Skip to main content

News | Washington Commanders -

Ron Rivera | 'I think we have found a young quarterback that gives us an opportunity'

Screenshot 2023-10-23 at 3.49.09 PM

Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera addressed the media on Oct. 23. Here is a full transcript of his press conference.

On offensive play calling:
"I've been fine with what we've tried to do offensively. As far as I'm concerned and look at some of the biggest things, again, it really is about the development of this [QB Sam Howell] young quarterback. There's been a lot of positives that you see coming out of some of the things that Sam has been doing. As far as that's concerned, you see his decision making's been really good in terms of who he's throwing the ball to. Some things he can clean up is the type of throws that he's making, whether he's trying to loft the ball or he needs to put the ball on a line a little bit. We saw a little bit of that yesterday, but he's been really good at it. Just really appreciate his development. I think that's one of the big important things for us."

On if he thought there was a chance to make quicker in-game adjustments:

"Well, I think again, if you go back and look at some of those series as they unfolded, I think some of the things were just some of the missed opportunities. Some of the things, some of the mistakes we had individually, that could have helped us. It really could have, miss a block or unfortunately, miss a throw or catch opportunity, those things are pretty disruptive. They really weren't necessarily something you have to say, 'Oh, we got to make an adjustment for that.' Now, some of the protection things, those were things that we're working through that I thought our guys handled, especially when we came in at halftime. We did the things that we needed to do and then got back out there and gave ourselves a chance to win."

On comments from the players postgame about being frustrated:
"Yeah, there was one player that made a comment that I'm aware of. Yeah, he's disappointed and as is everybody else. I can't dispute it just because he's a very passionate football player that wants to win. I get it. We all want to win. We're all passionate about this game. We want to win and that's the bottom line. Frustration sometimes gets the best of us and we've got to be able to handle that as well. Trust me, I get frustrated when I get up in front of you guys and I listen to some of the questions and I want to be able to say some of the things that I really wish I could, but I can't. And that's what [DT] Jonathan [Allen] felt. So, you know, I can understand it and I can appreciate that. So got nothing but respect for how hard the young man plays and what the young man is trying to do and that's win football games."

On what makes him believe things will go differently for the rest of the season compared to years past:
"Well, I think the biggest thing, more than anything else, I think we have found a young quarterback that gives us an opportunity. We were in that game yesterday and had every chance to win and unfortunately, we didn't do it. And I understand our fans' frustration. Hell, I hear it too. Okay. And I respect them. We're trying to play the best football we can and at the same time, grow a football team. We're not going to go around cutting a bunch of people, trading for a whole bunch of people, trying to hire a whole bunch of people. We're trying to develop a young football team to be a very good football team for the future. And that's what we're going to continue to work on. We're going to continue to find ways to win football games and we'll do the best we can. We'll show up, we'll work very hard, we'll do everything we can, and we'll continue to be committed to try and put a good product on the football field and give our fans something to cheer about. But we understand their frustration, believe me because there's a lot of us that are frustrated here because we're working our butts off."

On if this point feels different than it did last year after seven games and being 3-4:
"It does because, you know, again, with the young quarterback, I really think there's hope, there's an opportunity. I mean, the young man has given us opportunities to win some of these games that a lot of people felt we couldn't. But at the same time, we've been in a lot of games, we were in the Philadelphia game, we were in yesterday's game at the end. We had a chance to win. We did. And who knows, a couple things go our way in those two games, and we have a completely different conversation going. But the truth of the matter is that's not where we are right now and I get that. But as long as we have that young quarterback and he's growing and developing and we as a team play consistent, complementary football, we have a chance. We just have to be accountable for what's happened right now and step up, develop, grow, and recognize their mistakes and correct those things. And that's on me. It starts with me. And I get that. Believe me, I've been doing this for a long time, and I'll continue to do it as best as I can."

On adjustments that he can make to help the teams growth:
"Absolutely. There's a bunch of things that need to go right for things to be even better. And a lot of them have gone right. There's a lot of things that are in place but there's a few other things that have to come into place and those are things that we're working on and we're going to correct and we're going to work on and get better at. But to come together and be a good football team, you've got to have a lot of things go right. And we've had several of them step into place, but we're not there yet and we're going to continue to work and hopefully we'll get there very soon."

On if he is committed to starting Howell the rest of the season:
"I will tell you this, I'm committed to him and we'll see how things go. I can't predict the future and the only thing I'm going to do is I'm going to focus in on one game at a time. The truth of the matter is that's the only thing that matters right now and that's getting ready for Philadelphia. Once I get done with this conversation with all you guys it'll be on to Philadelphia."

On if yesterday's result or where he is at with Howell's development affects decisions heading into the trade deadline:

"No, it doesn't. The only thing I'm focused in on is getting ready for Philadelphia."

On if Howell has the support needed from the offensive line:

"I think that's a work in progress and those are things that we are working to correct and we'll continue to do that. Again, being able to plug and play, we changed the system. We went from one style of offense to another style, and there's growing pains. There really are, trust me. It's one of the things that I went back and looked at and that was what first year starters had to deal with as quarterbacks. It's interesting and that's something that if you go back and you look at what history tells you, it does tell you things gets better."

*On what changed for the offensive line in the second half: *"One of the things you saw was some really good communication that was going on in the second half. Again, I think as you go through and the game progresses you start to understand and feel even more so what they're trying to do. Always trying to game plan and get yourself ready for each week takes a little bit. It is interesting because there were a couple of things that you wish would've happened early in those first few drives because it would've changed some things and unfortunately it didn't happen."

On if his message to the locker room will be that a win against Philadelphia changes everything:

"Without a doubt. This is all about what can happen on Sunday than it is about what can happen in any other time. We can't do anything about the past. We've got to focus on what's coming right now and not what's coming next week. So again, this week is an opportunity for us to get on track. We've got to get ourselves prepared and ready to play a very good Philadelphia team. 

*On injury updates for G/T Saahdiq Charles and LB Cody Barton: *"I do know that Cody and Saahdiq both went to get MRI's. I'll get more of an update from [Head Athletic Trainer] Al [Bellamy] after this conversation. I do know that they think Cody has a high ankle sprain and they do think that Saahdiq strained the calf muscle that he had in training camp. We'll see once we get those results."

On if there is an injury update on DT Daron Payne:

"Nothing was reported as far as that was concerned."

Related Content