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Training Camp Daily 8/24: Ron Rivera Emphasizes Winning The Turnover Battle

Elijah Walter Griffin Sr./Washington Football Team
Elijah Walter Griffin Sr./Washington Football Team

Training camp is here, and we have you covered as the Washington Football Team prepares for the 2020 campaign.

Stay up to date with "Training Camp Daily," which comes out every weekday evening.

Also be sure to check out "Washington Football Live 2020" every weekday from 9 - 9:45 a.m. and "Virtual Happy Hour" from 2:30 - 3 p.m. Both shows will be streamed on all of the team's social media platforms.

Here's what you need to know:

The Washington Football team conducts training camp at the Inova Sports Performance Center in Ashburn, Virginia, on Aug. 24, 2020. (Elijah Walter Griffin Sr./Washington Football Team)

THE LATEST

Between 2013-17, Ron Rivera's Carolina Panthers went 51-28-1, made four playoff appearances and won three consecutive NFC South titles. In 2015, they appeared in Super Bowl 50 after losing just once in the regular season.

During that stretch, the Panthers had a winning percentage of 93.7% when they won the turnover battle -- the second-highest mark behind the Denver Broncos. So, Rivera understands just how valuable that statistic can be, and he's emphasized that to his players in Washington.

"We've got to take care of the football, and on the inverse, we've got to get the football. We've got to take it away," Rivera said. "I just believe very strongly in that.

"I'm very fortunate in that some of the coaches I've been with have stressed that from when I spent my time with Andy Reid, my time with Lovie Smith. Those guys really emphasized it, and I've kind of carried that with me in my coaching career, how important it is to take the ball away."

After throwing multiple interceptions the past few practices, Washington's quarterbacks did not commit any turnovers Monday. Still, the defense was able to force two fumbles. First Montez Sweat stripped Terry McLaurin during a red zone period, and a few players later, Troy Apke popped Logan Thomas and knocked the ball out before he could cross the goal line.

Rivera has also stressed taking advantage of turnovers to his players -- something Washington has not done much of in past years. Between 2013-17, Washington only won 67.5% of its games when it won the the turnover battle, which ranked 26th in the NFL.

"There's a huge disparity in my opinion in your attitude and the way you look at things," Rivera said, "so I want to emphasize to our guys that that to me is very important and very valuable."

QUICK HITS

-- Chase Young returns to team drills: Young appeared in team drills for the first time since suffering a hip flexor injury Wednesday. He did not do much -- he only participated in goal line drills while sitting out 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 periods -- but he was disruptive nonetheless. Young was on the field with the first-team defense and then stayed in against the second-team offense. On one play, he burst off the left edge and swatted Kyle Allen's pass to the ground. On the next, he blew up a run play to his side.

"We want to put him in a situation where he can start working himself back into it," Rivera said. "We didn't want to overload him. We didn't put him in a lot of drills. We kind of picked and chose the ones we thought he would be able to protect himself in without trying to protect himself. You'd hate to have him in there when you're doing some sort of full-team movement out there in the middle of the field where he's trying to open up 100 percent. You've just got to be smart with it and let him work himself gradually back and get a feel for it again."

-- Rivera is a fan of CB Jimmy Moreland: Washington's starting cornerbacks seem to be set with Kendall Fuller and Ronald Darby on the outside and Jimmy Moreland in the slot. Moreland, a seventh-round pick in 2019, has impressed for the second straight offseason in Washington. He has already broken up several passes, two of which came during the same team session Monday, in addition to intercepting Dwayne Haskins Jr. at the end of Saturday's practice.

Speaking to reporters Sunday, Rivera highlighted Moreland's quickness, awareness and eye discipline. He described Moreland as a "very good, young football player" who has a chance to elevate his game to another level by working for it.

"You watch his demeanor, the way he handles himself, there's a confidence about that young man that you like, that tells you: 'You know what, put me in any position. I'm going to come through.' That's a very favorable thing, in my opinion, when it comes to corners."

-- Adrian Peterson wants to play five more years: Since entering the NFL in 2007, Adrian Peterson has rushed for more than 14,000 yards and scored 111 touchdowns. In 164 career appearances (154 starts), Peterson has rushed for an average of 86.7 yards per game.

And despite turning 35 years old in March, Peterson has no plans of retiring any time soon. "God willing it'll be five more years," Peterson told reporters Sunday.

"They like to kind of put [running backs] in this box of four or five years and then typically you're out. What people will look at as really successful [is] seven or eight years in the NFL. Why not 15? Why not 18 years? It's just me playing my role and trying to inspire our next generation."

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