Skip to main content

News | Washington Commanders -

Practice notes | Ron Rivera has a simple message for the Commanders

10112023 Week 6 Wednesday Practice KC42575

It's the first thing the Washington Commanders' players see when they walk into the locker room. Hanging on the door is a sign with one phrase in all caps: "DO YOUR JOB." 

Coach Ron Rivera had the sign put up following the team's 40-20 loss to the Chicago Bears. It's a simple phrase and might seem obvious, but after watching the film from the last five games and looking at some of the analytics, Rivera feels that it needs to be emphasized as the Commanders enter the "second quarter" of the season. 

"There's a sense and a feel that we're not doing the things that we need to do," Rivera said during his Wednesday press conference. 

Even though it might not feel like the Commanders have done much right since starting 2-0, there have been some moments where the team has looked the way it was expected to be in training camp. They hung with the Philadelphia Eagles and came close to getting an upset on their undefeated NFC East rival, and against the Chicago Bears, they did score 17 points in the second half to try and come back from a 27-3 deficit.  

That doesn't erase the slow starts or the frustrating lack of execution at critical moments. The Commanders have either blown leads like they did against the Eagles, when they had a 17-7 lead in the second quarter, or they have been so far behind that they needed improbable comebacks to pull out wins. 

For players, the sign is hard to miss, and they get the message it conveys to them. 

"If all 11 do their job, then you're gonna be successful," Logan Thomas said. "That's the thing that we haven't done. It hasn't been 11 every play. It's been 10, it's been nine, it's been 10. But if all 11 do our job, then we're gonna be doing pretty dang good. If we can start not beating ourselves, then we can actually go against the opponent."

The Washington began preparations for their Week 6 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons. Check out the top photos from the afternoon.

Rivera knows that the message is obvious; it's supposed to be that way, and sometimes the obvious needs to be said. That's what he did when he addressed the team on Tuesday before they began preparing for the Atlanta Falcons. He didn't lay out exactly what was said, but he did acknowledge he was "very blunt about it."

"That's what we're paid for, is to do our job, to do it to the best of our ability," Rivera said. "I just think that we have to buck up. We got to look at ourselves in the mirror and ask, and I think that's important."

It's hasn't always been easy for the Commanders to do that in recent weeks, but the players are confident in what they can accomplish if they do what is asked of them.

"We don't need nobody being Superman," Kendall Fuller said. "Just everybody playing their keys, doing their job, making their plays. I think it'll all happen."

Final notes

-- Despite being 2-3 and losing the last three games, Rivera said the players have been "pretty resilient" about their situation.

"They know that there are circumstances, situations that we can do better. I think the biggest thing more so for these guys is really just the way they're approaching this week so far. [They] came out and had a good practice today. I think they're focused, getting themselves ready, preparing, so I'm not concerned about that."

-- Slow starts have been a problem for the entire team, but that is particularly true for the defense. Rivera spoke plainly when asked what the unit could do to improve.

"Be better on third down. When you come out into a series and you have two third downs, the third-and-double digits, you've got to be able to stop them and that's something we didn't do a very good job of."

-- It's been a tough couple of weeks for rookie Emmanuel Forbes Jr., and in terms of where and how much he'll be used going forward, Rivera said "we'll see."

"How he handles this situation and circumstances is important for him. It's important for us to see and see how he handles a lot of things. We'll continue to work, he'll work, as will the rest of the DB's and we'll see how things go."

Related Content