Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera addressed the media earlier today following the team's 31-19 loss to the New York Giants. Here are some notes and quotes from his press conference.
-- Things got started with the Commanders' Monday injury report, which was based on an estimation. One of the names on the list was defensive lineman Efe Obada, who was carted off the field Sunday with a leg injury. Rivera confirmed that Obada did have surgery Sunday night and will be placed on Injured Reserve, ending his season.
-- Rivera was visibly disappointed after Sunday's game, and he said it was less so with his players and more so for them. After watching the film, he saw there were several opportunities that the team simply missed on. Some of that has to do with younger players learning what it takes to win at the professional level. Now that the reflections are out of the way, Rivera is ready to focus on the Cowboys game, which takes place on Thanksgiving.
-- One player that Rivera did speak highly of was KJ Henry, who had four tackles, two pass breakups and 1.5 sacks on Sunday. "He got an opportunity to come out, and he played very well," Rivera said, adding that the fifth-round pick caught his coaches' attention because of his growth rushing the passer.
-- The Commanders have another short week to prepare for a playoff contender, and Rivera wants to make sure the young players that made mistakes last week learn to move past them.
"Nobody that plays this game is infallible," Rivera said. "It doesn't matter who the player is. That player will make mistakes. The biggest thing is have we learned from it, have understood that...this is how you should do things to protect the football better."
-- Rivera also believes the players have the right mindset to make the necessary changes to win more games, but there is some maturation that needs to happen.
"As we grow and learn, hopefully we can learn not to do those things and make those mistakes again."
-- Rivera had one word when asked what he's looking for as signs of maturity: consistency.
"It's about staying focused and being focused each and every time. And that, to me, is where the consistency comes. You can't let your mind wonder. You can't lose your focus on what the task is. It's not to win the play, it's to win the game."
-- As for the plan at defensive end, Rivera said the team will "look around" to find viable alternatives outside of the roster. He also mentioned that Joshua Pryor will also get some opportunities and more snaps because of how thin the Commanders are at the position at the moment. Pryor was active for the Commanders on Sunday and contributed on special teams. With Obada for the rest of the year, it's likely he'll get more defensive snaps and add more depth to the Commanders' defensive front for the foreseeable future.