Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera addressed the media on Monday, Oct. 30. Here is a full transcript of his press conference.
On ownership direction as they approach the trade deadline:
"Well, the biggest thing is I'm not going to discuss any of that. I mean, there's a lot of things that are going on throughout the league and once we get past tomorrow, we'll probably have something to talk about."
On what stood out about QB Sam Howell's performance:
"Well, I think one of the things coming into the game was the game plan was really good for the things that they do and how we wanted to approach it. And then I thought they for the most part, executed the way we needed to. You know, Sam got the ball out quickly. A lot of good decisions as far as those things were concerned. It's really good route running. I thought the protection was outstanding. We had a couple little glitches, and unfortunately that we did give up one sack. That was a tough one too, just because of the situation. But for the most part, I thought his decision making was good. I thought his delivery was where it needed to be. He was close a couple times on a couple of really nice shots that were downfield. I liked the fact that he chose to take a couple of shots too. That was good. But the ball placement on some of the touchdown passes were outstanding and again, his command out there was really good. He checked a couple times, made some good decisions on those as well and did a really nice job of getting the ball out of his hand on those decisions as well."
On how he processes this critical moment with the trade deadline approaching:
"Like I said, once we get past Tuesday, we'll probably have some answers to those questions for you."
On the process of decision making on challenging plays:
"Well up in the booth, obviously what we're hoping to get is a look. Okay. We'd love to see the replay and, and love to see it out there quickly. What you don't want to do is get in a situation where we were in, and that is, we didn't get a chance to get a look. If you throw the flag and you're wrong, you lose it. And so we're trying to decide, we know how important having the challenges are, we know how important the time timeouts are. And when there's really nothing that's definitive, it's hard to make that decision appropriately."
On who is communicating with him in the booth on these decisions:
"There are people upstairs that are in my ear."
On what factors he looks at when discussing a move or a trade:
"Well, as I said, we'll discuss those things once we get past Tuesday."
On what gives him optimism about the team going forward:
"First of all, I think the play of the quarterback [Sam Howell]. It's something that we've talked about. I think when you start seeing the production that he's having, it's now time for us to go out and do the things that we're capable of. I think we're more than capable. I really do. But again, we haven't shown it. That's something that we as coaches have got to make sure we're giving these guys every opportunity to be successful. Then if that's the case, we have to go out and make sure we're executing properly."
On if they saw improving in CB Emmanuel Forbes Jr. technique against Philadelphia:
"We did for the most part, but the hard part obviously was there was the touchdown throw. We have some questions that we'd like to get answered about the particular play, but he's working at it. He's getting better and he's just got to continue to work."
On if only three of the four starters on the defensive line are available who would start in the final spot:
"Hypothetically, once we get there, I'll give you an answer."
On the reason they were able to put together a better gameplan against Philadelphia than other weeks:
"I think because we were able to get out and execute it. I think one of the big things that really stood out was the protections. I thought [C] Tyler [Larsen] did a really nice job of setting the protections. I thought one of the things that really went well [was] [G] Chris Paul got his opportunity, and he was very stout at the point. He really was. Both he and Tyler I thought really held the point very nicely. What that allowed was it allowed for Sam to hitch up and step into the throws. I think you really see the velocity on the ball that he threw and the windows he threw the ball into. They were very well delivered."
On if he sees the Philadelphia game as a template for success for the offense going forward:
"Absolutely. That's what I've always seen. I've always thought that that's where we're headed. A lot of it comes from just like I told you guys when I was trying to decide where we wanted to go with a coordinator, looking at things that they were doing in Kansas City during their playoff run. That is what really kind of led me in that direction. Yesterday was a good example of it. We saw it the first time we played Philadelphia. We saw it in moments of other games, but we've got to get consistent there. Again, you've got to play complementary football and you've got to play complementary offense, defense and special teams in terms of each one of those groups. Defensively, it's got to be complementary in terms of stopping the run and the pass. The pass rush has to complement each other with the coverage and stuff like that and so on and so on for offense, defense and special teams as well. That's what we're working towards is being consistent and complementary."
On WR Curtis Samuel's injury status:
"Just for the most part, he was examined this morning and the biggest thing they talked about was his foot soreness. They're going to have him examined further and treat him further and hopefully it'll subside and settle down a little bit. But yeah, Curtis started off really strong for us yesterday."
On if Howell's inaccurate throws later in the game attributed to fatigue:
"Oh no, I don't think any of those were fatigued. You go and look and a couple of them were a little bit right or left. Again, I just think that's part of the throw."
On C/G Ricky Stromberg's injury status:
"Ricky went to go get an MRI, so we'll wait on those results."
On the secondary having in-game blown coverages:
"That more than anything else is just making sure it gets communicated. That one was one that we shouldn't have missed. We really shouldn't have. And again, we just got to make sure we get it in out there in plenty of time, which I felt we did. But again, there's a communication that has to be connected."
On CB Forbes Jr. and DB Quan Martin guarding Eagles WR A.J. Brown's touchdown reception:
"Yeah, that's going to happen. They're going to move their people around and put them in position. I mean, you can't hide people in this league, they'll find you and when they do, you'd love to have some sort of double coverage. Again, you've got to take your hat off to, like you said, probably the guy playing the best in the NFL right now as a receiver."
On how he can get the team to play complementary football:
"Well, with 10 more weeks left to play, we're going to take each week one at a time. I know I've said it, sound like a broken record, but that's the truth of the matter. We'll continue to work and try and get us to play complimentary football. I mean, that's the truth. I mean, it is just you continue to grow and work and develop and you know, as it goes, we'll see how it goes.
On how he feels the defensive line has played this season:
"I think d-line has had its moments. I mean, yesterday we held one of the top rushing teams in the league to only 59 yards, so, you know, that starts up front. We got good pressure on the quarterback. We could've used a little bit more, obviously, especially in certain situations. They've definitely have played solid at times and they've had their moments and we've just gotta be consistent more so than anything else."
On if the defensive line has played to the level that he has anticipated:
"Not consistently enough. And again, you see it, but you've gotta see it all the time and that's really the mark of when it really comes together, is that it's consistent?"
On syncing up the pass rush with the coverage:
"But see that's where it goes back to just being complimentary and again, just understanding certain elements of what's going on and what the situation is, what situational football is. And try and understanding and marrying, you know, what the front and coverage is and sometimes understanding why those coverages are being called, why those fronts are being called, why those stunts are pressures. I think again, just having a good feel and understanding for overall for what we're doing really helps."
On how the team is holding up in terms over mental strength:
"Well, I thought yesterday, you know, they came out with the right mindset. You know, we know them, they know us. It's always been a challenge. It's always been a struggle and a battle. I mean you could argue that in the last three games that we've played against them, we've probably been the one team that's given them a hard time and so, I think that's something to build on. Again, you know, I'm not looking for a moral victory, but I'm looking for something to build off of. And that's, and that's the kind of game that, you know, you point to certain things offensively, defensively, and special team and you say, you see, that's what we're capable of. I mean, you know, if you point to some of the things that we did defensively, getting the ball, taking the ball away in critical situations. Offensively scoring when you had to score, I mean, getting into the red zone and converting, getting goal to goal and converting, that's big. Being over 50% on third down as an offense was big. Special teams wise, we were four for four on extra points and we hit a 61 yarder just before the half. Two-minute drive to give ourselves a chance to go in at halftime with the lead. So, there's all these things that you could point to and say, this is what you want, but let's be consistent. That's what we have to get to now."