NFL

Ron Rivera Presser: “We are roster building for the first time and feel really good about what we’re able to do.”

Washington Commanders Head Coach Ron Rivera spoke to reporters at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix, Arizona this morning. GM Martin Mayhew spoke with reporters yesterday. Rivera discussed the competition between QBs Sam Howell and Jacoby Brissett, ownership issues, the offensive line, the draft, free agency, and a lot more.

Jacoby Brissett:

“A couple of things about Jacoby. First of all, when you target a guy, you want to do a background and kind of see how people feel about him. See if there is any issues or anything. The biggest thing we kept hearing was that he is great to be around young quarterbacks. The next thing you hear is that he’s a guy that learns very quickly. He is a very bright and very smart guy. He knows a lot of football. You hear the positive things and that really fit into what we were looking for. Again, you get past that part of it and you see a guy that has good athletic skills, has good quarterback skills, has a good arm, has a quick twitch to him and makes good decisions for the most part. He is athletic. This is a guy that we thought we’d bring in, he’s going to compete. He’s going to push Sam and Sam is going to push him. I really think we will have a really good room because of guys like that.”

Sam Howell:

QB room:

QB competition:

How he handles QB competition:

“From my experience and watching how things unfolded for Andy when I was with him. How we did things in Chicago with Lovie Smith. These were guys that came in, had a plan and had guys compete, rotating guys, tracking every snap making sure it was as equal as possible. One thing we are hoping to do is to work with one of the teams that we end up getting as a preseason game partner. We hope to do that, we will see how that unfolds whether we are allowed to with the league5 because again they have to schedule it and make sure the schedule fits then we can talk about it with them. We would love to do that because it creates the kind of opportunity to get more in depth. So well see how it all goes.”

Third QB:

QB in the 1st round?:

Taylor Heinicke:

“I think we were close with Taylor. There were some things that they wanted that we didn’t want to give unfortunately.”

Offensive line:

“I think we have a group that can be our top five. We have some guys that really have to compete. Our left guard will truly be a competition in terms of watching Saahdiq and Chris Paul compete for that. I think both of those guys are young guys that have to play. Saahdiq is an explosive guy, very powerful. You watch Chris Paul in practice and the tape from some of the snaps he had in the Dallas game for sure, you see his play strength and his athleticism. That is the thing that is exciting and I think that is what has been created with adding the players that we have added and at the same time, recognizing the fact that these young guys are going to get the opportunity.”

Offensive line coach:

Lamar Jackson:

“I mean again, you look at what the impact on your roster building is. What were the assets that we would have to use to get him? What would the financial impact be? These are the things that we have to think about separate from anyone else. This is why we did what we’re doing. We were able to keep the defensive line guys that we have in place. We have a couple of other guys we have to think about on the defensive side, three guys that we feel are part of the core that we are trying to put together. We want to build up the offensive line. We have some dynamic playmakers. We are in a position now, if you want to do something different, it may impact those dynamic playmakers, that front that you’re trying to build. We are roster building for the first time and feel really good about doing the things that we are trying to do right now.”

If they ever looked into the Lamar situation:

“No, we never did. Honestly, we never did. It is just something that we just didn’t feel suited what we wanted to do. I know he’s a tremendous talent and a player that can impact your team. I just didn’t think and we sat down and talked about it, that it was the direction for us as a football team.”

Roster building:

Younger defensive backs:

“Ball skills. A big part of it is, the way Jack does things, there is a lot of opportunities. We have missed a number of them. We had chances for more takeaways in the last couple of years and we just hadn’t done it and we need to. I know it’s an emphasis when we sit in those meetings with Jack and the staff and the defensive players and listen to their emphasis on takeaways and listen to their emphasis on the way we play the coverages that we use, play the defenses that we have, there are opportunities. That is something that we talk about with that. Guys that can play with vision, guys that have the ability to break on the ball and make those types of plays is what we are looking for.”

Safety position:

“Oh, absolutely. Well, I think a big part of it more than anything else too is just the fact that when you look at the style of defenses people are playing, you see a lot more of guys going in there using three safety defenses. Those safeties have to have that kind of versatility for the most part so that they can come down and play the nickel position or come down and play the buffalo position. They can fit the run or they can, they have the ability of skill set to run with wide receivers in the slot. And that’s been one of the instances that we’ve had. And then you need a little more flexible defensive end that can drop into coverage on occasion, because now a team wants to come in and they wanna be big against you. Well, you can go technically to a three-four front and now that’s requiring a little bit more from the offense. They’ve gotta be able to adjust and say, well, if you can go from being a base defense and then of a also go to a three-four defense, they’ve gotta prepare for that as well. So now there’s a little bit more thinking as far as their game planning is concerned as well. So those are all things that we feel can help us.”

Team ownership:

Meeting potential new owners:

May signing bonus payouts:

Chase Young’s 5th-year option:

1st round DL contracts:

Eric Bieniemy:

What he’s learned about the process of trading down from last year:

“The biggest thing is we had a plan going into the draft. We had a position that we targeted and we had several other options. You know, one of the things we target, we say, willing to target specific player. If that player’s gone, this is what we can do. We can do this, this, or this or we can go backwards and if we go backwards, how far can we go? And we were able to target a team we felt that was gonna want to jump up and it worked out that way. Martin did a terrific job with all that, looking into it and talking about it, setting up the trade. The clump of players that we had, Marty, Eric and Gribbs got up there and we had a five man clump and just said, Hey, these five guys, we like. We had three receivers and two offensive linemen that were in that clump and said, okay, if this guy there, that’s our guy and Jahan was sitting there looking at us. I know we surprised a lot of you guys, but we did a lot of work and we really liked who he is and that’s why we did what we did.”

Running back:

Antonio Gibson taking on more of a pass catching role:

“Yes, absolutely. Because all that Antonio’s done every year has just improved and grow and become a little bit more of a complete football player. And it’s one of those things that he had to learn. Obviously coming from Memphis, being a wide receiver, every year he’s taken a good step and every year he is shown he’s a very good football player. Unfortunately, this year with the foot injury, you know, set him back a little bit, slowed them down in two thirds of the way. it’s just one of those things that was unfortunate. But his skillset, his abilities, his desire, they’re all there.”

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