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Jack Del Rio | 'We're excited about the opportunity to play'


Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio addressed the media before practice on Sept. 7. Here is a full transcript of the press conference.

On how his past defenses differ from the current defense going into Week 1:
"Well, we're going to find out, that's been an emphasis point for us, starting fast, creating more turnovers, that's one and two and not necessarily in that order, but we need both. And so that's been an emphasis, started early in the offseason and has carried throughout camp and we're excited to get the season started."

On how to address the Arizona Cardinals QB uncertainty:
"Study them both. Study everything that we can, which includes Cleveland, Philadelphia, you know, [Arizona Cardinals QB Josh] Dobbs in Tennessee. Just doing all the due diligence, all the work that you can leading up to an opener. Openers are always full of the unknown and so there'll be some unscouted looks. We'll play fast to it, we'll correct it on the sideline and move on."

On if over the years he gets a feeling the team is ready for Week 1:
"That's a prove it, you don't get to talk it and that be a mission accomplished, it needs to happen. So, we get an opportunity, when that ball's kicked off, we get started with it and we're excited about the opportunity to play. It's a new season, new opportunities, and we're just embracing that and trying to get off to a good start."

On the decision to not play a lot of the defensive starters in the preseason:
"Yeah, again, that's one of those questions that it goes away real quick. We've had a very productive camp. I thought the work in Baltimore against the Ravens allowed us to maybe do a little less in the actual game, so that was our approach. Everybody takes their own approach, that was ours. I like where we are right now as a team entering the season and we've got a few guys that are still on the mend, but for the most part our guys are ready to roll."

*On how much the defensive line rotation is determined during preparation versus in-game: *
"Well, it's not like we think we're just going to play the ones the entire day and then it like, you know, I mean… Like a time percentage in the week? I don't have one for you. It's something we're definitely aware of and we're going to rotate our guys. So, not just early in the year, but certainly early in the year, but we're going to roll our guys, so they're all going to play."

On if the defensive line rotation is scripted:

"No, no."

On when he figures out the things his defense does best:
"It's a constant process. So, you have a feel based on the experiences, and then you live and learn and adjust as you need to. So, that's what it is. We're going to prepare, go compete, and then we will adjust on the sideline as we need to throughout the game, learn what we can and move forward and put another plan together next week. But, right now it's all about focusing on this plan, execution of this plan."

On if there is a point in the season, such as the addition of the match zone last year, where he realizes things are going well:
"I do appreciate the question into the specifics of defense. We're doing what we can with the guys we have and feel real good about the group and some of the capabilities we have, and we're going to see it unfold starting Sunday."

On DE Chase Young's Week 1 status:
"He's working hard to be ready to go. So, he came back as healthy as I've seen him probably since his rookie year and so great to see that. We're waiting on the blessing from the doctors to give him the green light and when we get that, then it'll go with."

On what he would like to see Young focus in on:
"Well, finish is a important part of it, right? I mean, a lot of work to get to that position and close the deal. So, I think it's been an emphasis point with our D-line, with [DE] Montez [Sweat], with Chase. I thought [DT] Daron [Payne] took a big step last year in that area and that was an emphasis point for him last year. So, it remains one for him, and the others, but the finish is the key. You know, we're disruptive, we're going to be back there, we've got some talented guys that are going to roll off the ball and you know, finishing when you're back there's the key."

On how LB Cody Barton fits into the defense and locker room:
"I think he's fit in real well. Cody's done a nice job, he's a super bright guy, plays with a lot of energy, doing very well for us."

On what was seen from Barton in Seattle that fits into his defense scheme:
"We studied the tape, looked at some of the things that we're looking for and he had that. I mean, he can run, he's got some size, his brain works, he's a good pro, you know, it's important that the brain works. But I mean, he's really a guy that we felt like we could develop, continue to develop. He's a younger player that's early in his career and he's hungry to be a real good player. So, he is working hard at it."

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