The Washington Commanders have been going at it in practice all week, and tensions between the offense and defense finally boiled over with a few quick fights, and some yelling from players and coaches. Rivera knew this would happen with the defense taking it to the new offense for most of training camp. Terry McLaurin called out a teammate for his poor sportsmanship, and Rivera noted that was the leadership that he has displayed, and the team needs players like him to step up.
LIVE: Coach Rivera speaks to the media after the final camp practice of the week https://t.co/ehzxf0Kbl3— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) August 4, 2023
Fights between the offense and defense today:
Rivera: “I’d have been disappointed if it wasn’t chippy. This was our ninth practice, our fifth in a row. … I got hot sauce in my bag. Let’s pull it out.”— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) August 4, 2023
Ron Rivera: "To be honest with you, I'd be disappointed if we didn't get a bit chippy. ... We lost our poise for a little bit. We got to handle it."— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) August 4, 2023
On the chippiness Rivera was glad it happened. "This is about building the grit & the toughness. We lost our poise, a little immaturity showed. We have to learn how to handle it. ...Great learning experience...kind of day you'd expect [3rd padded day; 5th straight practice]"— John Keim (@john_keim) August 4, 2023
To be honest with you I would’ve been disappointed if we weren’t chippy. I would’ve been disappointed if we didn’t get after each other’s ass out there. I really expected it to be that way. This was our ninth practice, our fifth one in a row and they’re a little sour right now, they really are. It’s one of those things where as things go and things start to happen, you get fired up and you get excited. It’s just like, I have hot sauce in my bag, lets pull it out, spray it on each other and get a little excited about it. That’s exactly what happened. I’m glad it did.
This is about building the grit and the toughness and having to deal with this. We lost our poise for a little bit, a little immaturity showed. We have to learn to handle that. When you get tired, when you get hot, you’re frustrated, things aren’t going your way, you have to bounce back. This is going to be a great learning experience for our guys. I think this is the kind of day you expect. It’s our third day in pads. Like I said, I’d be disappointed if we didn’t come out like that. I got hot sauce in my bag and it’s like lets go.
Immaturity and frustration:
It happens. It does. We don’t encourage it, we don’t want it. We want to stop it because these are teammates. We want them to understand that everything we got, all we got is all we need and that’s everyone in that room and everyone on that field. We have to take care of our teammates. As I said, a little immaturity showed. Guys get frustrated, what happens? They start to fight. We have to control that. We can’t allow that and we don’t.
Terry McLaurin getting pissed:
Rivera on McLaurin getting upset: "'Chase said it best, when Terry starts talking you know it's serious. Terry is right, this is about your teammates."— John Keim (@john_keim) August 4, 2023
That’s leadership right there. Chase Young said it best. He said, well, when Terry starts talking, you know, it’s serious. And Terry was right, this is about your teammates, you got to be careful. You got to take care of your teammates and, you know, you hit ‘em great and, you know, but let’s don’t go past that. Let’s don’t go into the extracurricular stuff and that’s what Terry’s point was more than anything else.
Logan Thomas had a calf strain; sat out b/c of 'an abundance of caution' Rivera said.— John Keim (@john_keim) August 4, 2023
Forbes: Tweaked his groin. Will be re-evaluated
Curtis Hodges: Felt something in the hamstring. Being careful
Cody Barton: DNP b/c of a hip flexor
Logan Thomas has a little bit of a calf strain and was held out of caution, Rivera said. Emmanuel Forbes tweaked his groin, but Rivera said he doesn't anticipate it keeping him sidelined. Cody Barton is dealing with a hip flexor.— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) August 4, 2023
Okay. So Logan Thomas got a little calf strain. So out of an abundance of caution, we kept him off the field today. Emmanuel Forbes, they told me he tweaked his groin. They don’t expect it to be anything that should be keeping him out. He should be able to play this week, but again, they’re going to reevaluate, and we’ll let you guys know a little bit more on Sunday.
Tomorrow’s their day off. Um, and who was the other one? Oh, Curtis. He started to feel something in the hamstringing upper glute, and we wanted to be careful again. We sat him down as well. You know, this is one of those things that when you’re looking at the analytics, you’re looking at the metrics, you know, today being the ninth practice and with the amount of load these guys have got the risk of injury starts to increase. So as soon as we started to feel something, we shut guys down. Just trying to be careful with them.
Same thing. Cody had a little bit of a hip flexor, a little tightness this morning. He felt it yesterday. We treated him most of the day yesterday. Today he came in, he was still tight, so we didn’t want to put him out there. Again, like I said, based on the metrics that we look at, one of the things that pointed to is potential for injuries.
Injury management and overall team health:
Yes. Management is the big part of it, and that’s why a lot of these things, we didn’t push anybody throughout there. We just say, hey, let’s just start backing off. Especially today, this being the day before a day off, it gives them a little bit more time, consecutive time, to get better in terms of, you know, now all of a sudden, they start to feel something. You go out and then make ‘em practice. Well, they only got one day to hopefully get back and be ready. Well feel something, let’s shut ‘em down. Let’s start getting ‘em treated, that gives us a whole two days or a day and a half to hopefully get them better and get them back out on the field.
Concern about the offense:
Rivera says he wants to see the cohesiveness build on the offensive line but adds he’s not concerned about his offense until the group really starts to game plan. Asked about a timeline, Rivera said Week 1.— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) August 4, 2023
Yeah, when you start game planning, you know, you start preparing, I think that’s what’s more important. I mean, right now, there’s no game planning out there, you know what I’m saying? There’s just learning your base fundamentals, learning the foundation of what you’re going to do and then you got to go out there and use your tools and react to it.
Now you start to game plan and start saying, hey, this is what we anticipate, this is what we expect to get, these are the things that we can do. This is your toolbox of adjustments and let’s go out and make it happen. That’s when you want to start to see things really come together. Right now, if they have a good day, then you know that things are being put together.
Yesterday, I thought was a good day for the offense as well. There are a lot of good things that did happen, but, you know, there really is no timeline except for when the season starts, when it’s for real.
I think the play of offensive line has been solid. Sure they made some mistakes, but again, they’re learning a whole new system and they’re going to have mistakes and you’re talking about a defense that’s, you know, again, way ahead in terms of just what they do and knowing what to do and how to do things. Again, it’s all part of the development and growth and we’re going to have growing pains. You know, it’s not going to be easy. Nobody said it would be, but I do expect us to get better and better every day. I expect us to get better and better when we start playing.
Well, I think with the 16 guys we got right now or 17 guys we have right now, it’s a good group. I mean, I think the depth, the young depth is very good. We’re a young football team this year. We really are and we expect those guys to be, you know, in development mode and we’re expecting certain guys that get opportunities to step up and play really well. Then guys that are in the depth position, we feel very strongly about.
Sam Howell’s development:
Ron Rivera on Sam Howell's development as we've been talking about on @team980 & @Audacy— Chris Russell AKA the ! (@Russellmania621) August 4, 2023
"I know its just preseason games, but those are going to be paramount to telling everybodywhere he is, whats his growth." Well, Ron..you see...