Washington HC Ron Rivera conference call (9.23.20)

Washington Head Coach Ron Rivera

On Washington’s DL and the unit’s success as the team leads the league with 11 sacks:

“I think we have an athletic group that is physical and athletic. They play fast. They get off the ball well. I also think our secondary doesn’t get a lot of credit. I think they play pretty well. We have been fortunate. Our guys have been able to get to the quarterback.”

On the Browns running game with RBs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt:

“It is a good group. First of all, I like their offensive line. I think they are a very well-coached group. That tandem of Hunt and Chubb is dynamic. It reminds me of a group of guys and a couple of guys I had in Carolina in (former NFL RBs) DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. They are versatile backs. They run inside and they run outside. I don’t know if one runs better inside or outside than the other. I do think that they do give them a good one-two punch. You have to be able to handle their running game because if not, they have complementary play action. I think (QB) Baker (Mayfield) does a nice job of selling the fakes, and it can be a problem.”

On Washington DE Chase Young’s development, particularly given the unique offseason program and training camp:

“I think he has done a great job, first of all. He came in well prepared. He comes from a very good program to begin with. I know you folks in Ohio appreciate that. He does come from a very good program that has done a great job with defensive linemen. He is just another one in a long line. He came very well prepared and very well coached up. What we have tried to do is just really kind of refine his game to the NFL game. He has adapted very nicely. He is one of those guys that came in with the right attitude and the right mental approach. He was physically prepared and conditioned. He did a great job in his offseason training, and he spent time during the Zoom meetings to learn. When he came in, one of the things you always worry about is guys learning and picking things up, and he did not have to worry about that. He did a nice job.”

On Washington’s DL preparing for a matchup against the Browns OL:

“They can look forward to a big, physical matchup. Like I said, it is a well-coached offensive line. It is a good group of young men who are physical up front. I had a chance to watch the Thursday night game and then watch them on tape and just really see the things that they are. They are physical so our guys have to be ready for it.”

On if Mayfield is gaining more confidence as Mayfield continues to develop in Head Coach Kevin Stefanski’s offensive system:

“Oh yeah, without a doubt. All you have to do is look at the success that they had when Kevin was in Minnesota. That is all you have to look at. As this team gets more and more comfortable and confident in this offense, there is an opportunity for this team to develop very nicely. I think they are headed in the right direction. They are going to have their ups and downs, just like the start of the season. They did not play to their abilities against Baltimore, but then you turn around and you watch them against Cincinnati, and you go, ‘Wow, these guys, it is there.’ It is coming. It is just a matter of time. There are some things that are going to pose a lot of problems because of the talented football players that are on this team.”

On what stands out about the Browns defense:

“How physical they are in the front seven. I think that is probably the biggest thing that jumps out is that they are a physical bunch up front.”

On the connection between Washington QB Dwayne Haskins and WR Terry McLaurin and McLaurin’s strong performance to start the season:

“Terry is a heck of a football player. The thing about him and the thing that I appreciate is how hard he works, and because he works hard all the time, you see it when he plays. He plays hard. He plays fast. That is what you want from a wide receiver. He has done a great job. The connection between him and Dwayne just keeps getting stronger and stronger, as it has been with some of the other receivers on our offense. I thought he and (Washington WR) Steven Sims (Jr.) last week had a couple of really good connections. You start to see this development because everybody forgets, Dwayne really did not play a lot of football last year. Now, he is just getting his opportunity right now to get his feet wet as our starting quarterback. I am excited for him.”

On the Washington defense preparing for DE Myles Garrett:

“I tell them that you have to do your job against him. You have to know where he is aligned. You have to know how he is aligned. You have to know what he does and what he does best. He is a good football player. There are reasons why guys like him make an impact. They play hard, and they are physical.”

On Washington Team President Jason Wright’s impact on the organization:

“He has had a great impact. Jason is a very bright, very even-keeled man. He came in, and he had a plan. He and I have started a working relationship where I handle the football side and he handles the business of football. I think it is a good synergy. I think this is a guy who is going to really help us and take a step forward as we try to correct a lot of things that we have had issues with over the past.”

On if Washington had Young watch film of Garrett during his preparation for the season:

“No. A lot of the stuff that we are using is stuff that we used when we were in Carolina so we had him watch a lot of that type of tape. We had cutups already made of specific stuff that we needed him to learn and grow in.”

On preparing for the Browns defense in their new scheme, including with the potential return of LB Mack Wilson and CBs Greedy Williams and Kevin Johnson without any game film available:

“You do not [have game film on them] so what you prepare for is what they have shown. That is all we can do. We know who the players are. We know they are good football players. At the end of the day, we are going to play against who lines up, and we are going to gameplan against what they do. We will gameplan against the fronts they use and the coverages that they have. We will gameplan against their pressures that they bring. We will gameplan for situational football. Like you said, the other guys, we will just have to react to who is playing.”

On evaluating Mayfield in his third season and first in Stefanski’s offense:

“I am not going to evaluate an opponent. I will tell you, he is a good football player. I like who he is. I like his personality and as far as a leader. He showed something last week in terms of getting a good feel for what Coach Stefanski wants him to do.”

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