Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera addressed the media on Monday. Here are some notes and quotes from his press conference.
-- While the results of the games have not been ideal, Rivera said he's seen a lot of positive growth from Sam Howell as he learns how to be a professional quarterback. Among the things he's been impressed with is Howell's decision making and who he's targeting on certain plays. He would still like to see Howell clean up the types of throws that he's making to get the ball to his playmakers.
"We saw a little bit of that yesterday, but he's been really good at it," Rivera said. "I just really appreciate his development and growth. I think that's one of the big, important things for us."
-- By now, many Washington fans have heard Jonathan Allen’s thoughts after the loss to the Giants. To put it mildly, the Pro Bowl defensive tackle is not happy. Rivera gets where Allen is coming from, because the entire team is frustrated.
"I can't dispute it, because he's a very passionate football player that wants to win. I get it. We all want to win. We're all passionate about this game. We want to win, and that's the bottom line."
-- Rivera also knows the fans are frustrated with the team's performances of late.
"I respect them. We're trying to play the best football we can and at the same time grow a football team. We're not gonna go around cutting a bunch of people, trading for a whole bunch of people, trying to hire a bunch of people. We're trying to develop a young football team to be a very good football team for the future. And that's what we're gonna continue to work on. We're gonna continue to find ways to win football games, and we'll do the best we can. We'll show up, we'll work very hard. We'll do everything we can, and we'll continue to be committed to try to put a good product on the football field and give our fans something to cheer about."
-- Rivera often went back to how Howell has played through seven games, saying that he has given the team a chance in several games. The fact that the Commanders have a young quarterback, Rivera said, gives the team hope for the rest of the season.
-- The trade deadline is also coming up, and so far, there haven't been many moves in general around the league. That is expected to change as the NFL inches closer to the Oct. 31 deadline, but Rivera didn't say whether the Commanders would be one of the teams engaged in talks. Instead, he said his entire focus is on preparing for the Philadelphia Eagles.
-- Although the Commanders gave up six sacks against the New York Giants, the offensive line did show some improvement in the second half by only allowing Howell to be taken down one time. Rivera said the communication improved up front as they started to understand what the Giants' defense was trying to do to them. He does wish some of that would have happened earlier in the game, because it could have changed the outcome.
Check out the best photos from the Washington Commanders' Week 7 matchup against the New York Giants. (Photos by Emilee Fails/Washington Commanders)
-- The vibes are not great for the Commanders right now, but it is important to remember that they are still only one game away from .500, and a win over the Eagles would provide a significant boost to the team. That's the message Rivera plans to give his players this week.
"This is all about what could happen on Sunday," Rivera said. "We can't do anything about the past. We have to focus on what's coming … This week is an opportunity for us to get on track. We've got to get ourselves prepared and ready to play a very good Philadelphia team."