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Media roundup | Ron Rivera remains optimistic about team's outlook for 2022

Ron Rivera

Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera addressed the media on Monday following the team's 24-8 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Here are some notes and quotes from his press conference. 

On what he saw from the film on the offensive line and QB Carson Wentz:

"It was a combination of things. I think Carson put it pretty succinct last night. It's one of those things that we all share a little bit of the blame."

On if QB Carson Wentz holding the ball too long can be fixed:

"Yeah, most certainly. I mean, there's some things that he's got to see and decide on quicker. I think also what happened too, was there were a couple times when he did speed himself up. He didn't give the play an opportunity to develop a little bit more. So it's a combination of things really." 

On the aggressiveness of the offense this season:

"Well, I think it's aggressive very much so. I think there's a time and place for all that."

On what he saw from the defense after watching film:

"I thought our defense did some really good things. There's some things that we most certainly got to correct and get better at."

On the best ways for an offense to scheme against pressure:

"Well, I think big part of it is we got to make sure that we are executing the things that we need to do, and we got to continue to try and make sure we're putting him in the right position."

On if its hard to get QB Carson Wentz to buy into quicker throws for less yardage:

"Well, you know, there were some things that we tried to beat the pressure with some of the quicker throws."

On what happened when he tried to call for quicker throws:

"Some of them worked, some of them didn't."

On how the team has done on first downs specifically:

"Well, there's been some good things and some bad things."

On Dr. James Andrew and his evaluation of players:

"He had an opportunity to examine our guys. We'll see."

On his concern and optimism level:

"I'm optimistic. I've told you guys that yesterday I'm an optimistic person. But what has to happen is the guys that need to play better, got to play better. That's the truth in the matter, because you go back and look at some of the things that happened. We had some opportunities in that game. Okay. Whether it was some of the things that happened, you know, up front with the offensive line, or it was some of the things that happened downfield or some of the things that happened at other positions. I mean, there's some things that we have to fix and that's the truth of the matter. We have to play better, you know, when we're in opportunities and situations to make something happen, we got to do those things. We've looked at it. We've figured it out. We've addressed it. Now we got to go out and do it."

On individual execution:

"There's a couple of things that have to be better. And overall, you know, there are some things that we can correct, we can make better on our side as well as coaches."

On RB Brian Robinson Jr. recovery:

"He's headed in the right direction, but, you know, we don't really know. I mean, we won't know until we get to that point where we have that feel. I mean, again, the doctors are going to examine. the doctor's going to let us know and each opportunity we get to have them looked at, we will."

On playing a talented Dallas Cowboys defensive front:

"Mostly going to work on those, those things that need to be fixed. I mean, again, there's some things that happened that are really technical things. Some of those things are things that happen that we have to with some of the protection things that we can do to help them, you know, as far as what we want to call for our protections in those particular places."

On if the team can still turn things around:

"Absolutely. Because again, you know, we talked about there's 14 games, so we got to take one at a time. This is a very important game, mostly because it's the one we're about to play. It's the only one we'll play this week. So we got to focus on exactly that we got to focus on Dallas, focus on who they are. We got an opportunity to watch 'em a little bit tonight as well. There'll be some things that we'll see that as coaches and players and some things that we'll see, that'll kind of give us indication as to who they are. So, you know, we'll get a good look at it. A good start on it and just prepare."

On what the team did to help QB Carson Wentz assimilate here:

"Well, I think really it's just assimilating to him and him assimilating to what we do. I mean, we understand some of the things that he does, he does really well and, and we try to feature those things in our offense. It's difficult to explain, but when you watch the tape and we see it, I mean, we know the things that have to be corrected. We know who to talk to. We know the players that we've gotta talk to and then us coaches talk about the things that we can do with protections to help a little bit more. Those are all things that we're working on right now. I mean it's not as if we didn't look at the tape and we didn't know that a three step beats, some pressure sometimes, or that you run a bubble screen to get it out on a zero blitz, stuff like that.

I mean, those are things that we know, those are things that we worked on, those are things that we tried at some point in the game. I think the thing that's really difficult for me is that if I do make an issue of something and in all honesty, some of you will make it a bigger issue and that's what I don't need, because I'm trying to get our guys to understand what we're trying to do and get them to understand that they have to play better. They know that, but just understanding what we're trying to do is important and what I have to do also. I'm not gonna get out here and start calling players out. You know, I mean they know, they understand, they get it. They've heard from their coaches today. Shoot, I sat in most of those meetings. Went from one to the other and just listened and these are things that we're working on to fix. It's a young group of guys that are out there. There are some veteran guys that made some mistakes too. Young guys as well that have to learn and grow and that's what we're working to do here."

On what has led to getting more involved in meetings and if he's done any of that this year:

"I've done what I've needed to do, at least I believe what I need to do, you know? And will continue to, give our coaches the opportunity to coach and do their jobs."

On if he feels the offense has found their identity:

"No, I think we're still working through it. I think some of the things that we've looked at in terms of, you know, we have a mixture of play makers, and we have to figure out the best way to use them. We can't feel that our best three offensive players are our three wide receivers because if we go into that with that mindset, the tendency is gonna wanna throw the ball to get it in their hands. With what we can do with our ability to run the ball, we have to give that a shot as well. I know not having [RB] Brian Robinson out there right now is hampering us a little bit, but we still have some very capable runners, so we gotta look at that as an option as well. Then the same thing with the tight end position. We can't forget those guys. I mean, if you look at how many times we were targeted there and I do talk about the thing that that's distributing the ball. The Jacksonville game, there was a huge number of guys that touched it. You look at the second half of the Detroit game and we got to that combination and mixture guys. Yesterday, it took a while before we got there and I think understanding how to spread the ball we're still trying to find, because we have so many play makers, but there's only one ball and we've gotta find that combination. Whether it starts with running the ball. Whether it starts with throwing the ball early on.Throwing the shorter passes with the intermediate passes, you know, take a little bit of pressure off the quarterback and then every now and then throwing the deep one stuff. I mean, it's a combination of things that we're working through and we're trying to find."

On if he has to be quicker to adjust:

"Well, sometimes when you don't get an opportunity to go through that script, that's a difficult thing because as you go through the script, that's when you find out what to anticipate. I mean, again, we are very fortunate in Jacksonville. We were able to keep that going, sustained it on the first drive and you got an opportunity to see that. We didn't have that success in Detroit. We started early and things started to happen in this first one but then we gave the pressures on the quarterback."

On how hard it is to self-scout prior to the Bye Week:

"Well, I think having a little bit more sense this year, especially with the quarterback situation kind of what it is, knowing that Carson's the guy now you can sit there and say, 'Okay, these are the things that we know.' And that's one of the things that we talked about today this morning. Some of the things that I got an opportunity to do when I visited with [offensive coordinator] Scott [Turner] in terms of things that we look at and we sit here and say, these are things that we feel good about, these are the things we gotta get better at and these are the things that we can use because of certain abilities."

On if he would have liked to have established the running game earlier:

"Yeah. Trying to be aggressive throwing the ball creates certain opportunities. And going into certain things, looking at certain teams and you talk about, 'Well, what's the gameplan? What's the idea behind that?' And if you can have that success early, now all of a sudden you can do those thing. Now, you may come into a game and say, 'Well yeah, we wanna run the ball early because we wanna do this later. Come and throw the ball because we feel this will open this up.' So, sometimes the philosophy and the thought process going into a game, if you can execute it could be a good one. And unfortunately we didn't execute it yesterday the way we wanted to."

On his level of frustration that the mistakes he is frustrated by are not getting fixed:

"Well, I'll say this as far as the explosives go on the defensive side, we had guys in position more so than anything else. We weren't quite in position last week. This week we had guys that were there and it was a matter of being able to get to the ball and make the play on it. We had a guy that was right there going to the ground and again, it's finish the play going to the ground, keep trying to get that ball and who knows maybe that ball moves or something like that. But when you're there, you are right there. That's hard because if you could locate the ball at full speed running with your back to the quarterback and just knowing when to do it, that would've been great because we had a guy there in position each time. That was the hard part about it. Again, it doesn't make it easier because in Detroit we weren't in position down the field on a couple of those to make the play. But this one was tougher because we had guys that worked at it that were there and unfortunately didn't make the play. That's the hard part on that one."

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