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Ron Rivera | 'We're going to focus one at a time and get ready for Philadelphia'

Screenshot 2023-10-25 at 4.49.00 PM

Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera addressed the media after practice on Oct. 25. Here is a full transcript of the press conference.

On the offensive line and potential changes:
"We're looking at a lot of things right now and things that we want to do as far as going forward with the offensive line. There's a lot of things that we're talking about and discussing and looking at."

On the team's mindset:
"I think the biggest thing more than anything else is that we've got 10 games left, I think the biggest thing more than anything else is we've got to focus in on taking them one at a time. I mean, that's the truth of the matter, is that the opportunities in front of us, there's nobody in the NFC that's really running away with any of the later spots in the playoffs. So, if we take them one at a time and see what happens, there's a lot of good things that can happen, but we're going to focus one at a time and get ready for Philadelphia."

On what he senses from the team going into Week 8:
"I think it's in a good place just because of the fact that we've put ourselves in position. We've had a couple opportunities to win some games that, unfortunately, we didn't get it done. This is one of the teams coming up, Philadelphia, a game that we had a good opportunity in. So, trying to rally on that and I think that's something that the guys are focusing on, that's the opportunity."

On if today's lighter practice was due to injury or it being mid-way through the season:

"It's pretty much the midway point of the season as far as the scheduling goes."

On why the Philadelphia Eagles' 'Tush Push' is effective:
"Well, I think it's basically the technique they use more so than anything else. The big advantage they get is they crowd the ball, but they know the snap, and that's one of the things that you've got to be able to do. You've got to get underneath their leverage, you've got to stop their leverage and then you've also got to stop [Eagles QB Jalen Hurts] the quarterback who's a tremendous athlete, very strong legged guy. You've got to be able to stop him from going up over the top as well."

On QB Sam Howell's demeanor:
"Well, it's the same thing you guys see. I mean, he's the same guy, he shows up, does his work, works really hard. He's very enthusiastic about his job, he loves playing the game. He hasn't changed one bit. I mean, he's learning and growing and he's having fun at it. Obviously, if you ask him he'll tell you just what you said, it's not fun being sacked 40 times, but, you know, he's doing what he can."

On if there an advantage to already facing the Eagles:
"Well, I mean, there really is no advantage just because for them it's the same thing, they just played us. But I think the thing that we look at more so than anything else is what have they done differently in those last few games compared to what it was like when we did play them. That's what we're trying to see now, we're looking very hard at those things. Looking at the numbers, we're looking at the scouting reports and obviously, paying a lot of attention to stuff that we see on tape."

On if Philadelphia's success on third and fourth downs creates a defensive first and second down emphasis:
"Well that's one of the things you do talk about is having more success on first and second down. If you can keep them out of those third-and-ones fourth-and-ones, your opportunity obviously to get them off the field is big. So, we've got to be good early on and we know that."

On if no pads in practice was a response to the Week 7 game:
"No, that's pretty much what we've planned. I mean, again, we've done it in the past when we redid the scheduling this year, that was one of the things that we targeted, that this was the week that we would start doing some different things. Now, it's about maintenance and keeping the guys fresh. You know, one of the things we talked about today, because it's going to be 80 degrees on Sunday, is we got to make sure we're hydrating and getting ourselves ready for the heat."

On what they can do better from watching the tape against the New York Giants:
"Well, there are some things obviously that we did look at. The thing that when you talk about the Giants game, you go back to what we did in the second half and those are some of the adjustments, some of the things that we picked up on and changed a couple calls to give these guys opportunities. Then I also think one thing that showed a little bit too, if you watch Sam, also saw him get a little bit more involved and help out with changing some of those calls as well. So, it's a little bit of a collective effort and it's something that as we work on this week, it's about making sure we're sending the protections in the right direction."

On conversations what the conversations with Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy look like after the Giants game:
"Well, for the most part it's having a discussion with him, sitting in on their meeting and then going from there."

On big picture aspects they talked about:

"There were some things that we talked about and listening and discussing and then listening to the conversations he had with the coaches. Obviously, there are some things that we're looking at to see how we can adjust them."

On if there is a push to use C Tyler Larsen more:

"There is, as I said, a lot of things that we're discussing and talking about and things that we feel can help us."

On if he is waiting on the injury report before building a plan for LB Cody Barton:

"Yes. We're waiting to see about both he and [G/T] Saahdiq [Charles] later into the week before we make a definitive as to where we're going to head with that."

On how important this game is:

"They're all important. They really are. This is the most important we'll have up to this day because it's the one we're about to play. That's the approach that we have to have and that's what we're talking about. This is a big one for us. Next week will be the next big one for us, but the focus is Philadelphia and just trying to prepare for it, understanding what is at stake and like you said, 0-2 in the division, you obviously get a win in the division it's big. It's a win in the conference, which is just as big as well. We've got to go out there and play good football."

On how new Eagles Defensive Coordinator Sean Desai has performed:

"I think first and foremost, this is a player's game. If you've got players in position, you could have success. Secondly, it's what they do and it's what they've been doing now. The flavor and the way it's called is a little bit different. There's some things that tell you he's a little more aggressive in certain situations, not as aggressive in other situations. He tends to favor a different coverage from what they did last year. Those are things that you look for whenever coordinators change."

On how much DT Phidarian Mathis can help and how he manages all the defensive lineman:

"That'll be obviously a decision that we're going to make based on who we're getting ready to play. This week we wanted to make sure we got him up and got him going to see where he is, first and foremost, before we do activate him. Then once we do make a decision, obviously, we've got to decide how we want to integrate him into the group as far as being a guy that'll be up on game day."

On how he gets young players to focus on this upcoming week and forget last week:

"That's exactly it. You've got to get not just them, but you still have some other guys that still haven't gotten past it or have to learn to get past it quicker. You do want it to hurt. You do want them to understand that what happened on Sunday was the missed opportunities that we've got to get better at. You do want to be able to get past it and focus in and now get ready for Philadelphia."

On if changing the personnel is on the table:

"Yeah, I don't take anything off the table."

On if that includes the trade deadline coming up:

"That we'll talk about once we get there."

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