"There were a couple things in last week's game that you get excited about as far as Dyami's concerned," Rivera said after Wednesday's practice.
Brown, a third-round pick in April, has had a turbulent NFL debut. Droughts in production have been sandwiched between brief sparks at various points in the season. Performances like the 53 yards he had against the Dallas Cowboys show the potential is there, though, and that's what Rivera and his staff want to see more of as the season draws to a close.
"It was good to see Dyami make a play," said offensive coordinator Scott Turner. "He's been playing, he's been rotating in, maybe he'll get some more snaps."
Brown has 11 catches for 140 yards this season, and while his 12.7 yards per reception is third among wideouts, it's certainly not what Brown wanted for himself in his rookie year. He was drafted to be a vertical threat who could come down with contest catches, but with him missing two games and going without a catch from Weeks 7-12, it's been difficult for him to gain traction.
"The season has definitely been a process for me," Brown said. "It didn't start how I wanted, but it's just a process. Everybody's season starts off different…but it's just a process, and you have to capitalize on every opportunity that you get."
Rivera sees the talent that Brown has. He knows that Brown, who had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons to close out his career at North Carolina, had one of highest completion rates on contested passes. He also understands that Brown is still a young player, so there are going to be mistakes and room to grow during his development.
Understanding how and why he needs to run his routes as a second or third option was one area Rivera tagged as a spot for growth. He wants Brown to understand the finite details of releases and when to press defensive backs and how that affects the rest of the play.
Brown said he's been getting the help he's needed, and he's trying to use it to his advantage.
"A few coaches and trainers that I'm with all the time, they always break down the game to me," Brown said. "And even a couple of the players here like Terry McLaurin and Cam Sims and pretty much the whole receiving corps."
The Washington Football concludes its week of practice leading up to a Week 17 matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles. (Photos by Emilee Fails and Karlee Sell/Washington Football Team)
With two games left, Brown wants to be more decisive when running his routes. He's noticed in film sessions with receivers coach Drew Terrell that he's been hesitant at times. He knows he has to be better with his initial move and avoid making life more difficult for quarterbacks."
"I have to be decisive so he can understand where I'm going and how he needs to throw the ball," Brown said. "All those things tie in."
When Brown's flashes of talent have offered glimpses at the player he can be. Against the New York Giants, he had a 22-yard catch that helped Washington tie the game on a 90-yard scoring drive. He also had a 13-yard gain on a third-and-7 against the Kansas City Chiefs that kept Washington on the field.
And last week, with the score 21-0 against the Cowboys, he flipped the field with a 48-yard grab in double coverage.
"That was just one of the opportunities that I had gotten just to be able to have the team trust me and have the confidence in myself to even make the play," Brown said.
There's a good chance Brown will get more looks, and Washington will need more plays like the one he made against Dallas going forward. Washington still has a mathematical chance of making the playoffs, but none of that matters unless it can win out.
It would be a great time for Brown to have a couple of breakout games.
"He's one of the types of guys that you hope to see more of," Rivera said.