With the team's practice prep for the San Fransisco 49ers complete, here's a list of the best quotes of the week, as compiled by WashingtonFootball.com, presented by GEICO:
10. Offensive Coordinator Scott Turner on G Brandon Scherff:
"Brandon's toughness, his consistency and then just the resiliency that he shows dealing with that injury early in the year, being able to come back. He got hurt a little bit in this past game and then was able to come back. He's just been a steady rock. Him and Morgan playing on that right side together -- obviously, Morgan moved over to left tackle for the Dallas game. Those guys working together, playing together, and then obviously Chase Roullier at center. Those are the leaders up front for us. They've done a great job, Brandon in particular. He brings it every day. He's the same guy, the toughness, the blue-collar mentality. It helps, energizes and drives our team."
9. Quarterback Alex Smith on if he feels confidence developing with the team:
"I definitely think you can feel the progression and the confidence. You want that. You want that confidence. You want them to know that you can play well, but you also obviously want them to have that understanding that it takes a lot of effort. You fight and scratch for every little play. How many every little play adds up to those wins, especially these last three weeks? It's easy to look back at those as wins. You forget how many little things happened on several plays that made the difference. ...I think for us, it's important to kind of keep that mindset and keep staying hungry. We certainly haven't accomplished anything at all yet. If we want to, we have to keep that same mindset and that same type of urgency living week-to-week and doing everything we can to go out there and find a way to win.
8. Head coach Ron Rivera on getting players to buy into an underdog mentality:
"Because they want to win and they're used to winning, so to feel like -- in my opinion -- to get them to buy into being an underdog is that they're disrespected. That's one of the things that I think resonates with these guys. These guys are used to being respected. These guys want to be respected. They don't want to be a second thought. One of the things that I think really resonates with these guys about the underdog attitude is not knowing you have a chance, not knowing you're supposed to win. That was what we kind of did... We were just trying to reinforce to these guys that we are, in that situation, the underdog. One of the lines that I used with the guys was I told them: 'Even as the underdog, I prepare a victory speech.' So, what I did was I wrote on one of the flashcards that I use and take out with me in case something happens, I write it down. I jotted down: 'Underdogs win.' When we won the game and I went into the locker room and I pulled out the flip card, I said: 'Let me read my flip card to you guys: Underdogs win.' I told the guys: 'Just understand this as we talk about it, we control our own destiny. We have to pay attention and focus in on us. Not what's happening outside of us, but what happens with us.'"
7. Turner on how the offense will change if running back Antonio Gibson cannot play:
"It won't change much. Peyton Barber's been a big part of this team. Obviously, you've seen the role that he's played in. He can do more than that. We'll need him more. We'll need J.D. McKissic. J.D. has given us a lot, but we'll need him to give us some more. We'll work a combination of those guys. We'll have another guy ready at the end of the week. We'll see as the week goes on who's that going to be just in case, or maybe we'll have something for them. We just need guys to step up. It's no different from any other position when you have injuries. We have good backs. I laugh when I talk about J.D., but Peyton's a guy that I believe in. He knows that. The players and the other coaches in this locker room, they believe in him. He's stepped up and he did some good things for us against a very good defense on Monday night. I expect more of the same going forward."
6. Smith on the difference between a team playing with belief and talent:
"I think character is really important to win in this league. Without character -- and I think a lot of that sometimes has to be developed and earned and you do have to go through trials together, that is part of the journey. I do think we're learning a little bit of that right now. I think we've learned a lot from earlier on in the season. I think taking that with us and helping us grow. You have to play in this league with attitude. You can't play going through the motions. I don't think there is any team that's good enough to do that and win consistently. I think you have to bring an edge and play with an edge every single week, or usually the results aren't very pretty. That's the difference in this league. Everybody's good, so talent isn't enough. You do have to bring something else in your preparation and on game day."
5. Defensive tackle Jonathan Allen on being the Washington Football Team's Walter Peyton Man of The Year Nominee:
"I am incredibly honored to receive this nomination and am empowered by this opportunity to expand even further how my wife and I give back to the community I love. ...As someone who has been through the foster system myself, I am very passionate about making an impact on their lives and being a resource for them moving forward. I hope to continue to be a positive example that these kids can follow and see that it's not impossible to come out of any situation and be successful."
4. Smith on focusing on preparation for the 49ers after a big win:
"I think you turn on the tape and very quickly realize how good this football team is that we're playing this week. This is a football team that was in the Super Bowl last year, a couple plays away from being Super Bowl champs. Obviously, they had several injuries, but they're playing really good football right now. It's easy once you turn on the tape. If anyone thinks -- several people have addressed this --- but if anyone thinks you're going to go through the motions with a team like this, you're in for a rude awakening. ...It's another big challenge going short week across the country. It's a big challenge for us, and we've certainly got to be on our game and on the details."
3. Rivera on a team playing with belief:
"I think the thing about the belief is that you have something that you're working toward. We have a group of guys that have a lot of talent, and they believe in what they're doing, and they have an objective. Their intent is to go out and win and to go out and play to win. Their hope and belief is that they want to win and they can win. I think wanting to makes them even better as opposed to have to. That's kind of the thing our guys are getting into. They want to go out and they want to play well. They like the feeling after the game of winning. They like the feeling of what it's like to be on a three-game winning streak, to be competing for first place in the division that gives them an opportunity to have a chance to get into the playoffs. That's what's important. That's what I think, to me, is the big thing. That's why we're getting the attitude we're getting. That's why we're getting the effort we're getting. These guys have that in front of them."
2. Smith on how it feels to be in a playoff chase:
"It's amazing obviously to just be playing meaningful games in December. With that said, like I said we haven't accomplished anything at all yet. We have to keep that same mindset that we've had these last few weeks. It is fun to be playing meaningful football this time of year. It just gets bigger every week. That's really what you want.
1. Rivera on preventing a lull after a three-game winning streak:
"Well, that's one of the things I was concerned with [Thursday] morning, when we first started practice. I know you guys saw me huddling them up really quick beforehand. It's a little something I learned with talking to John Madden. After big wins, you can't pick up where you left off. You just can't because if you do, you're going to miss the little details. I told the guys we have to pay attention to the little things, we have to pay attention to the details, start from the bottom and prepare ourselves for this week's game. I told them: 'Hey, congratulations on last week, but let's focus in on this week. We've got to get past it.' That was honestly one of my concerns that we might have a little bit of a hangover. We're trying to get these guys past that and get them to understand that what we did, how we played Monday night, doesn't guarantee we're going to do it again this week. We've got to do it how we did the previous week. We've got to practice, prepare and get ourselves ready to go out and play."