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Ron Rivera | 'I have no doubt in my mind Daron's going to do exactly what he has been doing'

Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera addressed the media on Tuesday, Sept. 5. Here is a full transcript of the press conference.

On an updated for DE Chase Young's status for Week 1:

"Yeah, well, tomorrow we'll have the first medical report for you guys and everybody will know where we are with our players."

On what he looks for in the summertime to see if a team could be special:

"Well, I think a lot of it has to do with growth and development of key positions. Obviously, the quarterback is always, you know, the first and foremost, but then secondly, I think a little bit has to do with having the right group of offensive linemen and defensive linemen that seem to be coming together. And then when you play in the preseason games and, and if you do practice against somebody a couple times, you're looking for consistency of performance more than anything else. You know, they get up there and they do the same thing to have success. And I think that's one of the things that we were working towards this year is to see that consistency. And then the confidence in terms of the things that they're doing. Are they playing fast? Are they reacting quickly? And we seem to be doing some of those things, so it has been kind of exciting, but you never know. That's why you play on Sunday to find out."

On how he gauges when the changes on offense can come together:

"Well, I think you'll see it if we're consistent. You know, if you're counting on explosive plays all the time, you're gonna live and die with that, most certainly. But if you're consistent and you work towards it and you can point to the fact that, oh, we get the ball and we're not going three and out, three and out three and out. We're having extended drives. We're able to flip the field position and score. Defensively, it's about, you know, are you able to hold the opponent back? Are you able to get out on three and outs? Are you successful with certain things? I think those are the things that you look for."

On if it is extra different not knowing who the starting quarterback will be for the Arizona Cardinals:

"It is. Well, this is the 13th time I've gone through it and when you open up with a new group, there are a lot of unknowns. And again, like you said, they're exacerbating it by not necessarily telling you who their quarterback's gonna be and I wouldn't either. But I think the big thing more so than anything else is you just kind of have to assume. I mean, part of it is you have to look at the background of where these coaches are from, who they, who they've coached for in the past, then you try to draw some correlations to that. And then you go back, and you look at what they did at some of their previous stops, and you pay attention to those things. Some of it will lead you in the right direction and some of it, there's nothing there."

On if the coaching promotions announced today is a sign of where things are headed with player contracts or extensions:

"Well, not necessarily other than just the fact that we're continuing to work with them. You know, we're looking at all the different things that are involved in running the organization and the team and this has only been five weeks. I mean, there's a lot of things that they wanna do and they wanna make sure that they're being done the right way and so there is a learning curve that goes with all this. There are some things that are a little more urgent than others, but as we start and continue to go forward, these are all things that will continue to work out with them. The new ownership group has been terrific. They really have. We've had a lot of conversations and we continue to have conversations on a lot of those topics."

On if he needs to figure out how Young and Montez Sweat perform individually before looking into a longer-term future for each:
"Well, I think for the team as a whole, we have to see how everything happens and how everything does go before you can really make decisions on a lot of other things like that. I mean, again, it really is about how we do and how well everybody's playing."

On how QB Sam Howell made it clear that he wants to be coached hard:
"I would say Sam wants to be coached, he wants to be critiqued. And like any other player, the occasional pat on the back is always a good thing. I mean, he'll take it as it comes and that's one of the things, I think that has been really great about him and about a lot of his teammates, most of his teammates, all of his teammates for that matter. They appreciated being pushed. They appreciated being critiqued. They appreciated being praised. It goes back to if you tell people what they need to hear and not what they want to hear, you're better off and I think that's what our guys have really appreciated this year."

On if it is more important now than in years past to win Week 1:
"No it's always important. It doesn't matter, the opener's always important for the simple reason and one of the things that [Former Hall of Fame Head Coach] John Madden told me is, you win the first one you're always in the plus, if you lose the first one, you're behind. So, it's always important."

On if Washington Commanders Managing Partner Josh Harris defined expectations for this year:
"We talked about the greatest expectation is to win, just like it is every year. It's about winning."

On how he ramps intensity back up after Labor Day Weekend:
"Well, I think it is part of what's been going on the last few years in the NFL. A lot of this has to do with giving the players a chance to get a little reset, take a little bit of a break. We asked our guys, we stressed our guys about staying in shape while you're gone. Not just laying around for four straight days but getting something done and getting something accomplished. We had a pretty good turnout Friday, Saturday, and Monday, which was really good to see, to walk in and see a, a nice crowd of guys that were still here. Most of the guys I talked to were around and most of them I did see on Friday, Saturday and, and Monday. So, it was kind of cool. I think these guys understand what the opportunity is that we have in front of us and what the circumstances are in terms of your heads above water, your focus now really is just about playing football. We're not being asked about other things that are interesting. We're really going to be asked about what's important and that's what these guys do and that's getting on the football field, playing to the best of their abilities."

On feelings towards the defensive line after multiple injuries last week:
"I still feel good about 'em, really do, I mean, the two guys [DE Efe Obada and DT Phidarian Mathis] that went on IR are two guys that we're going to count on eventually at some point, because they're on short-term IR, to help us. But, we're deep there. I know a bunch of people questioned how many guys we kept, but there was a reason why we had to do that because of the way the rules are, you've got to keep the guys on your roster and then you put 'em on the IR and then you can move guys around, which is what we were able to do. So, we still feel good. We like our frontline guys and the guys that are in the backup position. So, we feel pretty comfortable about that."

On if he had spoken with players about the perception of the Arizona Cardinals:
"No, you don't have to. I mean, these guys understand, these are professionals. These guys get paid just like everybody else does and even last year when we were playing Houston, you know, guys, anybody can beat anybody in this league. It's just the way it is. And so, you have to go out and you've got to play and you better show up because if not any team in the NFL can beat any other team. On any given Sunday, it's not the best team that wins, it's the team that plays the best and so we have to play our best every Sunday."

On gamesmanship regarding not announcing Young and WR Terry McLaurin statuses Week 1:
"Absolutely. I mean, it's all part of it. I mean, I know that the more doubt you can put on in your opponent's mind that the more they got to work and think about and prepare and it might take away from something that might be important or relevant. So as far as we're concerned, you know, we'll do what we can and what we have to do and that's how we're going to report it, just based on that."

On if McLaurin will practice tomorrow:

"That we'll find out, sometime tomorrow."

On DT Daron Payne's effort after his contract extension:
"I have no doubt in my mind Daron's going to do exactly what he is been doing. He did it last year when he won the extension, he didn't get the extension. He just went to work and earned what he got what he deserved. We paid him accordingly to that and the best part was, he just kept playing football and that's what he seems to be doing right now. Showed up in training camp in great shape, he had a little setback because of the toe, but you know, after a few days he was back out on the field and doing exactly what we had hoped he would. I have no doubt in my mind that that's the same young man that started for us last year is going to start for us this year."

On how he wants to unveil a new offense throughout the season:

"I think [Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator] Coach [Eric] Bieniemy is going to do it the way he thinks is best. That's what he did in the preseason games. He had an idea of how he wanted each game to look. He had specific plays he wanted to use for each game and he wanted to make sure the guys were very comfortable and they would play fast. I really believe that's going to be his attitude coming into this game is things that we do well against what they do. He's going to implement the game plan. I promise you if you asked him one of the first things, he's say is I want them to play fast. As we prepare for Arizona, I expect that to happen as I do with [Defensive Coordinator] Jack [Del Rio]. Jack's been an advocate for it all training camp that we're going to do what we do, we do what we do, we do what we do, and that's what he's done. He's stuck to it. You could see it in the practices, you could see it when we practiced against Baltimore, you saw it in all three preseason games. These guys have an idea of what they really do truly believe is best for our players and they're going to do it."

On if he is usually right on preparing for who the opposing quarterback will be:

"I think we are. I think we have a pretty good idea, pretty good plan of what to expect or what to anticipate. The things that we're not quite sure on, we'll prepare for both. The nice thing about it is we've had an extra week, actually an extra couple weeks to do that. We'll have prepared ourselves for what we believe we can anticipate. We're trying to anticipate how they'll handle both quarterbacks. They have a pretty good running game. They've got some dynamic receivers. They got a couple solid tight ends and then they got a big stout offense line. To us, you just have to prepare how they're going to do things. Then you look at them on defense and they've got a lot of playmakers. [Arizona Cardinals S] Budda Baker I think is one of the elite safeties in this league. They've got some guys that most certainly are going to get your attention and you got to pay attention to them and just be ready."

On if there will be a two-way player in the NFL:

"I think so. I think if the player's got the kind of ability that can impact both sides of the ball, yeah. It's probably going to be one of the highly skilled guys. I could see a guy doing that, playing some secondary position and then flopping around and playing a wide receiver type position or running back. I could see a guy that has some very good athleticism and can rush the passer turn around and play tight end. I know Julius Peppers did it for us when we were in Carolina, but it takes a pretty special player."

On the University of Buffalo Colorado Head Coach Deion Sanders and Colorado winning:

"Yeah, it was good for Deion. It didn't surprise me either because the way those guys, young men, have bought into the way he does things those are the types of things that young players want. They want to be able to play for somebody that believes in them and tries to get you to buy in the way he's doing it. That was pretty cool. That's great to see."

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