the quarterback a true read as he is dropping back.