Head coach Ron Rivera and several players addressed the media following the Washington Football Team's 27-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Here's a look at what they said during their press conferences.
On the performance of his team despite missing a number of key players:
"We had our opportunities. We missed some opportunities that we didn't take advantage of on both sides of the ball."
On some of the missed opportunities that stand out to him:
"Not stopping them, and not scoring. I thought we had some chances to move the ball and get it on their side, and unfortunately we took a couple of negative plays. Defensively we had the chance to take the ball away and we missed that opportunity. We had a chance to stop them on a run, and we missed that opportunity. Those are the things where you can't miss those chances when you're in those situations."
On how much the layoff impacted the play of the defensive line:
"It did, and it's unfortunate. We were hoping that we could get through it. We had some momentum early on, and we couldn't capitalize on that momentum. You can't let good teams stay around. When you get an opportunity, you have to make plays, and we didn't do that
On what the week was like:
"Obviously, a little bit of a whirlwind. Less than ideal circumstances for all of the guys in there. Speaking for the offense, I was very proud of the way everyone fought tonight. We didn't get the result we wanted and obviously that is tough. Everyone is important this time of year, but I was really proud of our group for fighting through everything that we faced this week and giving ourselves a chance. We did a great job communicating on the field. Most of the guys I met less than 72 hours ago and there was a good level of comfort and communication in the huddle. That is a testament to all of the guys that prepared and took on a little bit of extra this week in terms of their role in the game plan and understanding that things are not going to be perfect. I am proud of those guys."
On how he went about getting to know guys without being on the field with them:
"I'll be honest, it was tough. Have the masks back on, it is tough to see anyone's face to be honest with you and to put faces with names. It is not ideal, but it is what it is. There is nothing we can do about that. It is just a testament to all of those guys in there for fighting it out and giving us a chance."
On how much he was able to do the last four days in practice:
"I essentially got thrown into it on Friday right when I got here. It was a normal Friday practice and obviously bought ourselves an extra couple of days with the NFL moving the game. There was a lot of time spent walking through and I have to give a big thank you and a lot of credit to the other two guys in our room, [ WFT Quarterback] Kyle Shurmur, who has been a great help all week and [WFT Quarterback] Jordan Ta'amu, who was out there playing receiver for me in walk troughs as I try and relearn all of the terminology, [WFT Offensive Quality Control coach] Luke Del Rio, and [WFT Quarterbacks coach] Kenny Zampese, and [WFT Offensive Coordinator Scott Turner]… all those guys did a heck of a job under circumstances that were less than ideal to get me ready to play. I came in Friday, had a normal practice and then obviously the game got postponed after practice on Friday, so I had an extra couple of days there. I felt comfortable with our plan."
On what the mood of the team was like coming into this game:
"That's an excuse. That's what we're not going to do today, is make excuses. They just played better than us and not much else to say."
On what the Eagles were able to do in the running game:
"I mean, what weren't they doing? At the end of the day, I have to play better. If I play better, I give our team a better chance to win. If our defensive line plays better, we give our team a better chance to win. It's the [defensive line], this game is on the [defensive line]."
On what the defense was able to do to force turnovers on the first two series:
"[Washington S] Landon [Collins] made a great play and then the next series, [Washington DE Montez] Sweat made a great play. You have to give them credit. They made great plays. We just have to be more consistent. Like I said, you put this game on the defensive line, you put it on my shoulders. If I play better, I give my team a better chance to win."
On how the game unfolded for the offense:
"I think we were moving the ball decently; we didn't sustain drives long enough. I think their time of possession – they had a lot more time of possession than we did, and as an offense, we have to do a better job of converting on third downs and kind of keep those drives going and give our defense some time to rest. Especially the way – their approach offensively this year, the ground-and-pound, that wears on you, but we had our chances, and we just didn't get it done."
On how he thinks Washington QB Garrett Gilbert was able to acclimate to the team:
"I have nothing but respect for [Washington QB] Garrett [Gilbert]. For a guy to come from another practice squad to a team where you don't know anybody – sure, maybe you've been in the offense, but to come here mid-week and be expected to not only start at quarterback but to help us try to get into the playoffs, it's nothing but respect for him. The way he came in, his energy, you felt that when he got here. He picked up on the things we were doing for this gameplan really quickly, he was good at communicating in the huddle, so it was challenging for all of us, but he did his job and he put it all out there, so I definitely have a lot of respect for Garrett."
On his battle with Eagles CB Darius Slay:
"I think the emphasis was we were going to run the ball and establish the line of scrimmage and we were going to take some chances down the field. I just wanted to try to make the most out of those opportunities. I know that he is a really good corner, especially the way he reads body language and the way that he breaks on the ball. So, on that specific play, I just kind of lulled them to sleep a little bit and then just burst by him and [Washington QB] Garrett [Gilbert] just did a good job of giving me a chance to make a play on the ball and I was able to come down with it. So, it's really cool to be able to connect down the field. I think that's something if we want to continue to take more steps, we have to continue to take those shots down field and connect on them. I think that was a big play for us."