Ron Rivera would like to see ‘a little bit more’ from Chase Young and Montez Sweat

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Head coach Ron Rivera has preached patience throughout the first half of Washington’s disappointing 2-6 start to the 2021 NFL season. Sure, Rivera is frustrated, but he’s maintained throughout that massive organizational changes aren’t going to fix what currently ails Washington.

Washington needs to get healthy and have some of its better players step up and perform at a higher level. That means running back Antonio Gibson needs to stop fumbling, and defensive end Chase Young must get to the quarterback more.

Rivera sat down with Mike Silver this week to discuss the state of Washington’s team at the midway point, and the head coach specifically mentioned his talented defensive ends, Young and Montez Sweat — who have combined for just 5.5 sacks.

“We would like to see a little bit more from those guys,” Rivera said. “They need to stop pressing and trust their teammates. Sometimes when a guy tries to chip them, instead of running through the chip and blowing that guy up, you’ll see them duck underneath or slip around and miss a chance to make a play. Sometimes Chase starts outside and plants his leg and cuts inside — because he’s trying to make a play — and the quarterback gets flushed to the outside. If Chase stays outside, he has an easy sack, but instead, he dives underneath.”

There’s nothing wrong here. Rivera didn’t publicly criticize either of his young stars, simply offering he expected more from them. I’m certain Young and Sweat would feel the same way if asked.

Sweat has played well, registering four sacks, but he could be better. Unfortunately, he will be out around 4-6 weeks after suffering a fractured jaw in the Week 8 loss to the Denver Broncos.

That means Young has an opportunity to help his team without his sidekick. Washington returns from its bye in Week 10 with a meeting against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Young had no impact against the Bucs in the January playoff game, but if Washington expects to pull off the upset, it needs Young to harass Tom Brady.

While some will critique Rivera for what he said, he handled it well. He subtly sent a message, all the while encouraging his players instead of publicly throwing someone under the bus.

We shall see if Rivera’s words have any impact beginning in Week 10.