The Washington Football Team finalized its 53-man roster on Tuesday in preparation for the 2021 season. Here are some of the top quotes from the week, presented by GEICO.
General manager Martin Mayhew n the maturity of the group on the roster:
"Well, I'll tell you what, I think coach did an outstanding job last year, making some changes and changing the culture here. We tried to continue that process in our draft this year. I can tell you, I mean, the guys that I've met with today, I mean, to a man, every single one of them worked his butt off to make this team, did everything right. Just had the right kind of football character, the kind of football character that we need to win here. And I've been in situations typically you're going to have two or three guys where you're kind of glad to see those guys go. There was nobody like that. Every single one of those guys, I felt great about. Would love to have them all still be here."
*Head coach Ron Rivera on the positions he feels better with this year than he did last year: *"Well, I feel very good about the speed at wide receiver and the speed in the secondary. It was one thing that we did intentionally. I mean, this is a young football team and unless I miscounted, we have 25 guys with rookie year, second year, third year in the league. I mean, we're building and to be able to add that kind of youth onto the roster and at the same time, add that speed. We feel good about it. We feel comfortable and kudos to Martin and Marty and their team. I mean, guys going out and find the kind of guys that we're looking for, that we felt strongly about adding to our roster. That's a big deal. It really is. And feeling good about the wide receiver feeling good about the secondary I think is big. I really do because we just feel that it was a need, it was something, again, getting a set of fresh eyes that we talked about upgrading."
Ryan Fitzpatrick o*n building relationships with his new teammates:*
"Things were so much different last year. I mean, not seeing anybody ever and not really in the building that much. Basically, just hoping that the season was going to happen. And for me last year it was, we practiced together and that was basically it. That was the only time we ever saw anybody. So, this year, the offseason was nice. We got to at least meet and talk and have those initial discussions. And now just being able to meet in person, being able to have some of that locker room time, that stuff, we're being extra careful. You're being vigilant about what you're doing and the protocols and all that. But, there was a little bit more opportunity for that this year and being on a new team that's helpful for me."
Ryan Fitzpatrick on being on the all-time passing yards list:
"I think part of it just means that I've played for a while. But a lot of that stuff I'll look at when my career's over with. I'm definitely proud of my career. I'm proud of all the different places I've been in and the obstacles I faced and everything that I've overcome. That being said, all that has led me here and has led me to this opportunity. And you know, I've said to you guys a lot, but I see this as a great opportunity for me. One that, maybe I haven't even had an opportunity like this in my career, and I'm looking forward to doing everything I can to take advantage of it."
Martin Mayhew o*n Sammis Reyes making the roster:*
MM: "It's been very exciting watching Sammis, as you know, from start to where we are right now, he's improved dramatically from going back to when he first got here. He has every tool that you want as an athlete. It's just getting him to translate that into playing this game. He did it, he did a lot of really promising things in the games that he played in that gives an indication that he's on the right track. So we do see him as a guy who's a very valuable guy to try to develop for the future."
Ron Rivera o*n how he feels about the team he's built:*
"I think we've put together a good football team. I'm pretty confident. I think some of the things that we did last year, we didn't start from scratch when we got there. There was a good core and we took that core and added some more players to it. I thought we did some good things last year. Then this year, I think we added on and feel really good. And again as I said, probably my biggest concern is just arbitrary level. How mature are we in terms of getting ready for this season and the way we're going to approach the season and how we'll apply?"
Ron Rivera on DeAndre Carter providing veteran experience as a returner:
"That's exactly what happened to DeAndre. He had a very good camp first and foremost. He did some good things as a receiver in practices and in the preseason games. But his return ability is really one of the things that caught our attention. He's a dual returner, he's got that kind of flex. Then with [WR] Dax [Milne] , you have a guy that's got dual return ability as well. If we need a kickoff guy Jaret more than available. And then we have a safety guy that basically catches everything and that's in [WR Adam] Humphreys. We don't really want to use Adam in that position but having four guys that have some return ability individually, that gives you some depth at that position. The receiver position was, as I said earlier was, was one that we went with the idea of trying to improve with speed and we felt really good about what we did with those guys."
Martin Mayhew on what the team has seen out of DE Shaka Toney so far:
"Yeah, we saw a very high energy guy that plays really hard and he's got a lot of juice off the edge. The guy can run. He ran 4.5, for a defensive end, which is really good. We saw some of that juice in the Baltimore game on the play that coach was talking about. When he gets off, and he usually gets off the ball pretty quickly, he really stresses the offensive tackles, so we see that with him. It hasn't been as consistent, but he's a young player and we want to keep working with him and keep trying to develop him."
Ryan Fitzpatrick on the evolution of his mechanics:
"I think the biggest thing initially, was probably tidying up the foot work a little bit. The biggest thing going back to college was a lot of elbow pain and how I could get rid of that and changing a little bit of my mechanics, and the NFL was more footwork and hopping around and being in different spots. Everybody has different things that they're harping on. So really just getting a lot of different opinions on what people thought and then honing that into what was going to work best for me. The throwing stuff, just over time, certain throws, how do I get my body in a position to where I can be more accurate on those throws? So, there's been probably two or three big transitions in my career where that has helped me along the way."
Ryan Fitzpatrick on his belief in OC Scott Turner's play calling and system:
"That relationship is so important with the offense coordinator and the quarterback. And its stuff that we've talked about that in length in here about just me being able to anticipate what he's calling and why he's calling it. And him being able to anticipate what I want called in certain situations. That stuff is going to come with time, but it's an important relationship because I rely heavily on him just like he relies heavily on me to make the right decisions, to get us in the right stuff, to put the ball in the right place. So that's an important relationship and one that just continues to get better and better as we go."