Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera and eight players addressed the media following the team's 29-19 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Here's a look at what they had to say about the afternoon.
-- o*n what allowed the team to execute at a high level:*
"Well, I think the biggest thing is really having the week off, get an opportunity to evaluate and really talk to them about the things that we believe we're capable of and then seeing them go through and really execute the way that we believe they can. That's the biggest thing is if we go out and do those things and play a more mature style of football where things that they have to do or what they want to do. That's probably the biggest thing we've got to get across to them."
-- on Taylor Heinicke's performance:
"That's what we know he's capable of. In spite of the fact that we didn't have all of the weapons we wanted out there because we'd love to get Logan [Thomas] back, eventually Ricky [Seals-Jones] went down. He really showed what he's capable of and you feel really good about that. Again, we got to grow on it, we got to sustain the success and that's probably the biggest thing is it was a little, a little continuity in what we're doing."
-- on what he's most proud of with the team right now:
"I think their resilience. We had a couple bad things happen on offense and the defense rose up. And then we had a couple bad things having a defense and the offense rose up. To see them be resilient during a time like this, that was good. That was good for them. It was very good for them. They earned it, they deserve it."
-- on playing well against Tom Brady:
"I don't know. These are the games you dream of as a kid. It was the moment I was, I'm about to get emotional here. It's a moment I've dreamt of last year when I wasn't playing. I told myself that if I get another chance to play, I'm going to get out there and do something great. And it's these games that you want. It means a lot to me and I know it means a lot to those guys to get a win like that against a team like that. And again, like I've said before, it's something to build off of and carry you through the next week or two."
-- on what moments stands out during games like this:
"I don't know. I just told myself today when I was driving in, 'go out there and have fun. Give it all out there.' This time last year, I didn't know if I was going to play again. When I dreamt of suiting up every morning for practice last year, I would rather be doing nothing other than playing football. So for me to go out there and do that today, it's a lot of fun. It's a dream come true and it's something you just want to keep doing."
-- on his third down reception at the end of the game:
"On the third down situation, we were anticipating some pressure about. It was a play called to me to try and win the game. I am very thankful to be part of this team and be a leader and be trusted in those situations. Taylor gave me a great ball because it was bang bang, but it was far enough away from me that I could pluck the ball with my hand and try to make a play. You know, I am very fortunate to be in this situation and thankful to make the play when we needed."
-- on what this win can do for the team going forward:
"It shows us what we can do when we play four quarters. Whether it is Tom Brady or another opponent, if this team has a good week of practice, creates turnovers defensively, capitalizes offensively, does well in the red zone we will have a chance to win football games. It is about putting those four quarters together. This is a great win for us because it is our most recent one. We haven't had that feeling in a little bit. We've just got to try to take that momentum going into Carolina on the road next week and try to come out with another victory. I think we did do a good job this week and just took it a step at a time, a practice at a time and in the game we fought until the end."
-- on his interception and feeling about the game:
"You know, as a team, we played pretty well defensively. We played pretty well today. We've got a few things to clean up. Made some turnovers we paid for. So that kind of flipped the field, flipped the game a little bit for us. On my pick, it was just an over-route crossover. He was looking to the right for the out at about one, and [LB] Cole [Holcomb] did a great job packing back and making him, kind of forcing that ball to the window and I kind of stepped up and took care of it. Defensively we played pretty well, and you know, we have to build off of it and just keep going."
-- on what makes him believe this defense has turned their play around:
"We just believe in each other, man. It's football, so you're going to win some, you're going to lose some and that's just how it goes. It happens. You got to play complementary football in this game to win games and we did that today on offense, defense, and special teams. It would've been nice to have it a little sooner, a little quicker, but it didn't. I guess it's now so we've just got to build off this one win and enjoy it and Tuesday, flush it and get back to work."
-- on the win:
"It just shows what we're capable. We always know we can't have one quarter, one half. We need to have four quarters and that's what we just did."
-- on if the game was more physical today:
"Definitely. I don't know if you could tell but in the first two quarters, it was hard to run the ball even at the end. That's a physical team. I definitely had to earn the yards that I got today, and it just showed that's a good team."
-- on what the final play says about the team:
"Shoutout to the line. The whole o-line made contact with the linebackers. I was able to get that push from the o-line and got in there. We came to fight today, and it just showed."
-- on what worked for the offense:
"I feel like we got in our groove today. I feel like we had good play calling. I feel like the O-line came to ball today. I feel like the wide receivers came to catch today. I feel like everybody showed up. I feel like it was a team effort."
-- on running the 10-minute drive to close out the game:
"I feel like it was pivotal. It showed [Coach Rivera]'s faith in us to pull a game out. For him to put the game in our hands, and let us finish it out, and take the ball down 11 minutes, and for us to do what we did, just makes us feel good as O-linemen that we can come out and win a game like that."
-- on what the difference was in the game today compared to the season:
"It's the energy. We came in and we knew we had an opportunity to win. You know like we do every week, and the energy was great all week in practice. We came out and everybody executed, and everybody was on the same page. We play like that when everybody is together, we can beat anybody."
-- on sustaining success in the red zone:
"It's just executing in any area of the field, but in the red zone, the windows are tighter to throw. It is harder to run the ball, so it's just making sure everybody is on top of their P's and Q's and everybody is on the same page executing and getting touchdowns."
-- on the defensive performance:
"Really just the week leading up, we were just clicking more and more every week. I feel like we knew we were gonna come out and have a great game. We just felt it during the week. It was kinda like a revenge game, but we just took it as a regular game. Coming in, it was like the best defense is gonna win the game."
-- on the first interception:
"I was just in my zone. He [Buccaneers QB Tom Brady] threw the check down. I broke on it to make the tackle, and I looked up and Will [Jackson III] had the ball. Everybody was cheering so I started cheering too."
-- on getting over the hump and beating Tampa Bay:
"We played good as an entire team. The offense capitalized in the red zone, defense forced turnovers and made QB Tom Brady uncomfortable and limited the big plays and were able to stop the run.
-- on guys stepping up with DE Montez Sweat and DE Chase Young not available:
"For guys who don't know them, I'm sure the fans were nervous, but I have seen what they can do on the limited opportunities they have gotten. Obviously, Chase Young is Chase Young, but I had no doubt they would be able to step up to the plate and play good football and that's what they did."
-- on what the defense did to put on a performance like this:
"We eliminated the stupid mistakes. We eliminated the plays that we gave them. We made them earn everything that they got. We made them drive the length of the field and not go over the top on us. This is what happen when you do things the right way. But what separates the good teams from the bad teams is being able to do this on a weekly basis. We are super excited and happy we were able to do it but it doesn't mean much if you can't do it next week and the week after that. We needed this win. There is a 24-hour rule, we are going look at what we did wrong because there are things that we can improve on and try to be as consistent as possible."