Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera addressed the media after practice on Aug. 23. Here is a full transcript of his press conference.
On an injury update on WR Terry McLaurin:
"Terry's X-Rays were negative. His MRI showed the same thing for the most part. So, we'll continue to just monitor that, continue the rehab and the treatments and stuff. We're gonna keep him off his feet for a couple more days and then start getting him ready once we get into next week."
On injury updates for TE Logan Thomas and DE Chase Young:
"Chase again is just continuing to work on the side. He's got a doctor's appointment coming up and we'll go from there. Everything's looking positive, looking in the right direction. Logan, things have been going well. He is actually going to do some sideline work today which is pretty exciting as well."
On how exhausting it can be for an organization to not get the quarterback position right:
"It is a hell of a question because it is true. It is hard. You know my first three years, every year it was a conversation. Every year it was a point of discussion. Every year it was, 'Well, what are we gonna do? How are we gonna do it?' And then trying to figure out what resources could you use? You know, do we try to trade for this guy? I mean, the amount of work that was done two years ago, I mean, you spent a lot of time because you wanna get it right, you try to get it right and you know how important it is, especially in this league today. And I know, there was a really good stretch, especially under [Former Washington Head] Coach [Joe] Gibbs, that they were able to find that guy and have that guy available. I mean, you win three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks. Obviously, you've got something rolling and we're trying to find that and we feel pretty comfortable, pretty good about the guy this year. We feel very strongly. I know I do going into this season that we've got a guy."
On how he feels about the quarterback position this year compared to the last two seasons:
"I think there's not that question mark still, you know what I'm saying? For three seasons, I've always felt that I had a question mark and now it feels like, 'Okay, this is pretty good.' I mean, I'm pretty comfortable, pretty confident and I look forward to seeing it. I really do. I mean, the other night seeing it was, 'Wow, he did some really nice things and let's keep rolling, let's keep growing and hopefully it continues.'"
On what he saw out of LBs Jamin Davis and Cody Barton on Monday night:
"Well, I think the biggest thing for Cody is just gotta get used to the style of play. You know, we're a little different from his time in Seattle and yet we do some very similar things in terms of coverages. But some of our downhill techniques are some of the things that he's gotta get used to. The first game you saw him, he was really good with it. The second game, I think he was kind of a little hesitant to really get downhill and I think one of the mistakes you gotta be careful is that when you try to be right and fit it correctly and that guy cuts back, now you put yourself in a bad spot. He's done a nice job, I think, assimilating and trying to get a grasp of that. What was really good to watch though was his play speed, his quickness to adjust and to make up for that little hesitation. I love his communications with not just Jamin, but the whole unit. I think he's really starting to get a good feel for the guys. It's one of those things that the more he plays, the more reps he gets, the better he's gonna be for us. This week, he'll get a lot of reps in practice just trying to get everything honed up and get everything ready to go for the regular season, more so than anything else. Very pleased with Jamin. Jamin's playing fast. Oh, he won't be at practice today. He's sick. They sent him home with some medicine, just so you know. But he's playing faster. He's more confident. You see his run, hit and tackle. I mean, he's still really good at that. I thought some of the coverage stuff he did a nice job putting himself in position and really pleased with the progress."
On the progress he wants to see from Davis in his third year:
"I think he's progressed to a point where you feel comfortable with him out there and knowing that, you know, he's got a chance to make an impact. I just, I really like who he's become. I think he's the right kind of young man and he can be a really good player for us. I mean, he's good right now, and I think he can really grow and get even better."
On what went into the decision to not play most of the defensive starters against the Ravens but play the entire starting offense:
"Like I said last time the other day, they've got to work together. This is a new group of people that have to get a good feel for one another. Going into the game, we thought we could get 'em out there and play a good half with them. Back in the old days, that's kind of what happened. You played a quarter, quarter and a half the first game. You played the whole half the second game. The third game you took them into the third quarter, and then the fourth game you rested them. In today's world, you only get three games. And when you're trying to put something new together and sit down and you talk with the coaches and they talk about wanting to make sure everybody gets a chance to continue to work together, to get a good half in was really the target and we were fortunate enough that we had a two-minute drive. And that was another thing that Sam hadn't had an opportunity to run. And so having all the guys out there and having it operated the way we needed to see it done, that was good. I mean, we ran two, two-minute drills that night, and both of them ended up in scores. The only unfortunate of the whole situation was unfortunately [WR] Terry [McLaurin] got a toe injury out of it. We're very fortunate, and we'll continue the monitoring process and continue to have him rehab it and get his treatment. And like I said, the doctors came up with a real good plan and we're looking forward to having him back out on the field next week."
On what he remembers about 1999 training camp with the Philadelphia Eagles:
"It was unbelievably hot. Secondly, we didn't realize the terrain of the facility going up and down those hills, how far the fields were from the facility from where we were staying. It was an older campus and it was good old-fashioned two-a-days. I mean, we padded morning and afternoon. We went straight, I think it was five straight days like that before the players got their first break and the coaches got their first break and it was one of those things. And it's interesting because I told you guys one of the thing that I wanted [Assistant Head Coach/ Offensive Coordinator] Eric [Bieniemy] to do was I wanted him to script and schedule everything for training camp and he has. And looking at it, with the exception of it not being real two-a-days, it's almost very, very similar. I mean, [Kansas City Chiefs Head] Coach [Andy] Reid has never really changed anything. He may have refined some things, but the bones of it is very similar. If we had had two-a-days it might have been."
On the left guard competition:
"I think it's very good. I really do. I like what we got from [T/G] Saahdiq [Charles], and I like what [G] Chris Paul has shown us; a young man that's showing us that he's very capable of that at guard. [C] Ricky Stromberg has had a really good camp, so it's been a lot of fun to watch him and his growth and development as well. But you know, right now, I think Saahdiq and Chris have done a really good job for us. And I think that the big thing obviously is we're gonna decide who's gonna be the guy pretty soon. But, if they continue to practice the way they are, we probably have to figure a way out on how we can play them both. They both are stout powerful young men and they're both smart young football players."
On if Charles and Paul will be part of a rotation:
On if Charles and Paul will play on Saturday:
"That we will decide probably in another day or two."
On the conversation between Former Washington Head Coach Joe Gibbs, Baltimore Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh and himself:
"That was a great conversation. It really was. First of all, I've been fortunate enough to have known Coach [Gibbs] for quite some time and I know Coach Harbaugh has as well. Coach [Gibbs] has been somebody that I've been able to pick the phone up and bounce a thing or two off and he has sent me a friendly text or a positive text or keep your head up text or good job text every now and then. So it's always kind of cool. So anytime he comes around, it's a delight to be able to spend a little time with him. And John and I, we got into talking about the good old days he had his two grandsons with him. One works on his race team, and the other one's one of the drivers. So it was kind of neat to meet both those young men and how proud he is of them. That was really cool. But it was a neat experience just to sit there and continue to talk with Coach [Gibbs] about football and life in general too as well and family."