Commanders head coach Ron Rivera had quite a bit to say regarding his defense, when talking with the media.
Are the Commanders looking to blitz more this season?
“I think that’s something that as we evaluate who we are and what we do, we have some guys that we think are very good blitzers. We think [LB] Jamin [Davis] is a very good blitzer. We think [S] Bobby McCain is a good blitzer. We like who [CB] Benjamin St-Juste is in terms of blitzing. You have guys that are quick and understand. You want to use those guys and it does help the defensive line if you blitz and you blitz early in the game, now, they don’t know what to expect.”
2021 rookie CB Benjamin St-Juste suffered injuries, but this year is looking better prepared as well.
“There were some things that Jacksonville did that we weren’t prepared for. I think they caught us with something that was different, a little new and it kind of put us in a tough spot, but we got out of it. I thought he handled that pretty well. That was good. It was really good to see him out there playing to his ability. He has a tremendous skill set, has good size, and he can run. I think he is only going to get better at that position and really be an asset for what we want to be on defense.”
Coach Rivera likes Kam Curl and is hopeful he returns quickly.
“I think with him, just a little bit more of a DB presence near the box. I know DFoe (Darrick Forrest) did a great job. He did things tremendously well and the things we asked him to do did very well. With Kam, there is a bigger presence. His stature, size and his impact as a player, but again, take nothing away from what Dfoe did. That was a tremendous performance, and he made an impact in the game.”
Find a way to keep him on the field when Kam Curl comes back pic.twitter.com/jEKa4pdY55
— Washington Get A Chip 🏆 (@DCgetaRing) September 12, 2022
Rivera spoke to some of Jamin Davis’ issues but remains confident Davis will contribute greatly.
“Really, playing to your leverage side, understanding exactly, if I have inside leverage, I want to make sure that this guy goes up and over. If he goes over the top of me, it makes it a longer throw and forces the ball to be elevated, it gives the safety a chance to help me. If I pop my feet and back up just enough and that guy gets underneath, now I’m in a chase position and that is not where my leverage is. That’s the mistake he made. He knows, hey, go take the air out of them from an inside position, make them roll over the top. If I’ve got help outside inside then I want to get him inside as quickly as possible. Then, I know the guy is down there to help me. Those are some of the things that he has got to be aware of. It is with reps, time, understanding, growth and development. He is a young guy that is still learning but because of his skillset and what he is capable of he can make those plays.”
Losing Phidarian Mathis in the very first half of the first game, after losing both Tim Settle and Matt Ioanidis means the Commanders were extremely thin inside at defensive tackle. Thus, they added Donovan Jeter to the roster from the Steelers’ practice squad.
“Big, stout, physical young man (Jeter) more so than anything else. Right now, with our situation, we opted to sign the bigger guy, a bigger body. Space eater up inside, very active as a player. I like his first-step quickness, his ability to get into the crease and hold the point. He holds doubles pretty well. He is going to be a little bit of a space-eater and allow those guys behind him or next to him to work and make some plays. Big guys like that, with quickness, command a little bit more attention inside.”
“Having gone through camp with the Steelers and playing as well as he did, we just felt this is a young man that we will give a shot and see. He is a bright young man and he has done a nice job so far. He has only been in the playbook for two days but he has had an opportunity to rotate in and out. ”