Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera just got done addressing the media following the team's 28-20 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. Here are some notes and quotes from his press conference with the media.
-- The big news from the day is that the Commanders decided to release long snapper Camaron Cheeseman after a poor performance against the Rams. The reason was simple: the results weren't as consistent as the team needed them to be, and despite the hope that Cheeseman's issues would improve, that progress never really came for the third-year pro. As for who will replace Cheeseman for the rest of the season, Rivera said the team is working off a short list of candidates.
-- After having some strong moments for most of the season, Sam Howell has struggled against some of the better defenses in the league. Since Week 10, when he threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns against the Seattle Seahawks, Howell has thrown just two touchdowns compared to six interceptions and averaged 196 yards per game. On Sunday, he was held to 102 yards with a touchdown and a pick on 11 completions. Rivera decided to pull Howell in the fourth quarter in favor of **Jacoby Brissett.**
Rivera would like to see Howell "reset himself" after Sunday's game.
"He's done a really good job for us, and it's been a long year. It's been a tough year. But again, this is stuff that we can hope that he understands, he learns, he grows from."
-- An area that Howell has struggled with is batted down passes. He had another one on the Commanders' second drive of the game, when he had Logan Thomas wide open near the left sideline. That play in particular, Rivera said, was a situation where "we can get into him [the defender] a little bit more as a blocker. We can get his hands down, and the ball doesn't get batted."
-- Emmanuel Forbes Jr. only played six snaps against the Rams on Sunday, but Rivera said that was the result of what Quan Martin was doing on the field (he finished with 10 tackles) and the matchups that the game presented.
-- As Rivera said, it has been a long season for the Commanders. They're 4-10 with three games left and have been eliminated from the playoff hunt. The way to remain positive in this scenario, Rivera said, is focusing on the opportunity "to go out there and play."
"This really is about wanting to be out there, wanting to play this game. You also appeal to their side as professionals. As a professional, you play for what's out there for you."
-- On the connection between Howell and Terry McLaurin, Rivera said that it is "still developing."
"I think early on, when they had it rolling together, it was really about, I think, Sam getting the ball fed to Terry. He saw a couple opportunities early on in the game, and he took them."
-- And as for what Rivera hopes that Howell learned when Brissett was on the field, the head coach spoke about Brissett's approach to the situation.
"It was almost a carefree [attitude]. 'Hey, let's go. There's everything to gain."