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APR REWIND: Washington Football Team vs. Los Angeles Rams

Updated: Oct 12, 2020

Washington Football Team [30]


Los Angeles Rams [10]

QB: Kyle Allen:

9 for 13, 74 yards | 0 tds | 0 int | 1 rush td

Alex Smith:

9 for 13, 37 yards | 0 tds | 1 int

RB: Antonio Gibson:

11 carries | 27 yds | 5 catches | 24 rec yds

WR: Terry McLaurin:

3 rec yds | 26 yds

DL: Montez Sweat:

8 tackles | 1 sack | 1 forced fumble

DB: Landon Collins:

10 tackles | 1.5 tackle for loss

DB: Kendall Fuller:

4 tackles | 1 interception



HC Ron Rivera

On QB Alex Smith: “I thought he was pretty good. I thought he came out and did some of the things we needed him to do. He came in the second quarter, moved us, got us into field goal position and we kicked a field goal. It’s difficult when you’re behind. It was difficult and it was almost unfair. I thought he stood tall. I thought he did some good things. There are some things we’ll work at and he’ll improve at and we’ll continue to get better.” On the starting quarterback moving forward: “If [QB] Kyle’s [Allen] ready to go, Kyle will be our starter.” On if he considered putting Allen back in the game after injury: “I did, but with an abundance of caution. He took a pretty big shot. He was still sore, but he was cleared to play. I just thought: why risk putting him out there and taking another big shot that might have caused a little bit of damage? Yes, he was cleared. I took it as I was going to use him only if we needed to put him back out there because I didn’t want to risk taking another shot.” On Smith returning to play: “I realized the gravity of it, but at the same time I realized he’s a football player who’s been waiting for his opportunity. He got his opportunity and he did a good job. I was very pleased with what I saw. Again, he was put in a very difficult position. I thought he handled himself very well.” On the protection today: “Well, we were in a tough position. We didn’t play as well as I would’ve liked us to play on defense. That to me is a little more concerning than the protection. Anytime a team can pin their ears back, it’s tough to protect. Let’s be honest about that. That’s probably one of the things that you can look at more so than anything else. We’ll get a chance to look at the tape and how things went on out there. To me, again, you’re down two scores—people pin their ears back and go. This is a defense that handled it their way.” On the problems on defense: “Third downs. We’ve got to be better on third downs. We had some opportunities to get off the field on third downs and we didn’t do it. Part of our problem, too, is we let them get into medium, medium third-and-short too many times. Those are things that we’ve got to work out and get better at.” On big plays against the secondary: “Part of it is—it’s two-fold. A lot of it’s got to do with you’ve got to have the rush work at the same time as well. You’ve got to be able to stay in coverage. You’ve got to play your leverage in terms of the coverage that was called.” On the free safety position: “I think we’re still trying to find out who’s going to be the free safety. We’ve got some young guys who are trying to grow and figure out and grow at the position, guys that haven’t played a lot of football for us. We’re trying to see if they can do it.” On evaluating Allen’s performance before injury:

“I think Kyle did pretty well. He took us down, we scored a touchdown, we moved the ball, he made some good decisions. It’s unfortunate he took the shot that he did. I would’ve loved to see him finish the game. I really would’ve. But, like I said, a little bit of caution as far as I was concerned. I talked with [Head Athletic Trainer Ryan Vermillion] RV as we were coming out of halftime, and I decided I didn’t want him to take another big shot. Like I said, as long as he’s OK and ready to go, he’ll be our starter Wednesday.” On his health this week: “As we get further and further away from my chemo cycle, I started to get my energy back. I had some pretty good energy here today. I worked the sidelines. It was pretty good. I took an IV treatment before we went out onto the field before the game. On the sideline I was drinking a lot of Gatorade, trying to stay hydrated.” On issues with the secondary: “Again, it’s about leverages and understanding how to play the leverages. That’s what we’re working on with these young guys. Part of it is understanding where their help is, they stay in position and, again, go through your reads as a safety and as a linebacker. That’s all part of it.” On Smith taking hits today: “That was good to see to be honest because now you see that he can handle it. That’s one thing we didn’t see through training camp, whether or not he was able to take a hit. He handled it very well. Again, he’s done a great job and it’s a hell of a story.” On second-half offensive struggles: “We didn’t run the ball as effectively as we did in the first half. That’s kind of a tough deal. If you can’t keep them off balance and you get into second-and-long and third-and-long—that’s tough. That’s one of the things that we’ve got to be able to do is run the ball successfully to give ourselves a chance. We’ve got to make sure that we’re doing that because then your play action means a little bit more.” On QB Dwayne Haskins Jr.’s sickness today: “This morning he got up, he wasn’t feeling very well, he notified the trainer, the doctor checked in on him. They just felt that they would send him home.” On second half struggles: “The biggest difference was they got a bigger lead. Again, that’s always tough. When you’re behind, they’re going to get after you and that was probably the biggest that was evident.” On considering putting Allen back in: “I was, but again, he took a pretty good shot. There was concern on my part. Again, if I put him back in and he takes another big shot, now we don’t have him moving forward. Like I said, this is an interesting stretch for us and if he’s ready to go he’ll be our starter on Wednesday.” On DE Chase Young: “It was good to see Chase out there. I thought he did pretty well considering we limited him and tried to be smart with him. There were some good things in the pass rush. There were some disappointments. We got caught going sideways. They run that outside zone, and with that outside zone if they start getting you running sideways instead of running vertical, it’s tough to get your pass rush going because the quarterback gets the ball out on time. That’s one of the things that’s tough against a team like that. You’ve got to be able to set edges, not allow the ball to go outside and that way you don’t run sideways. Unfortunately, we were going sideways instead of going vertical.” On if Smith will continue to be the backup: “Yes.”

On his conversation with Allen after injury: “We just told him, listen: ‘We’re going to stick with Alex. You’ll be the backup. If anything happens, we’ll get you back in.’ He was OK with it. Again, my decision really is just based on the caution.”

QB Alex Smith On being back on the field and when he realized it was time: “Obviously, surreal. I knew it once Kyle [Allen] took that shot there was a chance of it. Obviously, run over and grab my helmet to get ready to roll. So, it was nice in that sense not having to think about it. Just go out there and do it. Then, in that situation kind of there, just trying to get the ball moving and obviously getting into a two-minute tempo was good as well in the same sense. No thinking just going and playing.” On what the first hit felt like: “That was it. For me I have been waiting for a long time. It was hard this year with no pre-season. We wear the jerseys in practice, so you don’t get touched much. The first one felt good. It was nice to know you are fine going out there. It was nice to knock the cobwebs off so to speak.” On the play where DT Aaron Donald jumps on his back: “For me, obviously the second half was tough. You know, frustrating in a lot of ways, especially once you’re down and then once it got real wet. It was hard with the grip and tough sledding and trying to find a way to get it done. They are good up front, certainly their whole D-line. 99 [DE Aaron Donald] is a good player. Trying to go out there and get it done. It was frustrating to say the least. Certainly, that second half. So we will look at it and go from there.” On if he took a moment even in pre-game to appreciate being back in uniform: “Yeah, without a doubt. I mean, certainly even though it isn’t the same. Certainly, even the little things obviously putting on the uniform, pre-game warm ups, running out of the tunnel. All of those things are certainly you take for granted sometimes. Certainly being back I wasn’t going to do that this time. Taking it all in. I was prepped all week and prepared knowing I was only a play away. Obviously, I wish it would have gone better especially that second half.” On if there’s a moment today where he went through everything that has happened the past two years: “No, today happened so fast. You know, just trying to fight and get through it and make a play out there and get something going. So, for me you know, frustrated there. The second half, I’d say that is probably lingering more than any. As far as sentiment as the last couple years, we will see obviously as I step away from it. Now for me, just trying to be better, trying to play better. I was trying to get something going in the second half. It was obviously though sledding. Never fun to go out like that.” On his family giving him a standing ovation where we came in to play: “I did get to see my family. It was nice working out in the sense they let family in for this game. I appreciate them being there. My wife felt better about things being here. Certainly, obviously very cool to have my kids out there. Yeah, fun. In that sense great. But like I said you are out there to play a game and play it well and certainly it was tough for most of the second half getting things going.” On what he thinks is the biggest thing missing to get the offense going: “I mean, today was tough. They are a good defense. The second half was hard. The ball has to come out. The d-line was playing obviously really well. But you are pretty limited once it got real wet as far as pushing the ball down the field anyway. So that was certainly hard. I felt a tough sliding handcuff from that. We will see, look at it and learn from it, get better. I think it is unique situation playing in weather. It is not an excuse. You got to go out there and get it done. Tough once we were behind and one dimensional. In that sense I felt like they were kind of off keeping everything in front of them trying to drive on everything and certainly not letting you hold on to the ball back there.” On if playing football feels different: “No, not different. I mean, I think you’re always adapting. I mean, injuries aside, I think you’re always trying to change and get better certainly as you get older. That’s something that throughout my career, you continue to adapt and kind of fine tune. So, in a lot of ways it is still the same. You are still going back there and playing quick and reacting. That feeling of being back there with the ball in your hands. Certainly why I came back. Like I said it is hard not being able to look at the film yet. So, we will see what it looks like and get better. It will be good for me to look at in the sense I haven’t had tape to look at in a couple years.” On if he has talked to Dwayne [Haskins Jr.] about what he is going through and the best way for him to handle it: “Yeah, I mean, I have talked to Dwayne. I feel for him for sure. You know, as someone that went through a lot of different things as a young quarterback, and being a young quarterback in this league is hard enough. Going out there and just playing, but obviously deal with the ups and downs of it. I have talked to him a lot about the importance of certainly just focusing on himself and his trajectory and reaching his potential. All the things that go on around, all the distractions, not letting him be that. Not letting himself be a distraction. Just focusing on what he has to do to continue to get better. Just like, I am focused on what I need to do to be the best I can be for this team. So as frustrated as I know he is obviously important to try to put that aside and continue down his path.” On if he thought playing again was possible: “I mean, certainly it was there and I continued to reach for it and put it out there and strive for it but I’d be lying if I said there weren’t a lot of days when I didn’t think it was going to happen. You just keep pushing through. I always felt like when I had my darkest moments there was always something around the corner that happened that I just kept plugging along, then all of a sudden I made a big gain or a big step or something clicked and I just kept marching. I felt like it would repeat itself, then all of a sudden, I’d make another jump and for me, obviously the biggest ones have been in the last six to eight weeks. Getting out on the field and really doing all that I can and doing it consistently. It was nice this week to get bumped up, as far as reps go and getting more work in in a simulated sense, then obviously going out there today, getting those reps.” On seeing Kyle Allen go down: “I felt like I had a good look at it right there on the sideline. Obviously, following the play, on that third and one, and him on the run. I knew it was a big hit just from the sound of it and obviously the side of it, kind of trying to see his reaction, getting up and I knew immediately that, obviously, game ready to roll, ran over to get my helmet and ready to go. That’s the name of this league and you have to try and be ready for your opportunities and that one came quick. But I knew immediately there was a chance.” On his desire to start next week: “First off, I thought when Kyle [Allen] was out there, he played great. I thought he played decisive, quick, and obviously leading us down there on that touchdown drive. I was bummed for him, I was excited for his opportunity. He’s a good kid, works really hard and obviously this is out of our control, so whatever coach decides he goes with. That’s his job. For me, it’s doing what I need to do. These are reps that obviously I’ll learn from and get better at. Whatever this team needs me to do, I’ll do. If Kyle is healthy and gets the role, then I’ll support him every way I can and be ready to go again and better next time. Today was tough and not how I saw things going that second half, like I said. Obviously, it was tough, but whatever coach wants, I’ll be ready to go.” On his evening with his family postgame: “Oh God, the list of people that have helped me, if you’re asking that, as far as getting back. The list of people is so long, the amount of people that I’ve relied on over the last two years, but certainly there are obviously some really important ones. So thankful for them and that’s something I try to let them know as often as possible, not just today, how thankful I am for all of them and what they've done for me and continue to do for me and my family. So we’ll see, I still have a pretty bitter taste in my mouth now from that. I feel like you never want to go out and play like that. It was tough and frustrating. Maybe down the line there will be a more positive spin on it, but right now I have a pretty bitter taste in my mouth.” On how today compared to what he was envisioning when he came back: “Not necessarily envisioning coming off the bench and rolling and certainly not envisioning the downpour. Like the quarterback’s worst nightmare, but whatever. It was great. It was great to be out there. I’ve worked the feeling, the range of motions, the good and the bad, is why I’ve fought so hard to come back. I think sometimes you can take it for granted and certainly being away from it for a couple of years, I’ve missed it. So to be back in it, rolling and like I said, we’ll look at the film and get better and keep moving forward.” CB Kendall Fuller On the defense: “We’ve just got to be locked in. When you start playing zone coverage, everybody’s got to be on the same page. If one person sees it this way and plays it that way and the next person doesn’t see it that way, you’re going to give up plays. Just coming together, watching film together, and seeing it the way others see it to just limit explosive plays.” On the communication in the secondary: “I think our communication has been good so far. We just have to execute every play, every quarter. We go through good stretches, and then have some stretches that are not so good. The main thing with communication is just to execute.” On the touchdown pass to Rams WR Robert Woods: “Like I said, just me and [S] Landon [Collins] being in zone and just kind of seeing it two different ways. Every time a corner and a safety see it a different way, you’re going to give up explosive plays. We’ve got to go into the film room, learn from it and make sure that throughout the course of the game we see everything the same way to limit explosive plays.” On what has gone well for him so far in this season: “Just playing football, just going out there, laying it out on the field every play, just watching film, studying and things like that and making plays to help us win football games.” On QB Alex Smith: “It was good. Even before the game, just seeing him out there adjusting the uniform, it was definitely special for all of us to see. We’re definitely excited for him and happy for him. We’re going to continue working hard.” On if this team can make a run: “It definitely feels like it. Even after the loss, it still feels like it because we know there are a couple series here or there that we give up that we know that if we just put it all together and play consistently, we can go out there and make a run. We’ve got three divisional games coming up. The key to getting into the playoffs is winning the division, so we’ve got to lock in these next three weeks.” RB J.D. McKissic On the offense’s performance today: “I was very frustrated. We just have to come out and be better. We are going into the division now and we look forward to bouncing back.” On QB Alex Smith: “I have always said this, I have appreciated Alex from day one. The injury he went through and the work he had to put in wasn't easy at all, but I'm not surprised. That's the guy that is going to put the work in. For him to come back in the game, in a rainy game was amazing. And for me to be the guy to catch his first pass, I'm very excited and very appreciative for that guy.” On the first sack of QB Alex Smith: “It's football. He's ready for that, he's been running around. He hasn’t taken a hit to the leg, but it's nothing to worry about. He's out there, he's a grown man. He's ready to play football. We know what comes with the game, it’s not an issue, nothing to worry about.” On the offensive struggles: “You have to give credit to those guys [Rams], they were prepared. They just played better football today, that’s basically it. I feel confident in us going forward. I'm so excited and ready to get back to it right now. Our guys came out healthy and Wednesday we'll be right back with.” On opposing teams getting ahead: “They got the lead, and it was raining pretty good. We couldn't pass how we wanted to. It was a lot of things that played a role. A rainy game, trying to throw the ball the way we wanted to with wet balls was difficult.” On the Rams pass rush: “Pretty disruptive. When you don’t send a lot of blitzes and still get a lot of pressure. You have to give that credit to Aaron Donald.” On QB Kyle Allen: “Kyle and Alex are both dogs. I have nothing but positivize things to say about those guys. He came in, put a drive together, and scored a touchdown. The future is bright.” On if the offense was different with QB Kyle Allen in the game: “I will let you decide that.” b “Just staying on pace and staying on schedule. Not hurting ourselves. Doing things like that you give yourself a chance and that's something to be excited about.” DE Montez Sweat On the defense: “We’ve got to get it together.” On the Rams offense today: “They game planned well. They closed well. They played well. We’ve got to be better.” On QB Alex Smith: “It was definitely fun for the whole team. It was definitely a good thing to see.” On QB Dwayne Haskins Jr.: “He keeps himself connected. We back him up as a teammate, as a brother. We’ve just got to stick together, especially in times like this.” On continuing to put forth energy: “It means everything. We want to defend every blade of grass like [defensive coordinator] Jack [Del Rio] said. We don’t want to give them anything. As long as I’m out there and me and my brothers are out there, we’re going to give it all we got and go after it for four quarters.” On if the defense’s performances so far: “Very disappointing. As a group, we’ve just got to stay together and fix the things that are not working. We’ve got to do more and find a way to be a savior.” RAMS HC SEAN McVAY On the game today: “Unbelievable job by our defense today for [DT Aaron Donald] AD and [LB] Troy Reeder to both have three sacks a piece and then just the consistency that they played with and, you know, you could see it but you can’t always feel the weather and how much it affected it. But, our defense I thought capitalized on that all day. There really wasn't much that you could