The Washington Football Team has wrapped up its preparations for the home finale against the Philadelphia Eagles. Here are some of the top quotes from the week, presented by GEICO.
Scott Turner on if Terry McLaurin has asked for the ball more or makes suggestions:
"No. He doesn't and that's thing, we gotta do a better job. I have to do a better job of finding ways to get Terry the ball. We had him on some plays, targeted. We did early in the game, that maybe obviously aren't necessarily high percentage deals, but you know, get some stuff where the ball gets in his hands. It's not always just throwing it to him down the field. Terry just comes and works and he does his job. I've talked to him, we have good conversations. He's a competitor, but he's not that type. I mean, he wants the ball, he wants to compete, but he's focused on doing his jobs. I think he sees it. He sees that there's some plays where we're trying to get him the ball. Based on the defense or how it works out that it ends up going somewhere else. He knows how we feel about him as offensive staff, how I feel about him that we do try to work him to get on the ball."
Jack Del Rio on if he feels like the amount of stretch runs the Eagles ran caused the players to over pursue:
"Yeah, I think they were able to get the stretch running game going pretty well last time. We're going to have to be able to defend blocks, not over pursue, take good angles and tackle. Anytime you're playing a good run team, the best thing to do is to get them into third down and get off the field. We didn't do that very well and that's certainly a key."
Ron Rivera on if there is a memory that stands out from his relationship with John Madden:
"Well, the one thing I really appreciated more than anything else was the very first time I went to his office in California. We sat down, it was his office in Pleasanton, California. We sat down and the first thing he said to me when we started talking about being a head coach, he said, 'Hey, don't ever forget you are the head coach.' He said, 'everything will stop and start with you and everything will come across your desk.' It was interesting because from that point on just the realization. I'd already been a head coach for two years, but just having him put it to me in those terms – very direct and very blunt and very straightforward – really just kind of I think helped galvanize my attitude and feelings about being the head coach."
Taylor Heinicke on how tough it has been with everything that has happened this last month off the field:
"It's tough enough to win games in this league when things aren't happening. But with all this stuff, I think guys are honestly handling it pretty well. You come in every day and you work hard and go out and practice hard and try and get ready for the next opponent. For all the stuff that's happened off the field this year, it's unfortunate. I'm not gonna say that it's affected us because I honestly don't feel that way, but it's just tough. It's tough. Every week we feel like we've got two or three new guys coming in the facility, so we try and do the best we can with what we got."
The Washington Football Team prepares for its matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 17. (Photos by Emilee Fails and Karlee Sell/Washington Football Team)
Ron Rivera on moving on after the loss to Dallas:
"The message is we've got two games left to play. Let's go out and play it. You lose a game, okay. Whether you lose it by one or you lose it by what we lost it by – 42, it's a loss. Sure, it was a big score. But at the end of the day, it happened. It's gonna happen. You play this game long enough, you're gonna have these kind of defeats. How you handle them, now that's important. How you come back, that's important. That will talk about what our character is, that will talk about where we are more so than anything else. That to me is what's really important. I get it. We lost, okay. Hey, I'm gonna take responsibility. We gotta play better, I know that. We gotta coach better, I know that. We'll go back to work and we'll work hard. As Nicki – and I appreciate her bringing it up – alluded to is we've been dealing with a lot of s**t. It's something that we've gotta learn to deal with and handle. At the same time, be able to go forward and play to our abilities, play to what we're capable of. Yesterday was not an indication in my opinion of what we're capable of."
Scott Turner on John Bates:
"John's been outstanding. You never really know about guys until they really start playing. You see it in practice, but until they get out there when it's live and physicality – especially at that position – you never know. He's really exceeded our expectations. As a blocker, he's very physical. When he first came in and started playing in the games, he started doing that and he did a nice job with that. He's really sure handed, he catches everything. He doesn't have the top end speed, but the quickness and the ability to separate. Then just being that big target that the quarterback likes to throw the ball to. He just keeps getting better and better and kind of just prize in with the things he can do. He is a competitor and he's a tough guy. I think you saw it with some of the broken tackles late in that Cowboy game. He wasn't gonna give in and he was playing his butt off the whole game. I think you're gonna see him keep getting better. He's gonna develop more too, just physically."
*Jack Del Rio on if he feels like they will be more ready for the Eagles running game this week: **"Yeah, we're certainly going to find out. They've been doing an excellent job of staying ahead of the chains, getting into third-and-very short or not into third down at all. They've run the ball exceptionally well and the quarterback is making plays, so I think they have good design. I think they've got a big, strong offensive line and they've done a real nice job with their approach, so we're getting prepared for it. We did not play up to our standard last time out. They got the better of us and two weeks later we're looking forward to competing."
Ron Rivera on if there are any players he wants to get a better look at these last few games:
"Yeah, there are a few guys you'd like to get more of a glimpse of. A great example is Dyami Brown. There were a couple things in last week's game that you get excited about as far as Dyami's concerned. The first one was making the big catch. And then unfortunately on the sack by Micah Parsons, he was coming open again. I would've loved to see the opportunity there if we could have got that ball off, see if he makes another big play. Yeah, he's one of the types of guys that you hope to see more of."
The Washington Football Team continues its week of practice in preparation for a Week 17 matchup with the Eagles. (Photos by Emilee Fails and Karlee Sell/Washington Football Team)
Ron Rivera on what he has seen from Jaret Patterson in recent weeks:
"I think the biggest thing, as far as Jaret is concerned, is how hard he's been working. He's a young guy that's into it, he's in tune with what we do. He does the extra things. It's the same thing with Jonathan [Williams]. Jonathan is spending extra time, taking as many opportunities as he can to get as many reps in practice. And it's the same thing with Wendell [Smallwood]. All three guys are gonna have to step up and take advantage of this opportunity to play and show us what they can do.
Sam Mills III on the growth of the young guys:
"Yeah, the biggest growth is in the preparation. You can see those guys asking questions, trying to learn, you know, what the opposing offense is gonna do, and then working together, understanding where each other's gonna be, doing different fronts that we we've even put in this season. Just it's different, not having the, the big four that we usually have. So, when you put different guys in different situations, you know, when you put DE Shaka Toney in, or when you put Nate [Orchard] or when you put B [Bradley-King] and you know, different things that they can do. Bunmi and Casey and James Smith-Williams. We've been pretty consistent with our tackles inside except for the one really big COVID week. Just kind of setting those guys up for success and kind of exploiting what they can do."