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Top 10 Quotes | Rivera's return to Carolina

Head coach Ron Rivera speaks to his team during the Washington Football Team's practice on Nov. 18, 2021. (Emilee Fails/Washington Football Team)
Head coach Ron Rivera speaks to his team during the Washington Football Team's practice on Nov. 18, 2021. (Emilee Fails/Washington Football Team)

The Washington Football Team is heading to Carolina to face head coach Ron Rivera's former team. Here are some of the top quotes from the week, presented by GEICO.

Ron Rivera on summarizing his time in the Charlotte community:  
"Well, I mean, what it meant to us really was for a coach to be in one place for a long time for that many years, for nine seasons, I mean, that basically speaks to having roots. Coaches are typically on the move 3, 4, 5, 6 years down the line. So to be in one spot for a while, that that was pretty cool, meant a lot. We developed some very good friends and relationships, people we still stay in touch with today. The community involvement that we had, that was a big deal for us. It's kind of a neat thing because you really get to see another side of the city. That's really the thing that I really appreciate is just how good a city it is. The people in the city were terrific. So it was a really a neat thing for us."

Scott Turner on what this game means to Ron Rivera:
"Yeah, just being there with them for four years and, you know, it was split up as well. Coach really put a lot into that team and then also into the community. He enjoyed living there. Him and Stephanie, they really had a lot of ties there and they still got a lot of friends that are there. Coach has done a really good job this week of just expressing the importance of this game for our team. You know what I mean? And not really for him. He hasn't made it about himself. Obviously, it's the elephant in the room. This is an important game to coach. He was there for a long time and I think that it's a game you're excited to go go play and go play for him."

Jack Del Rio on Panthers Cam Newton:  
"Well, clearly they have their system. There's no way he can learn all of their system in two weeks. So there's going to be the part that they pick and choose and decide to use. We anticipate seeing both quarterbacks. We've prepared that way, knowing that some of the things that Cam's good at, I'm sure they'll utilize. They showed a little bit last week. Some of the Q runs, some of the Q power, some of that stuff that he does. He's unique. He's a unique guy, super talented, a guy with the history. The big backdrop going into this game with Cam starting and Coach Rivera going back and all those kinds of things, but we're just trying to work as hard as we can to get ready to play."

Taylor Heinicke on what he remembers about being teammates with Newton:
"Yeah, it'll be fun. Me and him had a great relationship. He was a lot of fun to be around. That place is going to be rocking on Sunday. Like I said before, he's like the God of Charlotte. Everyone loves him up there. So, it will be his first home game there. It's going to be loud and it'll be an exciting game. He's very animated and likes to have fun out there. So yeah, it'll be cool."

Terry McLaurin on the amount of former Panthers players on Washington's roster:
"I've been teasing some of the guys. I said, 'It's the reunion week.'" You see guys come from place to place. But one thing I noticed about the guy that came here from Carolina that are here now is that they're just guys that put their heads down and they grind. It meshed some fo the guys that we already had here that were left over from the staff previously. Those guys, they come over here and they grind and they want to put their best foot forward to help us as a team win."

*Taylor Heinicke on his connection with DeAndre Carter: *"I just think he's a really good ballplayer. He knows what to do. He's a professional. I had a lot of reps with him during OTAs and training camp as well. So, we've had a good connection throughout the summer and the offseason. He just continues to get better and he knows what he's doing out there. He's a good ballplayer."

The Washington Football Team wraps up its second day of preparations ahead of its Week 11 road game against the Carolina Panthers (Photos by Emilee Fails and Karlee Sell/Washington Football Team)

Ron Rivera on the emotions of going back to Carolina on the visitor sideline:  
"Well, I know as far as playing against them, it won't be the same effect. But it'll be back in Charlotte, that'll be probably the bigger thing more so than anything else for me. Just because, again, as I said, the thing that I really appreciated about my time there were the people. That's probably the bigger thing. Now, what I'm doing is I'm limiting my exposure to that. Stephanie will do all the visiting and saying hello to folks. Me, I'm pretty much going to try and stick to the mantra that this is a business trip."

Scott Turner on Charles Leno:
"Yeah, it's been great to have a guy that lines up at left tackle and does his job and does above that. I mean, again, he's been really doing a nice job of moving guys into the run game. He stays in front of his guy blocks and in the past pro again, it's another veteran. So just that leadership for when we have a guy like Brandon out, you know, a guy like Charles can step up. I think the line, and they've dealt with a little adversity with some moving pieces here, but, you know, they've done a nice job all year both in the past and the run game."

After upsetting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 10, the Washington Football Team is back to work as it prepares for a road matchup against the Carolina Panthers (Photos by Emilee Fails and Karlee Sell/Washington Football Team)

Jack Del Rio on Christian McCaffrey:
"Yeah, supremely talented guy. I watched him back in high school at Valor Christian when my son, Luke, was the quarterback on that team and they won a state title. It was no surprise that he would go on and be special in college. And he was. No surprise to me that he would go on and be special in the NFL because he's a special talent. He can run it, he can catch it, he can throw it actually. He can do it all. He adds a dynamic to their offense that I'm sure they miss when they don't have him available. He looks like he's back and healthy and ready to roll."

Ron Rivera on what he saw in James Smith-Williams before he was drafted:
"Well, character is big for us obviously, and just knowing who he is as a young man is important. But when you watch him as a football player, you see the talent and the ability, you just know this guy was worthy of being drafted. And now he's got an opportunity to show us that he can, he can step into the next level. That'll be fun to watch, him and [DE] Casey [Toohill] are our two young men drafted pretty much in the same year are guys that we kept for a reason because we think that there's some ability there that they can help us get to where we want to be. And again, as I was saying, if you can build through young guys like that, that's what you want to be able to do."

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