Ron Rivera held his weekly day after presser, and was asked a lot of questions about Sam Howell’s bad day vs the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. The second-year QB was sacked 9 times, and had 4 interceptions. Washington lost the game 37-3, only scoring a field goal on their final drive to avoid a home shutout.
Rivera emphasized Howell’s youth when asked about his mistake-filled day. He did say Howell could be indecisive, and he, like everyone else watching, wants to see Howell hit his reads, and get the ball out faster. He was asked about Bills defenders commented on getting Howell frustrated after two and a half seconds. Rivera wants him to get the ball out before he’s getting hit, buy also wants him to be able to make plays when they’re available. He also mentioned that the offensive line needs to hold their blocks longer to give Howell more time, and less pressure.
Josh Allen made some plays early with his legs and his arm, and Rivera said that could have made the defensive line hesitant and frustrated. Allen took advantage of that and was able to make some great plays on the move.
Antonio Gibson lost a fumble last week, and it was his 2nd fumble with only 14 touches this season. Rivera said he wasn’t going to fault a guy for trying hard...
LIVE: Coach Rivera speaks to the media https://t.co/BxK2uNFi1y— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) September 25, 2023
Ron Rivera on Sam Howell: pic.twitter.com/PIqOID4Mq0— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) September 25, 2023
Ron Rivera on how long of a leash they will give Sam Howell before making a switch— Scott Abraham (@Scott7news) September 25, 2023
"Right now, we are 2-1. Sam has won 3 games in 4 starts."
Howell holding the ball too long:
Commanders head coach Ron Rivera was asked about teaching Sam to get rid of the ball quicker— Scott Abraham (@Scott7news) September 25, 2023
Ron said, "you would like him to release the ball before he gets hit."
Full answer below pic.twitter.com/oMfhH6sTfr
Ron Rivera on how the coaching staff can help Sam Howell get rid of the ball quicker— Scott Abraham (@Scott7news) September 25, 2023
"You would like him to release the ball before he gets hit. We want him to continue to go with the clock in his head."
You’d like him to reach the ball before he gets hit. Sure. I’m being serious. Whether that’s in your mindset saying, okay, there is a two and a half second clock, which we all know and understand and believe in, but at the same time because of his agility and abilities, sometimes he can extend the play and which we’ve seen and we’ve seen him do it successfully. But we’ve also seen it where there’s that little hesitation, it’s cost him a little bit. So again, we wanted to continue to go with the clock in his head, but at the same time, we don’t want him to miss opportunities if they’re there. Upfront we’d like to hold our blocks a little bit longer if we can.
Is Howell making the same mistakes?:
I think the biggest thing we’re seeing is again, there’s a point where sometimes you see too much. You go back and you may see a flash and all of a sudden you think, okay, I’m going to put it in there. And he does. Other times he sees a flash that says, oh, he’s too close. Then now he tries to go somewhere else and it’s a little too late. Again, he’s just got to continue to learn and grow and get through this. This is a guy that’s started and played four games.
Ron Rivera on what's the leash for Sam? What's that scenario?— Scott Abraham (@Scott7news) September 25, 2023
"Right now, we are 2-1. Sam's won 3 games in 4 starts. So we just continue to go from there and see how things go. We kept Sam in because we felt Sam the only way he's going to grow and get better is to play" pic.twitter.com/nLhm6fm3yc
Ron Rivera more on the "leash" for Sam Howell— Scott Abraham (@Scott7news) September 25, 2023
"Is there a point, I don't know. It's so important that he develops and grows for us. Right now, we are going to go with him."
Losing to the Buffalo Bills:
Commanders head coach Ron Rivera on the loss to Buffalo— Scott Abraham (@Scott7news) September 25, 2023
"I hate to lose. F***, I hate losing. The truth of the matter is...the only good thing out of losing is that you can learn from it." pic.twitter.com/t9RM6wcOBC
The truth of the matter is, the only good thing out of losing is you can learn from it. And that’s what we intend to do, to learn what our mistakes were, learn what the things we didn’t do right, get those things corrected, and move forward. That’s what we’re going to do.
Ron Rivera on the team moving forward from the Buffalo loss— Scott Abraham (@Scott7news) September 25, 2023
Rivera said, "we are not going to stay indoors because the sky is falling. We're going to show up, we're going to work hard and we're going to get it corrected."
Full answer below pic.twitter.com/WX1EDoRBJL
Sticking with the run game longer:
Ron Rivera was asked about leaning more on the run game. He explained hindsight is 20/20 and then talked more about Sam Howell.— Scott Abraham (@Scott7news) September 25, 2023
Rivera said, "the one thing that we do talk about it is just trying to get the opportunity for Sam"
More below pic.twitter.com/73olFeSRo4
Hindsight is 20/20, and there were some things that we didn’t do well in the run game. But we did what we did mostly because it’s collaborative. We talk about it on the headsets, we talk about it when we come to the sideline. You know, and again, the one thing we do talk about is just trying to get the opportunity for Sam. That game was close all the way up until a certain point, in the 4th quarter. And at any point, it would have come together, who knows. And again it’s hindsight now.
Throwing the ball so much about being down, or giving Sam Howell experience?:
It’s a combination of both. Sometimes we got into a deficit where we did throw the ball, but it is about him too as well. The sooner we really feel he develops and grows, the more opportunities we’re going to get. I do look at this like this is a very young player. Granted I know he’s a second-year player, but this is his fourth game. So with that there is some leniency with that, there is some, you know, a little bit of growing pains we’re going to have to deal with.
Two other NFC East teams losing this week:
I’m hoping for tonight too, to finish the week off. That would be good for all of us. I’m just being honest.
Giving up long punt returns:
On both of those returns, the unfortunate thing is, they were very good kicks. You wish you had a little bit more hang time on them. You had a gunner getting down there close in the place, and then we got out of our lanes. Moreso than anything else, if we can get just a little bit more hang time, that ball’s fair caught or that ball’s a little shorter. Quite honestly he just kicked the ball too good.
Sam Howell hanging on his first read too long:
I think it’s part of his development. I think as you go through it, a lot of it has to do with the play call. That’s one of the things as we go through it, you gotta see what you need to see, and then make your decision and move on to the next one, or deliver the ball.
Well, I thought those guys fought and tried to do their jobs, but I do think that there’s a couple things that gotta give them credit too. Some of the scheme things that they did, some of the technique things that they use might’ve caught us a little bit off balance. We gotta make sure we communicate it as it’s happening. I think those are some of the things too but you know, remember there’s two teams out on the field.
Antonio Gibson’s fumbling:
Well, I think in this case, more than anything else, you go right back to him. That I mean, if people say, oh, you know, that had something to do with the way he carries the ball, well you can’t fault a guy for trying either. You know he spun, tried to get back inside and tried to spin again and that’s when he got hit. At that point, you also gotta say discretion is a better part of value. Just take it and go to the ground and you know, we will live with another play. But he was trying and that to me, you know, I’m not gonna fault a guy for trying hard.
Defense vs Josh Allen:
Ron Rivera on the D's pass rush: "Josh Allen got into our guys heads after the first couple series... There's a frustration that comes with it when you feel you should be making a sack... It gets to guys. You're close but you can't get there."— John Keim (@john_keim) September 25, 2023
I think Josh Allen got into our guy’s head a little bit after that first couple series. I mean, tucking the ball and running because basically first of all, coverage was good, but they’d gotten to him and forced him out of the pocket and a guy with that kind of ability can stretch a play, get outside. There’s a frustration that comes with it too when you feel like you should be making a sack, you should be making a play. It gets to guys, it does. It’s just like when you’re playing against the team that throws a ball quick all the time on three and five step drops, you know you’re close but you’re not getting there and if you can get a lead and have a good lead going into the fourth quarter, you can pin your ears back and get after somebody and you know, that’s kind of what happened to us.
Is he surprised Jahan Dotson hasn’t had significant production so far:
I just think it’s about opportunities when the balls are thrown and when he has had the ball thrown his direction, he’s been catching the ball and making plays.
Why Dotson hasn’t been getting has many targets:
A lot of it has to do with also reading the progressions and all that.