Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera addressed the media following the team's second day of OTAs. Here's a look at what he had to say during his press conference.
On what they're trying to do out here:
"Probably the biggest thing is an opportunity for our players to work their techniques, develop some rapport with each other. Part of it also will be the learning aspect in terms of retention. What'll happen is, the stuff that we did today will be included tomorrow. We'll do some installation this afternoon. They'll have to carry over from yesterday, today, and we'll see what we have as far as that's concerned. It's just a matter of seeing how guys are adapting to the things that we're doing."
On if he expects Chase to be here for the voluntary stuff or just the mandatory things:
"I think it'll come some the voluntary stuff, but he has a plan that they've been working on. We've been in communications with them. He's seen the doctor."
On QB Carson Wentz:
"I think Carson did some good things. He did throw the pick today, but man, that was a pretty dog on good play by Corn Elder, I mean is very veteran moved by Corn, but I thought he did some really good things. Got some pretty good rapport with his guys. The thing I like is, again, it's about making good decisions. You're seeing a lot of good decisions out there right now. I thought Taylor [Heinicke] had a pretty good day. He had a couple opportunities and missed a couple of 'em, but he threw the ball well, I thought Sam [Howell] came in and did a nice job."
On if he agrees with Troy Aikman that this is the last chance for quarterback Carson Wentz:
"That's fine. I think this is a good opportunity for Carson. I really do. I think he's a guy that's wanted, we want him here. We went out and traded for him and we do expect some good things from him and for him. Very pleased with what we've got, and he's done a heck of a job."
On WR Curtis Samuel and how he looked:
"I know who Curtis is. We drafted him in Carolina and saw the success he had. So, we believe his skill fits what we want to do. We believe it fits very well. We think he's a guy that, as he continues to progress and gets healthier and healthier every day, there'll be some good things for us with him in our offense."
On if he feels he can close the book on the groin injury:
"I'd like to believe we can. I thought he's done a great job with his rehab program this year. Spent a lot of good time with our guys. He's done some really good things on his own, so we just feel right now and hopefully it's gonna continue to trend up."
On what he wants to see out of Carson these next few weeks:
"I'd like to see him continue to progress. With him, it's just about making good decisions, making the right throws, playing fast and not hurrying, you know what I'm saying? Just kind of going through what he's done, take what's out there and he's done that. He did that today. There's a lot of good things. So, a lot of positivity as far as I'm concerned."
On any joint practices this season:
"No, we're gonna focus on us and really just try to work and continue to develop. I mean, we really like where we are. It's a young team. A lot of guys that have played a lot of football for us already and added some good young players. So we just feel this is about us focusing on who we are."
On DB Will Adams:
"First of all, we like his skill set. He's got good size. He runs very well. You know, we think this is a young guy that really hasn't been tapped yet. You know, I think he's got a lot of untapped potential. So he's a guy that we really like when he came in, he showed his athleticism. He showed his savviness already and it was someone in talking with the coaches was a guy that we wanted to switch out. So we did, we thought Will [Adams] was worth the risk."
On having running back depth:
"Well, I think for the most part, it's going to be by committee. Some of the things that we did in Carolina we're trying to emulate, you know, we had a good two back system. We had, [Former Carolina Panther RB's DeAngelo] Williams and Jonathan Stewart, and we had Fozzy Whittaker as a change of pace, third down top of guy. Well, you look at what we have right now, you can say we have the same thing. So just feel that, you know, it's one of those things that you're going to go with, who's hot, who's rolling, you know, who's doing the good things. And then you're going to have to spell that guy. I mean in this league today, you know, you just can't have one primary back. You've got to have a plethora of them. And we just feel it's a very good room right now."
On why the jerseys say Commanders instead of the player's last names:
"Well, just so everybody understands and knows who we are. It it's about the team first, and then the player. I don't know if you have noticed, but like the military we'll put the little patch right there. That's got their first and last name on it. And again, we're trying to emphasize team and we're trying to emphasize the Commanders."
On if it is tough to learn all the player's names:
"Oh yeah. It's hard as hell. Trust me. It really is and I'm bad when it comes to names. I really am unfortunately."
On what he has liked about WR Jahan Dotson thus far:
"Well, first of all, I like his route running. I think he runs very good routes. He's very precise with them and he's got natural hands. It's just a matter now of him learning and developing and growing within the scheme and really just refining his game. I mean, he knows how to act like a pro and be a pro. So that's a really good thing. He and I had a nice conversation when we first drafted him, we first came in, had a chance to talk to him about, hey, look, you know, you're the lead rookie. I mean, you're the guy that's going to set the tone for the group. And he seems to adjust to it very well and accepted that very nicely."
On if they anticipate adding any more veterans to the roster between now and training camp:
"We're looking, we're always looking. It's always a process as far as we're concerned. We got a group of young guys that we like, and we want to get a nice, good, long look at them. Last year we found a couple of veteran guys that we signed near the end of OTAs and had them be part of our team. So, nothing says that can't happen this year and with [General Manager] Martin [Mayhew] and [Executive Vice President of Football/Player Personnel] Marty [Hurney] and [Director of Pro Personnel] Chris [Polian] and [Senior Director of Player Personnel] Eric [Stokes] looking, we'll always react to a savvy veteran that we like."
On if he thinks it's a problem signing guys late in the offseason program because they then have a lot of work to do catching up in training camp:
"Not necessarily worrying about a specific veteran. Last year there was a group of veterans that missed for various reasons. That was a sore point. I don't know if you saw it or heard it today, but you could hear the secondary with their communication. That's something that we really didn't get rolling until the middle of the season last year. Now you hear it from the beginning, which is a very positive sign as far as I'm concerned."
On who had stood out to him as a leader in the secondary with S Landon Collins no longer with the team:
"Yeah, I think [S] Bobby [McCain] has stepped up. He stepped up last year as well and helped out. I like what [CB] Kendall Fuller brings to the table as well. The guy that's kind of starting to find his voice is [S] Kam Curl. He's played very well for us. I think it's a good group, very skilled group and I think they're coming together and they gotta continue to work together and communicate."
On if he is comfortable with where the offensive line is as a complete unit:
"Very much so. We have [C] Chase Roullier who's still healing up. I like what [OL] Wes [Schweitzer] does as far as his position flex and to be quite honest, we think he is a heck of a football player as well. So, I like the group. I like the depth that we have. One thing we wanted to do consciously was we wanted to have at least 10 guys that were veteran savvy guys that have played on the field for us. We like that minimum of 10 men depth. We'll try and keep as many of those guys as we can."
On moving WR Antonio Gandy-Golden to tight end and on what he is looking for from him at that new position:
"Well, probably the first thing foremost is his blocking. It is kind of hard right now because we're not in pads, but we wanna make sure he knows those assignments and where he is headed. We know his skillset as a receiver. It's the size that we really like. To be a guy that can run and play basically the U or the F position for us. We feel pretty good about what he's bringing to the table right now, but it will come down to his ability to block."
On the skillsets necessary to excel at tight end:
"Yes, it is because it's a big man with some skill and athleticism that you look for. That's why I think basketball players or quarterbacks have been able to transition to it. It's also positioned though that calls for a guy to know the game, understand the game and body position. You know, one of the best body position receivers I've ever been around is Greg Olsen, who knew how to keep his body between the defender and the ball. You see that with guys that can rebound, you know, go out and get the ball. That's why I think some basketball players have transitioned very, very well. I was with [TE] Antonio Gates in San Diego and I think he was pretty doggone good at it as well. If you have some size and some athletic ability and you are a guy that has ball skills, I think you can transition very well to that position."