Ron Rivera just wrapped up his introductory training camp press conference. Here are some quick hits from him addressing the media.
-- Rivera addressed the team placing Chase Young, Chase Roullier, Tyler Larsen and Logan Thomas on the PUP list at the start of the press conference. Roullier has had some "really good sessions" and might be the first person off the list. Thomas and Larsen are a little further along, and Young will likely take the most time considering the significance of his injury.
-- Having a quarterback of Carson Wentz’s stature does change the focus of where he thought the team was heading back in January. Rivera is excited to see exactly where the team is in its development, and he likes the team's identity and its potential heading into Year 3 of his tenure.
-- It will be Rivera's first "normal" training camp in Washington now that COVID restrictions have been lifted. That gets him excited, too, because he gets to be around his players more often and develop better relationships.
-- Rivera was quick to answer a question about whether this season is "playoffs or bust." "No. It's fair to say we expect to win. And we'll leave it at that."
-- Rivera is looking for some things to tell him that his team is ready to take the next step. He wants to see how they work and play better together. There's a certain "sixth sense" that comes when communication has developed to the right point. Players know what to expect of each other in certain situations. That's what he wants from his team, and he would love to see that develop quickly between Wentz and his receivers.
-- The new additions to the offensive line are not a concern for Rivera because he knows Andrew Norwell and Trai Turner are capable players, and their backup, Wes Schweitzer, is an accomplished player as well. What's more, the depth has Rivera feeling confident as well. Washington wants to keep 10 players on the offensive line, and the team feels like it has the personnel to satisfy that need.
-- With Young out for an extended amount of time, Rivera expects the depth at defensive end to step up in his absence. Players like James Smith-Williams and Casey Toohill will get an opportunity to contribute, and Rivera believes the depth at the position can handle the extra responsibilities.
-- Rivera feels "very good" about the linebackers on the roster and believes they fit the team's vision for the defense. There's still a possibility the Commanders could add a veteran to the group, but he wants to give the position a week to show what they have to offer.
-- Rivera wants to see a continued growth from Wentz that he witnessed during OTAs. The veteran is off to a good start when it comes to establishing a connection with his teammates. He thinks having a quarterback of Wentz's stature gives players a little extra energy and optimism, which is "a huge plus."