Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera addressed the media after practice on Sept. 15. Here is a full transcript of the press conference.
On if DE Chase Young is playing against the Denver Broncos:
"Yes, very positive. A lot of good things throughout the week and there's a lot of confidence. Obviously, we have to be smart because it is his first introduction to full contact, full speed contact, other than what he had in practice this week. He had a very good week. The young man has worked his tail off and I think he's done the things that they've needed to see. That's the real big positive for us going forward."
On what can be expected from Young:
"We most certainly have to be aware and have a pitch count, obviously. The biggest thing more than thing else is the young man has just been terrific from day one in training camp, worked his tail off, had the unfortunate [injury] where we had to put him down for a little bit and then now he's back up. He's been working hard. He's done everything he needs to. He's been chomping at the bit, so we're excited for his opportunity."
On if Young will have a snap count:
"We'll see how it goes. Again, we have to be smart and be diligent on that."
On if Young's injury is similar for a player coming off IR:
"It'd be the same type of situation. And again, we have to be smart."
On WR Curtis Samuel's status:
"We'll see how he is. He's had some general soreness and some tightness. Again, we just want to make sure he's where he needs to be and he's ready to roll."
On if Young will have a similar snap count to the game against the San Francisco 49ers last year:
"We'll will take it as it happens."
On the plan throughout the week in use Young:
"That would be the biggest thing more than anything else is, I know the defensive coaches have talked about it this morning about what we can do and what we can't do. We'll see how it goes. Again, it'll be something that they get together on and they talk about. What we've done the last few weeks is we've practiced him as if he was playing every week anyways."
On how the high defensive standard is carried out each week:
"I can tell you it is very evident during practice. If something's wrong, they want to see it again so they can get it corrected now. They're challenging each other. It's one of those things that you want the players to understand is that they challenge each other. They hold each other accountable. That's the first one of the real big steps that you take in trying to team build. That is guys understanding that it doesn't have to always be from the coaches and it makes more impact when they're the ones holding themselves accountable and they have the standard that they set. That to me has really been important and just knowing that and hearing that from our football team. That's exciting."
On if the defense's standard is different from past teams or organizations:
"Everybody has their own standards. This is the kind of standard that I believe teams that I've been associated with in the past have. That's great expectations of themselves, holding themselves accountable, in their way, the way they do it."
On what he has seen from RB Brian Robinson Jr. in his second season:
"I think the progression, the growth, the learning, that's been really good. He's got a long ways to go, but he works at it. He works at it very hard. [Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy] EB's constantly on him. [Running Backs] Coach [Randy] Jordan, [Assistant Running Backs] Coach [Jennifer] King, they're constantly on him because they really think he can flourish in this offense if he can grasp it, do little detailed things, understand how important and the reason why to do a lot of these things. He's got tremendous natural skills and again, it's just finding his stride within what we do."
On if he will talk to the officials or Head Coach Sean Payton about potential late hits on QB Sam Howell:
"We'll see how it all unfolds."
On what he's looking for from Young:
"I think right off the bat, just being consistent. It's unfortunate because he had a really good camp, he had some really good practices against our offense as we were leading up to the opener in the preseason. So when we saw him, wow, and then the play if he doesn't have the stinger, it's a sack. There's a lot of promise this year and really there is a lot of excitement. His mentality, his approach to everything has been just what you're looking for. And I think a big part of it is he really does feel back from the knee situation more so than anything else."
On struggling offenses around the league providing context on their performance:
"Typically this is the way it usually is. The defenses tend to be a little bit ahead early in the year. And then as offenses get into shape, they kind of get in the form then you see it. We just kind of think there's going to be a little bit of a growth period. It really is. But we do think though that with the playmakers around 'em and the things that we do up front with our line, that we can have some success and we'll see how it goes as we go forward."
On how sensitive you have to be with Young's neck injury:
"Well, I think that's why it took so long to get him back on the field. The doctors wanted to make sure they wanted to be careful with it. And again, they had probably in their minds what they felt he had to show them to be able to have him play this week. So, we're pretty excited about him being back out there."
On if it's a focus to have more explosive runs:
"We think we can, again just got to hit the play the right way and continue to block and make the plays, make the blocks downfield as well. That's where the explosives come when the next group of guys, whether it be the wide receivers, the tight ends, or the offensive line, get an extra block downfield that's really where you see those explosive plays."
On if the timing of the game determines your chance of an explosive run:
"It does because you're grinding out, they know you're grinding it out. There's a lot more eight-man boxes, a lot more nine-man boxes. There's a lot more commitment to stopping the running. Their focus is right there. But when you're in the middle of the game, there's a really good flow and you hit them in a two-man coverage where the DB's have their backs to it, the safeties are a little bit deeper, and you hit that first crease. You're up into the second level and what turned out to be probably a five or six-yard run, now it turns into a 15 to 20-yard run. That's because that's part of the flow of the game. When you have balance, and that's one thing that Coach Bieniemy talks a lot about to our guys, is we want the balance. We want to be able to always constantly keep that threat on them that, 'Hey, we can run the ball, we can throw the ball. We can throw the ball in play action, we throw the ball off boot action, we can throw the ball on a drop back.' But that keeps everything open in terms of, 'Hey, we can run it, we can run something inside, we can bounce the ball and get something outside.' Those things, the balance is what creates more opportunities, because now they're trying to go on tendencies. They're trying to go on down and distance and all of a sudden, they're in a two shell and you hit 'em with a quick hitting run, something off tackle, and he makes one guy miss and he's into the secondary that quickly. So that's kind of the flow in this kind of the balance that Eric talks about with our offense."