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 Media roundup | Charles Leno calls Brian Robinson a 'natural running back'

07292022 Training Camp EF421

Ron Rivera,*Montez Sweat* and Charles Leno Jr. all addressed the media following the Washington Commanders' recovery practice. Here's a look at the highlights from their press conferences.

Ron Rivera

On if he felt the decision to keep the youth of the defensive line paid off:

  • "Yeah, I do because I think they've had to play a lot. That's one of the nice things about when you're able to keep giving young guys opportunities and putting them out there is that they're gonna play. If you look at the transition that this roster's gone through in terms of the age, you notice it's a young group of guys, but those guys have played a lot of football already and so they're learning how to play the game because they've been on the field and exposed to being on the field. As I talked about last year, my big concern last year was just maturity. I think we're where we need to be in the sense of that, now it's just continuing to grow and develop."

On what he has seen from TE Cole Turner in terms of blocking and where he can improve:

  • "I think understanding, you know, what it means for him when we talk about leverage, knowing that, 'Hey, the runner's going this way. I gotta make sure I'm positioned in this spot.' It's when he's coming around an edge that the tighter, I say to the offensive line, the better angle I'm gonna create for myself. Understanding those angles to cut guys off with. Hand placement I think he can improve a lot on. Body posture in terms of bending at the knees, bending at the hips, you know, so that I am explosive when I go to block. Probably said the biggest thing really is just understanding his hand placements and where to put his hands on people and again, how to create that leverage."

On how he's seen DE Efe Obada grow over their time together:

  • "When I first had him, he was very anxious. You know, he wanted to get out and continue to do things and I think it got him to where he wasn't focusing on, you know, just learning just, 'Hey, this is what you've gotta learn. This is you gotta understand and take it to the next level.' Now you see that he has worked on specific things and he's gotten better and better on those things. Whether it's understanding the significance of, you know, get off with leverage, hand placement, and then having the counter ready to go, or the feel as, 'Hey, I've got this angle, I just gotta keep pushing it. Sometimes he'd start up field and come underneath way too soon. Now he's gotta understand that he, he looks like he understood that once I get to a specific level, I can work back underneath. I mean, those are the little things that, that weren't innate for him. He didn't have that true understanding, because again, he was just developing as a guy."

On did he show the players videos of the plays Ellison talked about:

  • "That will come up in this afternoon's meeting at 4:30. One thing that we're doing with our analytics guys is we're looking at trends, what people are doing, and different things and so we're sharing that with our players. This morning we went through one of the scenarios that we're seeing throughout the league. We just kind of pointed out to our guys, 'Hey, this is some things that you've got to be aware of. It's going to impact both offense, defense, and special teams.'"

On if RB Antonio Gibson is consistently lowering the shoulder as he goes through the hole:

  • "I would say yes. His posture going through in terms of understanding that, 'Hey, when I make my read and plant I got to lower my pads, protect myself, get my shoulders over my legs so that guys trying to, tackle me, I can protect them, using my forearms and stuff like that.' You see those things and he's much more comfortable in doing it. It's been kind of nice to watch him. It's interesting because when you watch [RB] Brian [Robinson Jr.] run, then you watch him run, and then you watch [RB] J.D. [McKissic] run, there are differences in their styles. To throw another name in it, [RB] Jonathan Williams, he's done a really nice job. [RB] Reggie Bonnafon has shown something. I think we've got as good a group of back here with us right now that we've ever had."

Montez Sweat

On being a vocal leader and a mentor:

  • "It's just something that comes with the game. When you get more experience and more knowledge, you want to get that knowledge off to the guys, your peers. They can actually help you succeed and it's going to help the team be a better team."

On being vocal at practice:

  • "I think football's a vocal game. I think everybody needs to be on the same page as far as communication, pre-snap reads and noticing the strength and things like that. So yeah, everybody has to be vocal."

On how fatherhood has changed him:

  • "It has changed me a lot actually. I mean, it gives you a new perspective on life. You're actually living for someone and you want to be a role model for him in just everything you do. It's a blessing."

On the other pass rushers out at camp:

  • "We got some great tools. I like Efe [Obada], he's a longer guy. I mean, he has some great pass rush tools. It's a lot of guys across the line. Shaka [Toney] BK [Bradley-King] stepped up his game a lot. It's a lot of guys, we got a lot of guys that want to get better every day. We are moving in that."

On how the tight ends have grown as pass blockers:

  • "Yeah, they're getting better every day and I feel it. I feel like it is my job to get them ready for when we do get really rolling. I like to get those guys tips and stuff that actually veteran tight ends have used on me. Blocking schemes and stuff like that. So I give that knowledge off because I know they're gonna be able to use it moving forward."

Charles Leno Jr.

On building chemistry with G Andrew Norwell:

  • "Yeah, I mean, you know, Andrew was playing for nine years so same like me. So I mean it didn't take much for us to get going. You know, he's been in league while same with I, and we kind of just know how each other's role and I love his game and you know I appreciate somebody who I really don't have to coach 'em up on much. You know what I mean? We just go out there and play ball."

On what he's learned from QB Carson Wentz:

  • "What I've seen from him since camp from camp just a guy who just goes out there and works. I mean, that's all I can ask for. That's all you can appreciate somebody who, you know, just goes out there, works, continue to work hard. He definitely has a really, really good arm and you can see it. You can see the, the live arm that comes off the ball and like definitely zips out. And there's a guy who's always communicating, always checking in with the offensive line, see what we like. You see him talking to [Offensive Coordinator Scott Turner], you see him just all around, you just see him all around, just, you know, just communicating constant communication, talking to receivers and stuff like that."

On DE Montez Sweat helping each other out:

  • "Montez talks so much I don't even know what that conversation is to be honest with you. It's always something with him, but he's just a ball of energy out there and I love going against him and I love having him on the field because he's somebody that definitely just brings a lot of energy and that's what you need when you got days where it's 90 something degrees out at practice and it's hot, you know. You need somebody to keep the energy going."

On blocking for RB Brian Robinson:

  • "It's been good. I mean, I can tell like, you know, he's just a really good natural running back and it's been good. He just understands, you know, patience and lanes and you know where to hit his creases and things like that. And like you said, he is a big guy. So getting his pads vertical when he gets his pad vertical, he is going to be really tough to stop."

On if he's noticed a difference in DE Montez Sweats play:

  • "Thinking about practice yesterday. He's definitely starting to work with more moves and that's really good. Being a guy who's, you know, however tall he is and be able to run four four [40-yard dash] you just don't want to be a one trick pony. You want to be able to work different moves, work power moves, work finesse moves and things like that inside out. He's been doing a good job of that."

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