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Media roundup | Ron Rivera calls Ryan Kerrigan 'a guy that does things the right way'

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Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera and assistant defensive line coach Ryan Kerrigan addressed the media after Monday's practice. Here are some of the highlights from their press conferences.

Ron Rivera

On if things feel different with QB Carson Wentz at quarterback:
"Well, I think we have a quarterback. I do. I think we have a guy that can help us. I mean, not to say we didn't have some quality quarterbacks.  Again, we did some pretty good things with when we had Alex Smith playing for us. I thought that was a great job by him and again, I thought last year Taylor [Heinicke] did the things that he needed to do to help us. But I think we have a guy that we can now, you know, establish and rally around and build off of which is what we tried to do in the off season, as far as making sure we had a stout offensive line to protect him and in the play makers and again, I'll always refer to that cuz I think that's what you have to do. Now in our circumstances, in our situation, I think we have a guy that, you know, we can establish and, and build around."

On having Assistant Defensive Line Coach Ryan Kerrigan around:  
"Well, I think the practical experience. You know, the one thing about Ryan is that from the time I got here and watched him in 2020, just how much of a true pro he is. A veteran pro. A guy that does things the right way takes care of himself the right way. I think that'll be very important to our young guys to learn from his example and his experience. I tell this a lot of times to guys that are former players that are coaching, doesn't make you a better coach, just makes your guy with experience and that they can relate to and you know, that in itself is special. So, I think he'll use that and that'll help him in terms of, you know, his growth and development as a coach, but also gaining the players respect."

On if has noticed improvement with the defensive line:
"I think a group has gotten better and I think it's been incremental in terms of, you know, our first year to our second year, now to our third. I think each year has been a little bit of a process. Each year has been, you know, learning to break habits. Learning to understand it, you know, what's required of that position more so than anything else. Hopefully through repetition when things get tough, things get hard, they'll revert to the techniques that we're working on and trying to show as opposed to falling all the way back to what they did a few seasons ago."

On how Ryan Kerrigan playing with some of the guys on the defensive line can help the players and him as a coach:  
"Well, I think if you understand, you know, what are your player's strengths and weaknesses, that'll be a focus. It'll be working on refining those strengths and improving those weaknesses. I think that's a huge benefit for a coach, especially somebody that can be technically sound at that position and really truly understand it. Like I've said before, the toughest position on this team is linebacker because of the three guys that have all played it. We sit there and you can really help a guy refine what he does and how he does it based on your practical experience and that's what you're gonna see with Ryan. Him being able to work with Montez [Sweat] and Chase [Young], I think that's gonna be huge and then helping Casey [Toohill] and James Smith-Williams and Efe [Obada].  For those guys, that will be great, but the guys that I'm really interested to how it impacts are gonna be the young guys. How does it affect Shaka [Toney]? How does it affect BK [William Bradely-King]? I mean, those are, those are young guys that could really benefit from that and hopefully they're taking advantage of it."

On Brian Robinson working with the doctors:
"No, he's working with the same people. What I'm saying is that at home, what he is doing is, we're just telling, Hey, at your leisure, as you start to wake up, you know, you bring yourself in, when you're ready. Now it is, Hey, this is gonna be the schedule. So as we move up that timeline, we go through that process, you know, now we'll start getting him in earlier. Now we'll start having him do specific things. Those first few days of recovery were tough on him because I think it was the second day he was really sore and it was one of those things that, you know, I told him, Hey, just stay home, relax a little bit and we'll come get you pretty soon. As he goes through this process the timeline in terms of his daily workout schedule and recovery schedule will change."

Ryan Kerrigan

On pass rush discipline:
"I mean, the mantra of four rushing as one is one we you used for a few years. I think that's pivotal. I mean, you don't want guys to rush cautiously, but you want 'em to be aware. That's a big thing. You gotta have a feel, you gotta be aware of where the quarterback is. You just gotta have that feel. That has to be at the forefront of your mind when you're rushing because if you're a defensive end, you can't turn it at 12 yards and expect the quarterback to just be sitting there. That's gonna create a massive B gap window. That's something, we're definitely gonna emphasize and work on so that we can get better pressure on quarterbacks."

On if he has had to really get on someone just yet:
"I mean, they're all hard workers and they all do what they're asked to do. So I don't anticipate having to do that. I think from my vantage point, having played with these guys a couple years ago and now, working with them as a coach, I think it's an awesome situation for me personally, because it's like, I really want these guys to succeed. I wanted them to succeed when I played with them as a teammate and now even more so as a coach. I want them to succeed and I'm hopeful that I can impact them in a positive way and help them find success. And ultimately then our team find success."

On if DE's Montez Sweat and Chase Young look at him differently now:
"I don't know. I mean, probably a little bit. Hopefully they know that I want what's best for them and what's best for the team. It's gonna be a good situation."

On if he has had to discipline anyone:
"I don't anticipate having to make anybody do up downs. For me, I think one of the things I've always appreciated about the coaches I've had over the years is that as long as you, critique, be critical of the performance and not the person. I think that's the best way to go about it. You can say, 'Hey, here's where you need to do better.' But as long as you're not coming at somebody and being disrespectful to them, then I think it's usually well received."

On what has surprised him on the coaching end so far:
"It's just interesting how your mindset shifts. You're used to seeing the schedule, the daily schedule from a player's standpoint and you're like, okay, like practice done at noon. Okay. I'll do my hour and a half of body maintenance, then it'll be on my way. And then it's like, no, practice is done at noon. And you got a meeting at 12:15, and that's gonna go until it's done. And then, it's just seeing the schedule through a different lens has been the biggest thing for me. But then also, you kind of look at the game differently now as a coach."

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