With the team's practice prep for the Cincinnati Bengals complete, here's a list of the best quotes of the week, as compiled by WashingtonFootball.com, presented by GEICO:
10. Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio on Kendall Fuller's versatility:
"That's not normal. There are few guys that are capable of that. I think being versatile like that, being super intelligent like he is, I think that allows him to do multiple roles. We don't want to take that for granted. He's done a nice job of coming here and being a pro and really his work ethic and the way he prepares has been outstanding. We recognize what he is and also recognize that you don't want to get carried away moving guys around. That could be problematic for him and for others."
9. Offensive coordinator Scott Turner on how to get off to a faster start:
"There are so many things to look at. If you look at the last four games -- you want to score. It's very important to take a lead in the NFL. You talk about win probability and all that kinds of stuff. Getting a lead helps your chances to win. It's pretty simple. The last four games, in particular, you go back to the first Giants game and our drives stalled. We had a field goal attempt. You're not going to make all those, OK. The next game against the Cowboys, we didn't get it on 4th-and-inches. The negative is obviously we didn't score, but their offense had to start from their own one, and they ended up getting a safety. The next game, we had a 21-yard gain and we fumbled. We've got to protect the ball. Then this past game, you just took two negative plays. One was I took a chance, called a reverse, they did a nice job playing it and then we took a sack. This last game, I think we started pretty fast. We had a 22-yard gain, we had a 19-yard gain, had a couple decent runs and then we just had some negative plays. It's not just starting the drives, but finishing. We've got to finish. We have to put our team in a better situation by getting a lead early and not having to try to fight and come back."
8. Head coach Ron Rivera on RB J.D. McKissic's versatility:
"That's what you're looking for. You're looking for a guy with J.D.'s skillset that can do those types of things. Again, we were fortunate in Carolina to have [Panthers RB] Christian McCaffrey. J.D.'s a McCaffrey-type player. He can run the ball inside, outside. He's a threat most certainly out in the route, and he understands protections."
7. Del Rio on improving the run defense:
"I think actually we've played the run pretty well this year. That may be a shock to you or to others. I think, overall, defensively we've done some really good things. We're just going to continue to work, continue to work to be more consistent. I think, if anything, the group is kind of trying to do too much rather than just try to take care of your responsibility. We're trying to focus on that. One thing I will say is our energy's been great. Our spirit is still strong. To me, that's always as a coach something that you want to make sure you're keeping that part strong. I think it is. I think we'll continue to make strides defensively and build upon the pretty good start to the season. We're in the upper half in just about every category. Run defense might be the one thing that lags behind. But I think in terms of overall effectiveness, we've got a good group and we've been doing a lot of good things."
6. Rivera on DE Chase Young having to take on multiple blockers:
"I'll tell you what, it's been amazing to watch. It really has. He has gotten double-teamed an awful lot. He exploded early on, had a couple of really good games early. Unfortunately, he got hurt and that slowed him down. He started to pick it back up and it looked like himself, now he's working on being doubled. A couple times he's been tripled where he's been chipped and then you see a tackle block with the guard turning that way or you see two tight ends and a tackle back-stepping. He's handled it. He really has. He's fought, he's fought, he's fought, and he's continued to compete. What'll happen is, as soon as we get this going, as soon as things start to roll the right way, you're not going to be able to double him all the time. You're just not going to be able to.
5. Rivera on how the COVID-19 protocols change game preparation:
"The biggest thing more than anything else is it changes the way we have to approach it. I tell the guys: 'Don't make a big deal out of it.' If you make a big deal out of it and make it worrisome, then you're distracting yourself from the task, and that's getting ready to go play a football game. Focus on the football game. The situation and circumstances are what they are. Let's do with that, and let's go forward. It's no different than having to practice outside in the cold or in the rain. There's nothing you can do about it. Just do it. Put your mind to it, set it, and go."
4. Rivera on Morgan Moses transitioning to left tackle:
"Really, the biggest change is going to be for him. We're going to do what we do and play the offense accordingly. The biggest thing for him, obviously, is getting used to the left-handed stance and getting used to the left-handed type players he's going to have to play against. ...Morgan's a pretty good athlete, so I'm not necessarily concerned about it for him. But we'll see. He started out as a left tackle, they moved him to right where he got comfortable, but he has left tackle skillsets. We'll see how he goes."
3. Quarterback Alex Smith on his performance against the Lions:
"I look at it and really be critical with myself. I really felt like I kind of checked another box that I'm capable of winning and playing football in this league. It's a matter of doing that consistently, though. Like I said, still plenty to build off of and grow. For me, definitely another level of comfort there knowing what I am capable of. I felt really good out there in all those situations that come up through the course of a game. I'm excited, like I said, moving forward into this week and the challenge that it brings."
2. Smith on working with the younger receivers:
"Besides going out there and making plays when you're throwing it to them, that's obviously the first and foremost. I think we have such a great group on this entire team in the locker room, but certainly I feel like the young guys at the skill positions on offense bring such great energy every single day. These guys love football. They've got a smile on their face. They love going out there and making plays. They want the ball. I think all of that is infectious energy as a young guy. I feel lucky to be around them. It does rub off. I'm having a lot of fun with that. I think that is a strength, that youth and energy"
1. Rivera on the importance of getting a win:
"It'll be huge. It really will. Emotionally, it'll be huge. I think it's one of those things that -- the guys, for their hard work and commitment and their sacrifices -- deserve stuff like that. They deserve big wins. Again, I'd like to see us win as many as we can. We'll see how to try to win this one coming up."