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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.

ASHBURN, VA -- October 23, 2020

On if Monday is his last treatment:

“It is. Yes, it is.”

On his long-term prognosis:

“It’s been good so far. I met with both doctors this week on Tuesday and Thursday. They both are very positive about the progress I’ve made. So, so far so good. I’ve got follow ups, check ups and scans still left to do. What I’ve been told is it’s headed in the right direction.”

On if they planned to use CB Kendall Fuller at outside corner in the offseason:

“It was a little up in the air. We know his ability to play not only on the outside corner, but the nickel and the safety spot. We kind of figured we’d take a look at what we had, see what we had, see how it all kind of meshes and then go from there. Having him at the outside corner gives us a very savvy guy. When you do put him at the nickel position, you do have a guy that has potential to play inside and to be quick with those guys. Then you put him at the safety, and you’ve got a guy who’s basically a ballhawk-type player.”

On if he talked to former Virginia Tech coach Torrian Gray before signing Fuller:

“No, mostly because everybody knew him here already from the time that he had spent here. So, I really went on that. Plus, the fact that he played for [Chiefs Head Coach] Andy [Reid], I knew that Kendall had been coached properly and Kendall was the right type of guy. Andy Reid, to me really in my opinion, when he has players that you’re poaching, you’re getting good guys.”

On what surprised him about his treatment:

“There are certain things that pop up all of a sudden, side effects that you have—the fatigue, how tired you get, at times you get nauseous, honestly at times sometimes your equilibrium is messed with, almost a sense of vertigo. Then the nausea. It hits you at any time, anywhere. That really was, but the fatigue and going out to practice and stuff, it limited me and that really bothers me because I can’t really coach the way I coach. That’s hard. But being out there and not being able to just get into it the way I normally would, that was hard for me.”

On looking forward to coaching without treatment:

“I’m looking forward to that. It’s probably going to take three or four weeks after I get my last treatment because of the recovery period, but I really am looking forward to it. The hard part is I get my treatment, I come back, do a couple things, then I have to take a break before practice. When I’m done with you guys and done with my media, I’ll take another break. It’s hard trying to map everything out. Traditionally, you’re here until 8:30, 9:30, 11 o’clock at night—I hit 5 o’clock and I’ve got to go home. The fatigue, really, like I told my wife is having a 300-pound gorilla on my back.”

On G Joshua Garnett’s retirement:

“Well, he really came to us and said that he wanted to retire, which, again I have total respect for because this is a very physical game, a very tough game. Retiring because of the game is a personal reason. I just respect the fact that he came to us, talked to us about it and he’s ready to move on. He’s a heck of a young man, he really is. I enjoyed having him here as one of our players. But that’s his personal decision, and I respect it.”

On T Geron Christian Sr.: “Just like we said, he’s questionable. We’ll see how he is tomorrow. Hopefully, it’s a lot better. He did better today. [Head Athletic Trainer] Ryan Vermillion will hold him out another day. So, that’s what we did. We’ll see how he moves around tomorrow and then we’ll go from there.”

On T Morgan Moses switching from right to left tackle on a fourth down against the Giants:

“That was a strategic move. We went unbalanced. Because we went unbalanced, we created what we thought was a more solid side. It’s just part of the game planning that we do.”

On looking at the schedule in quarters:

“You do, to me, you look at each quarter and say: ‘Wow, I’d love to come out of this with a certain record. I’d love to come out of this with a certain record.’ Then, to me, you get to the third quarter and that’s when really things are interesting if those hopes come to fruition. We’ll see. We still have three games left in this quarter. Actually, we’ve got two games left in this quarter. I’m excited about what, hopefully, we can do in these next few games.”

On WR Terry McLaurin as a mentor to younger players:

“His leadership skills are tremendous. He’s a very quiet leader. He does lead by example. He’s a young pro. A lot of young guys come in and they don’t know how to act, they don’t know how to prepare, they don’t know how to take care of themselves. Terry’s one of those guys that prepares the right way every day. He’s one of those guys that understands how to take care of himself, how to prevent injuries, how to take care of injuries. He’s a young pro. We have some young guys that could learn from just watching him. I think [WR] Isaiah Wright could learn from him. [WR Antonio Gandy-Golden] AGG could learn from him. Heck, we’re playing a young man named [WR] Tony Brown—he could learn from him. [WR] Jeff Badet, those guys could learn from him. Those guys could take from what he does in terms of his actions.”

On where McLaurin’s leadership mentality came from:

“I think he’s always had it. From what I learned from him being at Ohio State, he was a team captain as a junior, which usually doesn’t happen. But because of the way he handled himself there, he developed those leadership skills. So, you see it when he comes here. He’s with us, and you start watching him and you think: ‘Gosh, this is a heck of a young man.’”

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