The Washington Football Team received multiple rounds of good news this week as several players have returned from the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Here are some of the top quotes from the week, presented by GEICO.
Taylor Heinicke on the last week he has had and being back out there today:
"It sucked. I felt fine throughout last week and then I tested Thursday afternoon after practice positive. I felt fine in the first couple days and then the symptoms really started coming in and it sucked there for a little bit. I'm happy to be back now. That's never fun sitting at home and watching all your guys go out and play a game and you can't do anything about it or help them or anything. It's kind of a helpless feeling. I'm just happy to be back."
Ron Rivera on what went wrong with defense upon looking at the tape:
"I know I've said it in the past, you really saw guys not where they needed to be, but it wasn't because they weren't trying, I think more so than anything else we got into that second quarter, and you started seeing guys trying to do more than they needed to. Guys were crossing face and looking inside, were trying to make plays from going backside. Got a little undisciplined at one point, especially in the end of the third quarter, I thought the guys really tried to do more than they needed to, instead of just staying where they had been. For the most part, they were doing a great job early on, but I think we got a little anxious. I really do mean that because when you watch the tape you can't fault the effort. It's the kind of effort that you want when you're in a tough situation. And I really applaud how hard they played. I mean, some guys' efforts really stood out and it's just unfortunate."
Ron Rivera on how Taylor Heinicke will handle playing a team twice:
"That's exactly it. I mean, we're going to see how he handles it. To a degree, he'll have an idea of what to anticipate, what to expect. I think that the experience for us as a whole team going up against them this year, I mean, this certainly is a revamped team compared to last year. Obviously, one of the big presences is [Cowboys QB] Dak [Prescott] having him back on the football field, obviously bodes well for them. [LB] Micah Parsons is another guy that we saw for the first time too. So, I think that bodes well for us as a football team, just knowing what to expect and kind of understanding a little bit more of what they're capable of."
Taylor Heinicke on if he watched the game Tuesday:
"Yeah, watched it Tuesday. It's tough. You've battled with these guys throughout the whole year and you want to be with them and it's a huge, crucial game. You just felt helpless and you don't like feeling like that. And I know a lot of guys felt the same way, you know, that weren't playing. It was out of my control. I just try to get better as quickly as possible. Watching the game, I thought Garrett [Gilbert] came in and did a good job. I watched the film on it. And again, he was put in a really tough spot, got two or three days to prepare and he hasn't thrown to these guys ever. I thought he went out there and did a pretty good job for the circumstances."
Jonathan Allen on how he found out about his Pro Bowl selection:
"Coach Rivera called and told me. I was surprised, I was excited, more relieved than anything. Obviously, it was a childhood dream to do that. I was very happy, blessed and honored to be able to say I'm going to the Pro Bowl."
Sam Cosmi on how he feels after being on Injured Reserve:
"It felt great being back out there. I missed it, and I felt pretty good playing out there. I was still doing my preparations every week with treatment and everything. I felt like I was back to where I started when I got hurt again.
Taylor Heinicke on getting Terry McLaurin the ball more and if it hurts him not having Logan Thomas and J.D. McKissic out there:
"Yeah, I'm sure that has something to do with it. Again, you want to get Terry the ball as much as possible, but at the same time you don't wanna force it to him. I've kind of said this throughout the year, that obviously you want to get the ball in your best player's hands, but there's times where the defense kind of gives you a look where he's doubled and you just can't go to him. You have to spread the ball around. We've kind of dealt with this throughout the year. You know, Logan's been out JD has been out and I thought we did a good job of dispersing the ball, seven, eight guys would catch the ball some games, and we just gotta keep that up. We gotta disperse the ball, get those guys the ball. And hopefully Terry's in there. Um, a couple of times, again, the defense isn't stupid, those guys aren't stupid. They know that we're trying to get him the ball as well. We just have to play accordingly."
Ron Rivera on how important it was to have Heinicke back this week and be able to practice:
"Well, I think it's always good to have guys out on the field practicing and getting a chance to work out. If there's little detail things that need to be worked out, you can. It was good to see him, the guys obviously gravitated towards him when he was back in the huddle. So it was good to see."
On Thursday, Dec. 23, the Washington Football Team hosted the Washington Football Toy Giveaway, a surprise holiday toy event for local youth, to cap off its Season of Giving initiative. The day began with Santa Smoot delivering gifts to houses in the DMV area. That was followed by a toy giveaway at FedExField unlike anything the team has done before. During the event, Washington distributed more than 10,000 toys and team gifts, including tablets, board games, painting kits, jerseys and more. (Photos by Paris Malone and Taylor McLaughlin/Washington Football)
Ron Rivera on his comfort level in the secondary:
"Well, we got guys back from the COVID situation, so we feel pretty good about that. We like what we got from Darryl Roberts last week as well, so we feel like we're in a pretty good spot now that we've got Kendall Fuller back as well in our secondary."
Taylor Heinicke on the balance between taking the shots and managing the game:
"Again, there's certain situations where you do want to take a shot or maybe there might be a play that you might, I just wanna give 'em a shot. It differs from week to week. We just put it in our base game plan and third downs today. Y'all see on Sunday, we might have something up there. We might not. The last thing you wanna do is force the ball into double coverage and bad things happen when you do that. Just trying to play smart, sound football. That's what's going through my mind."