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Interview: Washington Football DC Jack Del Rio

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 15, 2020

On improving leverages in the secondary:

“Well, I think first of all it’s actually been pretty strong for most of the year. We’re not perfect. We have work to do, clearly. I think [Head] Coach [Ron Rivera] is just trying to answer questions you guys are asking. So, yeah, sometimes we have leverage issues. But we’ve also had some great moments of having terrific leverage. It’s not like I’m talking from a vantage point of where it’s not getting done at a high level because it is.”

On inconsistency in leverages:

“I think what we’re talking about here is we have high expectations. We’re 12th, I believe, I looked at it and we’re 12th in third down, getting off the field. We want to be better. We want to be top five. We need more stops to get that done. We need more stops to help us win games. That’s what we’re pushing for. To talk about specific plays or specific issues—we’re obviously coaching it and correcting it and moving on. We’re about building for the next, and right now we’re preparing for the Giants. Obviously, we have a lot of respect for this football team. We’re gearing up to go in and battle away.”

On improvement he’d like to see from the linebackers:

“Just more production. We’d like to see more production. I think [LB] Jon Bostic has done a nice job being a leader and being strong and really playing just about every snap. I think he’s played just about every snap to start the year. He’s done a good job with that. [LB] Cole [Holcomb] is getting healthy. Hopefully, we’ll get Cole involved. I think Cole’s got a chance to be a good player for us. He got banged up in Week 1 and we haven’t seen him since. Hopefully we get him back. We’re just looking for production from our linebackers and understanding where they are in the scheme of our defense. We’re looking for guys to make plays.”

On grading the linebackers as a former linebacker:

“I suppose that’s true, having played the position. Bottom line is, like I said, we’ve had really good moments. We just need more consistency. That’s what we’re looking to do. We’re developing, we’re giving guys opportunities to play. As I mentioned, I hope Cole will get more involved. We’d like to get him involved and give him a crack at it.”

On conversations about changes at linebacker:

“Well, conversations about trying to find the right combination and the most productive combination are constant. This business is about production. We’re learning our team; our team is learning us. We are attempting to give looks, to give opportunities. That’s how we’ve kind of progressed throughout the season. We’ll continue to do that. We’re looking for the right combination, and we’re looking for production. So, we’ll roll guys if we need to and settle when guys have earned it.”

On Defensive Backs Coach Chris Harris:

“I love what Chris brings to the DB group. I think he does a tremendous job. Great energy, great communicator. He’s been a great. For us to put the staff together the way we did, I feel good about our guys. Our players, our coaches, I think we’ve got a good group. We have high expectations. We believe we can play at a higher level, and we’re going to strive to do that. I really like the work that Chris does with the secondary.”

On what he’d like to see at free safety:

”More production. I thought Shaze [S Deshazor Everett] gave us a little bit more juice, so I’d like to continue to get him involved. [S] Troy [Apke] has had a lot of opportunities. Shaze has earned his way to get a couple more looks. That’s kind of where we are at that. Obviously, it’s important to have on the back end—if you’re having explosive plays – typically the back end is involved in them. You want to make sure you get those things addressed.”

On Apke’s development:

”Well, I think the biggest thing is that he’s a young player. I think he has a bright future. There are things that he needs to get ironed out and get better at. We’ll continue to work and develop him. It’s just that, at this point, we feel like Shaze gives us something that we covet and he’s going to play more.”

On Coach Rivera practicing through treatment:

“He sets out his schedule. When he’s not able to be here, I cover for him. That’s typically taken place early in the day most days, and then he finds his way to the practice field. I’ve encouraged him, I continue to encourage him to take care of himself, to take care of his health. We’re going to follow his blueprint. We’re prepared to carry on when he needs to step away and take care of himself, and that’s obviously most important. When he’s not able to go, I step in. When he is, obviously we love it. He’s our leader. I just encourage him to make good decisions about putting his health first.”

On DE Chase Young:

“I think his attention to detail, his preparation and his makeup allow him to be who he is. I think he’s a really good football player. We’re happy to have him back and active and ready to roll.”

On Young’s performance after being injured:

“I don’t know that had anything to do with rust. I think he was pressing a little bit and guessing a little bit. That’s just not going to lead to a good outcome. He’s just got to get back on track being aggressive, rolling on the ball and being disruptive. I think he’s had a good week of practice and understands what he has to get done for us.”

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