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Ron Rivera | 'I thought we did the things that we wanted to do and we did some things pretty well'

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Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera addressed the media on Dec. 4. Here is a full transcript of the press conference.

On if there were unforeseeable challenges the Miami Dolphin's offense brought to his pared down defensive scheme:
"Not necessarily. I think we did the things that we wanted to do. There were a couple things obviously, that we didn't do as well as we would like to, a couple things that we did miss. Some things that we got to look at as far as the play calling, just to make sure we were putting them in position to have success. But I thought we did the things that we wanted to do and we did some things pretty well."

On why the receivers have not been in position to make big plays this season:
"Well, I think as you look at some of the things, collectively again, like I said, we we're going to make sure we're putting them in a position and then we've got to be able to execute and there's some things that we can do better. Protection hasn't always been what we needed and then part of it also is [QB] Sam [Howell] growing, developing, and in his decision making. Then, just having the chance to make the play."

On if he feels Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy has created a plan to make this offense succeed rather than emulate the Kansas City Chiefs offense:
"I think what we're trying to do is try and figure that portion of it out. Just making sure we can do certain things and certain elements. I mean, we've run the ball a little more effectively lately, and there's been a little bit more of an emphasis on that as well. Again, as we just work through it, I think again, you see some of those things but again, it does come down to us executing and making sure we're getting the right calls out."

On if WR Terry McLaurin and WR Jahan Dotsons' lower numbers this season are due to not executing the offensive plan or the opponent's defensive play:
"Well, I think part of it is exactly what you're saying. I think there are some elements of it that allow for it and other elements is really by choice and decision."

On S Percy Butler's development:
"I think as we look at it, you go back and we look at obviously the stats and then you look at certain hit charts as to where the ball's been going and look at where he's been. But he's done a nice job. He's showing some flashes of ability and again, it's a learning process for a young player."

On developing the younger players during the rest of the season:
"We're looking at them a lot. I mean, if you look at it, we got three first-year players playing defensive end for us. I think with [DE Andre] Dre [Jones Jr.] and [DE Jalen] Harris, I mean, those are three young guys that are out there and they're playing as hard as they can and trying to do what they can. It is a little bit of an evaluation process for all those young guys."

On if it is difficult to determine what changes can be made in the offensive line and play calling to improve offensive success:
"Well, I think as you look at it and you get a chance to go back and look at tape and pair the calls with what's going on, you can get a good evaluation out of it."

On what he sees on tape that can help the offense execute better:
"Well, there are some things that most certainly can be changed, and then there's some things that just continue to work at it and get better at it."

On how to coach players through the rest of the season:
"Well, first and foremost, make sure they all understand that they're not the only ones frustrated. There's a lot of people out there that are working hard and trying to get better. It is difficult, it is hard. But, you also have to look at the circumstances that we are in and I'm talking about you guys, I'm talking about us as a group, as a unit. It's not been easy, it's been hard and it's going to be hard. That's just the way it is. Eventually, if things continue to work and people get better, then you see the improvement and we're coming up to a four-game stretch, four weeks left after this bye. That's where you need to see it, you really do. It's about going out there and executing, about us making sure we've given them every opportunity to be successful. That's what it's truly about. I mean, you can only say so much about development and growth, you can only say so much about the process. There's a certain point in time when you get to each year and say, now's the time, let's go. I mean, the process is now, and the time is now. So, let's see what we can do."

On if the team has the mindset to finish the season strong:
"Well, I'd like to believe so. That's basically what the talk was about was, and I told you guys that yesterday in the press conference, that that's what I told the guys, we've got four left. I expect everybody to be a professional show up and do their job."

On the receivers getting off the line and getting open on underneath routes:

"Well, I think a lot of it you got to go back and evaluate the whole process because there's so many things that play into it. It's not just whether they're getting off the ball in time, stuff like that. It's also about what they're playing, the defense is playing. It's going to dictate the read that the quarterback goes through. Those are all parts of the elements of a play."

On Senior Vice President of Football Strategy Eugene Shen's impact:

"Well, I just think the biggest part of it more than anything else is just getting the continued information for game planning right now, as far as that's concerned. I mean, there's a whole other element to what he does, but that'll be for the offseason."

On if young players like TE Curtis Hodges and WR Michell Tinsley will have an opportunity:

"Yeah, I think there's some opportunities that will most certainly come up and there are some young guys that you do want to see. As we go through the last few weeks, we'll look for those opportunities and chances."

On how much Interim Defensive Backs Coach Cristian Garcia was helping with play calling and the process behind that:

"I think it was a combination of everybody for the most part. What we did was, when we game planned and we put the call sheet together, we all, we all talked about and I asked the question, "Hey, what do you feel is best in this situation in these windows?" Let's say it was a second-and-long and I would say, "Hey Cristian, think about a good third-and-long call." Or if it was second-and-short coming up and I said, "[Linebackers Coach] Steve [Russ], hey, second-and-short, give me a good call. What do you think?" But for the most part, because we had talked about it, we had practiced it, it was easy. It just kind of got into a couple of flows, a couple of rhythms, that were pretty good. I was just able to pull them out and make the calls."

On what he had seen from Garcia to put him in that position:

"Part of it is I think Cristian's a good young coach, I really do. I think he's got an opportunity to grow and in time, I think he'll be a coordinator in this league, I believe that. With Steve Russ, I've worked with Steve for a little bit of while now, and very bright, very intelligent guy. And again, he's got a real good grasp and feel for defenses as well, as do I think all the coaches, I really do. I think it's a good defensive staff of guys and it's really about us making sure that we can get these guys to play fast and see how things go."

On how he communicates his frustration to the players:

"Well, I try to understand them, see where they are and when I talk to them, if I talk to them privately, I just tell them first off the bat, you're not the only one that's frustrated. Let's be honest about this. There's a lot of people out there working their butts off. There really are. I think that's the thing everybody's got to understand. Sometimes things click and happen and go in the right direction. Sometimes if you're in this long enough, and I've said this before, if you're in this long enough, that's what happens. But again, it's one of those things that, as you continue to work, eventually it's going to turn. I really do believe that. Like I said, we got four weeks to find out."

On if McLaurin has shared his thoughts on the amount of targets with him:

"Yeah, I've talked with Terry before and we've talked about those things and I know he's talked to Eric and he's gone in and he and EB have good conversations from what I understand. That's then to me that's the way you handle it is you go in and you talk directly. I think that's big of what he's been doing. It's been big of him to come in and fight the frustration and talk about it if that's what needs to be."

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