Head coach Ron Rivera and several players spoke to the media following the Washington Football Team's 20-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Here's a look at what they said during their press conferences.
On how he felt the team responded to the loss from last week:
"I was pleased with their effort. I really was. I thought they were able to handle some things pretty good this past week. I thought they practiced well on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. They did the things that they needed to. I like what we were doing on offensive and defense, just unfortunately there were a couple plays that we didn't make, a couple plays we allowed to happen and those were really the difference. The hard part is you kick field goals, and you're not going to win a lot of games kicking too many field goals when you have an opportunity to score touchdowns."
On Jaret Patterson:
"I thought he did a nice job. I think Jaret is one of those young guys that the more experience he gets, the more opportunities he gets, the better he is going to be. He's a young dynamic player that definitely could fit a role for you. He gives you everything you got, and I thought he did a nice job. I really did."
On if he thinks his team showed growth as the season went on:
"Well, I think we have moments. I really do. I think we still have ways a way to grow though. It's one of those things we will continue to grow, but we showed what we are capable of. We showed some resilience at times, and then sometimes it was overwhelming. I think that's a good word for the last couple of weeks for these guys. It was overwhelming on them. And as I said last week, these are young men that had to deal with an awful lot. I think this is something that we'll grow from, we'll learn from, and hopefully next week we'll come out and we'll play to our abilities."
On the last play of the game:
"On the last play, we had four verts from a three by one. We had the back kind of free releasing and running the wide route. What we wanted was we wanted that safety to come down and take the back, so then we have a nice area over there. Cool. They kind of did the opposite where the safety came down strong and safety rotated. The linebacker took the running back on the wide route and I just saw a big area. And once I saw John Bates get on top of that guy, I knew I had an area to throw to him a high ball and let him go get it. And again, looking at it, I thought that was probably one of the best crossing nines I've ever thrown. I think if he doesn't trip, he catches that thing – a touchdown. Again, when the time's going down, you can't take a sack, you just gotta try and make a play. It was unfortunate."
On what the team has been through in the last month:
"I mean between COVID, injuries, things happening off the field with players' families and stuff, it's been rough. It's been a rough stretch, but guys have battled. You see us fighting out there, just come up a little short every time. It was our second four game losing streak, last thing we wanna do is make a five in the season like that. We have a big game next week against the Giants rivalry and the guys will be excited to go up there and play."
On how this team compares to others in the division:
"I mean, you know, obviously we got spanked by Dallas a couple times. But between the other two teams, I feel like we're just as good or not better. And I think all the guys in the locker room will tell you the same thing. So it's just unfortunate. It's a game of football. Some things go your way, some things don't. But again we just keep fighting."
On missing the playoffs and losing the last four games:
"That's the goal when you put on the pads in the beginning of the season is to have a chance to make the playoffs, win the division, make the playoffs and try to make a run at the super bowl. To know we're not going to be able to that this year is disappointing especially off the year we had last year, we felt like we were going to try and take some momentum into this year, but with the NFL everything is earned week in and week out. I feel like we went on a stretch run where we won that stretch of games and then we got into the division and just didn't get it done and that could make or break your season and it kind of broke ours. so we have an opportunity to try and finish this season off on the right foot, with a win, against a Giants team who I feel like is not going to let us have anything. And that's just got to be our mindset to get into New York this weekend and finish this season with some type of positive."
On player losses or bad execution being more significant in the last month's stretch of games:
"I think it's a little bit of both. We have gone through some adversity with covid and personal tragedies that are going on with our brothers and adversity we've had throughout the whole season. I don't think anyone would say that's why we didn't get it done; we just didn't get it done. Every team is dealing with something during this part of the season, injuries, COVID, so by no stretch of the imagination do I want that to be out there that it was an excuse or crutch, we just didn't get the job done."
On if this season was a step back:
"I want to let the season finish and reflect after that. I don't want to say anything to prematurely, we didn't win the division or make the playoffs, that's not the greatest thing. But I feel like a lot of the guys stepped up for us and made plays when they had to make plays and guys stepped up when we had adversities when guys are out, guys are down. It's hard to comment on the whole season and say whether it as a step-forward or step-back, whatever it is. We're going to try and finish strong and evaluate after that."
On getting his first touchdown at FedExField:
"It was cool, but I am a guy that cares about winning. I am a competitor and I love winning. I could care less about the stats; I just want to get in that win column."
On what changed from being able to move the ball in the first half compared to the second:
"They jumped in a solid front and had a short edge. They knew we were trying to run the ball, but we just didn't finish and like I said, we did not keep our foot on the gas. We had chances even with the late drive to win the game. We just have to finish and thats really it."
On being an undrafted free agent to becoming the starting running back in the NFL:
"It's special. It just helps my mentality. It is a slow grind, and you must have that 1% getting better every day. It helps me to keep going. I want to be an inspiration to a guy that goes undrafted, you can do it. It is a lot being a hometown kid and I just believe in this organization, the coaching staff, and I believe we are going in the right direction, and I believe that with my whole heart."
On losing four division games in a row:
"Frustrating. We didn't execute, we didn't finish the game like we needed to and we lost."
On the two 4th-and-goal touchdowns:
"Gotta get off the field. That's the difference in the game."
On how it feels to miss the playoffs:
"Exactly how you think it is."
On how much success he felt the team had with containing Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts:
"I think we did a good job of that, but not enough to win the game and that's all that matters."
On what he thought about the linebacker rotation:
"That's behind me. I have to focus to make their jobs easier. You'd have to ask them."
On how he felt they stopped the run late in the game:
"We just do what we do. We just needed to do it better. There's no secret formula to stopping the run. Put up or shut up. We did it better than last week but not enough to win the game."
On LB David Mayo getting more playing time in this game:
"I love playing with [LB] David Mayo. He's a film guy. He's a very vocal guy. He's a vet who has seen a lot of football and it was nice having a couple times where he was able to give me a tip, help me out, and had extra communication. I mean, [LB] Jamin [Davis] is coming along and he's learning how to communicate. I remember my rookie year, I wasn't a very vocal person because sometimes you're not sure. Even this year getting more, it's taken me a while to like trust what I'm seeing because sometimes it's like, 'Okay, I see this. I have an idea of it, but I don't wanna tell everybody because if I'm wrong, I got everybody playing for a certain play and it's wrong. But, it takes a lot to be able to be confident and be like, 'Hey, this is coming.' And a lot of times he was right, so it helped out a lot."
On where he feels this team fits into the division right now:
"I mean, I feel like the sky's the limit for this team. I think we gotta start faster in the beginning of the season and then get some pieces back. We're missing a lot of pieces. There were a lot of injuries on this team, guys dealing with a lot of personal issues. I feel like we just gotta build some depth and get our guys back."
On the team being on the same page earlier in the season and on some of the depth pieces stepping up late in the season:
"Yeah, I think the guys did a tremendous job of filling in those roles and being able to not have any drop off in that aspect. I felt like we knew what they were doing most of the game. We just gotta tighten some things up and make a little more plays."
The Washington Football Team takes on the Philadelphia Eagles looking to snap a three-game losing streak. (Photos by Emilee Fails and Karlee Sell/Washington Football Team; Joe Noyes/NFL)
On giving up two touchdowns on fourth-and-goal:
"We just gotta get off the field at that time to give our offense a chance. We just gotta somehow make a play and get off the field."
On how tough this final stretch has been this season with COVID-19 issues, injuries and off the field tragedies:
"I feel like we did our best. When we come in the building, just focusing on football, you know what I'm saying? But I mean, it's noticeable when you got guys like that, who are not in the locker room, in the facility. But I feel like we did our best just focusing on football. I felt like we had a good week of practice."
On how disappointing it was for all of the off the field issues to come up when the team finally got back to 6-6:
"I mean, it's disappointing. This league is about winning. So whenever you lose, it's disappointing. But, we can't go back and change it, so we've just gotta keep moving forward."
On the challenges of facing a duel threat quarterback like Philadelphia QB Jalen Hurts:
"I mean, any dual threat quarterback it's gonna make it hard. Any scramble drill, just being able to plaster the receivers. We just gotta try to do our best to do that."
On what he thought about the linebacker rotations:
"I mean, it was just different packages. Different packages for different players, so that's all it is."