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Interview: Washington Football Coach Ron Rivera

Every week All-Pro Reels will bring you day by day coverage of the Washington Football team through the eyes, ears and lenses of our content creators.

Washington Football Team (1-3)

vs. Los Angeles Rams (3-1)

October 11, 2020 - FedExField - 1:00 PM

ASHBURN, VA -- October 9, 2020

On how QB Dwayne Haskins Jr. can grow as a backup:

“Well, I think a big part of it is just watching and studying. Like today—unfortunately you guys didn’t get to see it—but, he was back there behind the quarterback, watching the reps, looking downfield and just being involved and staying connected, which is important. Again, by no means have I given up on him. I just told you guys, the only reason I’m doing what I’m doing is because of the situations and circumstances we’re in right now.”

On what he’s looking for out of the offense against the Rams:

“Again, I just want us to play consistent, go out and move the ball and put some points on the board.”

On TE Marcus Baugh being ruled out Sunday:

“It’s an unfortunate situation. It was a death in the family.” On Rams Head Coach Sean McVay as a play-caller: “His creativity. Again, he grew up in the game. His whole history is about the game. He’s a guy that grew up studying the game and understands the game. He’s got a creative side to him that I think is one of those things that helps to set up what he wants to do. He’s really sharp, he’s intuitive, he studies, he’s really sharp, he gets it.”

On the schedule if it were to be shortened due to COVID-19:

“Well, I think the one thing that you always hope is that—the divisional games are important. That’s probably the biggest thing as we go forward. We’ve got three divisional games coming up. We’ve already played one. We’re 1-0 in the division. A wise old coach used to say: ‘If you want to win the division, you’ve got to win within the division.”

On the team’s urgency:

“To me, it’s the same. What I’ve been trying to tell the guys is we’re playing a series of one game at a time. We’re focusing in on the Rams. Hopefully things will go the way we need them to go.”

On QB Kyle Allen’s work ethic:

“I think a guy like Kyle is who he is and he’s going to possess what he believes he needs to do. He’s a solid, sharp young man.” On WR Isaiah Wright: “Really, again, if you think about how difficult it is not having the normal offseason to begin with, not having a normal preseason and to catch people’s eye—that’s pretty impressive.”

On his expectations for Wright:

“I think the reasonable expectations for a guy like that is to make your practice squad and hang on in a normal set of circumstances. A young man like that is to continue to play and get better and better and continue to develop in the scheme of things of what you do. I think he has a chance from what I’ve seen. I like his headiness. I like how tough a tackle he is. He’s a good route runner. That’s only going to get better, so hopefully he’s going to continue to grow.”

On areas of the offense they can make moves:

“There most certainly are. Everything starts up front from the offensive line to the skill positions. Same thing on the defensive side—everything starts on the defensive line up to the back seven. Yeah, you could most certainly make moves. Again, I understand we’re a young football team. We’re playing a lot of young, inexperienced guys and it’s tough. The marquee position, obviously, is quarterback and everyone’s looking at it.” On WR Antonio Gandy-Golden’s progression: “You’re absolutely right. He would’ve most certainly benefitted from the offseason, the OTAs, the minicamp and a regular training camp. You can see it now; he’s starting to progress. You can see him getting more and more confident. The more and more he knows, the more confident he’s practicing and the more exposure he gets to what we’re doing I think the more comfortable he’ll be when he gets out on the field.” On preparing for the potential of rain on Sunday: “You’d like to be able to have some practices in the rain this week. Unfortunately, we didn’t. We did practice a lot in the bad weather early on, so hopefully we’ll be ready.”

On evaluating Allen with the injuries on offense:

“It’s difficult. It’s almost unfair. But at the same time, that’s what we’ll be graded on. We’ll be graded on, obviously, the weather conditions. We’ll be graded on who’s on the field and we’ll have to see how he does and how he handles it and whether he makes the best of it.”

On players voicing their opinions:

“I think the biggest thing we’re trying to do here is develop the player-coach relationship, develop the trust, and hopefully we as a football team can all come together and develop and grow. That’s the biggest thing. This is a hard, tough time right now because obviously it’s been hard for the last few years. We’re trying to change things and get things going in the right direction. That’s one of the things I think we need to do is develop the trust. Again, as we go forward, you have to have some sort of dialog and be able to have dialog with your players and coaches. I think that’s really important.”

On the offensive line’s adjustment to Allen:

“I think it’s been pretty good. One of the things that Kyle will bring to the table is a little more experience within the offense. There’s a few things that Dwayne was still learning to do that Kyle knows in terms of communicating with the offensive line. That’ll help. Again, it’s something that as we go through this and as we progress, Dwayne will learn. He’ll see how these things are done.”

On managing the roster with COVID-19: “Once these things come in to play as they are now, it will. You’re going to have to manage your roster much better. You’re not going to be able to bring guys in and out as freely in terms of workouts. You’ve got to truly pay attention to those things.”


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