Commanders coach Ron Rivera optimistic and realistic

·3 min read

Coach Ron Rivera sat down with Julie Donaldson Friday expressing he is both optimistic but also realistic about his 2022 Washington Commanders team.

This is Rivera’s third season leading Washington, and though there are setbacks (injuries), he is pleased thus far preparing for Jacksonville. “I think that things have gone well. There’s been a lot of pluses that we are building on and getting better.”

Rivera spoke of the youth of this team, the energy and enthusiasm. “We have a guy who we think can be our quarterback for a while. When you look at the skill positions, that is where you truly do see the youth. At running back the veteran guy is J.D. (McKissic). At tight end, the veteran guy is Logan (Thomas). Wide receiver the veteran guy is Terry (McLaurin). Terry is only going into his fourth season.”

The former Panthers head coach (2011-19) is optimistic about some of his older veterans as well. “Where you really see the anchor though is our front. Our front five is a group of guys we feel very comfortable about and really think these guys can help protect Carson to give him time to get the ball to those talented young players.”

Rivera is realistic. He knows the line is beat up right now as well as the tight ends. The only one that has been healthy is Armani (Rogers). He is the only one able to be out there. The best part of him, he is such an athletic football player, that he makes plays.”

“We won’t have everybody out on the field Saturday. But once we get back together the following week, we will start to get all our guys out there and start prepping as we get ready for the opener (Sept.11).”

He has not been able to see a healthy unit thus far, “What you really want to be able to do is once we know (who is healthy) that group has to work together over and over in preparation for Jacksonville.”

A former linebacker, linebacker’s coach and defensive coordinator, Rivera was open about his disappointment in the third-down defense against Kansas City. “Those are things we can do better. First and foremost we coaches got to make sure that these guys understand what the important significance of third down is. And the significance of who that quarterback is. When Patrick Mahomes is out on the field, there is a certain discipline you have to rush with.”

We dialed up a couple of pressures, and we didn’t run them the way we needed to. Because of that, the pressure got there a step too late. So you look at those things, and you say, ‘That’s disappointing first and foremost, but that is correctable.”

There was much more, so see the link above for the full interview.

 

 

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire