While a lot of the attention has been on the Commanders offense in the last 72 hours, as quarterback Taylor Heinicke was named the starter for Week 7, head coach Ron Rivera did not want to miss an opportunity to compliment the progress Washington's defensive line has made.
The difference between last season or even the first couple weeks of 2022, Rivera believes, has a lot to do with the understanding of discipline.
"Really you see that [discipline] a lot more with their run gaps," Rivera said. "When we're disciplined, and it all starts with the get off, getting into your crease. Now as you move, you're no longer head up on a guy as much as you're already into the crease and getting vertical."
Rivera called out Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and Montez Sweat for their success in making that shift of getting into the crease to win their battles. Sweat, who has recorded three sacks in the last two games, has become a force among defensive ends in the league.
"I saw a stat that said Montez is one of the top ends against the runs as well," Rivera said. "And again, it's getting vertical. It's getting into the back field and then basically playing the run on your way to the quarterback."
With the way these defensive players are trending, Rivera sees potential in this unit rising to where it was in 2020.
"I think they have a chance to," Rivera said. "I think they've done some really good things, and again we just gotta continue to work on being disciplined, continue to keep getting better as a group."
Here's a morning roundup of what the local and national media have to say about the Washington Commanders on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022. All reports, rumors and conjecture are a reflection of the media conversation and are not endorsed or confirmed by the Washington Commanders.
The reports and deals expressed in this article have not been confirmed by Washington, nor do they reflect any insider information from anyone in the front office.
- The Richmond-Times Dispatch's Michael Phillips writes about how Washington's defense is prepping for the Packers.
- ESPN's John Keim highlights Taylor Heinicke's confidence after gaining more experience.
- NBC Sports Washington's Peter Hailey takes a look at the Commanders punt team's new mantra.
- The Washington Times' Matthew Paras reports on how Taylor Heinick is ready to step up.
- The Washington Post's Sam Fortier explains why Taylor Heinicke was named the starting quarterback.
- NBC Sports Washington's Peter Hailey looks back at Washington's previous matchup with the Packers.
- ESPN's John Keim reports on Carson Wentz's finger surgery.
- The Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala also reports on Wentz's finger surgery.
- The Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala writes about the Commanders' rushing success.
- The Athletic's Ben Standig writes about Rivera's passionate press conference following the Commanders' TNF win.
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