With the team's practice prep for the Dallas Cowboys complete, here's a list of the best quotes of the week, as compiled by WashingtonFootball.com, presented by GEICO:
10. Quarterback Alex Smith on thinking about his future:
"Really, my mind doesn't wander there. But anytime if it does, my wife or whatever if we're just chatting, I think it's so important to just snap back into the opportunity right now. There will be time after the season for reflection and things like that. For me, I'm making the most of every opportunity each week. It's such a special thing to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. An opportunity like this doesn't get any cooler than this week to play on Thanksgiving. It has special meaning for me, especially considering two years ago and on the eve of this game was when everything happened. It's crazy to come a full circle. I'm excited to make the most of it. But again, there will be time to think about all that other stuff down the line."
9. Running back Antonio Gibson on the morale in the locker room:
"It's good. We had a lot of close games. It's all been on us beating ourselves or starting out slow in the first half. To come out and get that win and just showing that we're capable. We're always keeping a positive mindset. For us to still be in it at this point, that gives us hope, too. We're just trying to build on that."
8. Head coach Ron Rivera on if there is something he can tweak to start games faster:
"I think the truth of the matter is the biggest thing is we have to make plays when we get opportunities. If you look at the opportunities that we've had in games to either get off the field as a defense or to put the ball in the end zone as an offense, that to me is really the biggest deal more than anything else. I can bring in a sledgehammer and smash pumpkins [laughs]. But to be honest with you guys, it's neither here nor there. A start is a start. Sometimes you finish them off and sometimes you don't. We'll see what happens. We work on things, we work on our scripts, we work on our plays and then we come out in the second half and we call the same play, we call the same defenses and we play better. We'll see what happens come Thursday."
7. Smith where he feels more comfortable after a couple weeks:
"I think just that innate trust, no self-doubt, going out there playing loose and free is the biggest thing. I really feel like I have the last few weeks. I feel like I'm going out and playing quarterback and executing the offense. Certainly, there's a chunk of the game that's choreographed and there's a big chunk that's not. I feel better and better with the more reps I get that I do feel confident in all those situations."
6. Wide receiver Terry McLaurin on Smith:
"One thing I could say about Alex is he never makes it about him. He has every reason to kind of '[say], 'look at my comeback story, look what I've done,' but he makes it about the team. He's always trying to figure out ways you can make it easier on us as receivers, make it easy on the whole offense and play complimentary football. One thing about Alex you just can't quantify enough is just his experience playing. Even when we make good plays and make bad plays, he treats it the same. He tries to keep everybody even-keeled and focused on the task at hand. To see him come back and get a win as a starter, I wasn't here, but to see when the injury happened, nobody knew the future -- not even him. So to see him come back, that's not only a motivation to us as players, but to everybody that has watched that. I know Alex is going to try to keep it going as best he can, but he never makes it about him. It's just great to have him on our team."
5. Defensive end Ryan Kerrigan on the team's growth:
"I think we're developing. I think we're an incredibly young team that is still kind of finding out who we are -- our strengths, finding out how to win, trusting in each other. I hate to say it but with COVID, no offseason and new coaching staff, those are things that are real with no preseason. I think it's important for us to kind of continue to keep getting better. Collectively, and within that obviously week to week, working and giving everything you can to try and find a way to win. So, for us, just not getting discouraged by some of these tough losses and continue to grow and move forward. I think that's important for us right now for sure."
4. Defensive end Chase Young on being fired up before the Bengals' game:
"I told them there are 365 days out of the year. I said: 'These 16 days out of the year, why can't you be a dog?' Today was one of the days. 'There are 16 days out of the year, why can't you be a dog?' I kept repeating myself. 'There are 16 days out of 365 days.' I told them that with passion. I felt like that energy before the game helped lead us into the game with energy and momentum."
3. Smith on McLaurin:
"It's going to be tough for me to come up with all the great adjectives I'd like to come up with to describe Terry. He's a special, special player. A special teammate, a special leader. Not just his play-making ability and competitiveness, but I think those things that just really show up on film are his competitive spirit, his ability to make plays. I think his work ethic, his attitude, his approach to the game for a young player -- it's almost like he's wise for his years for sure, so to speak. Really, really special player and a special teammate. We're lucky to have him, definitely."
2. Smith on contending for a division title despite being 3-7:
"I feel like every year or so or a couple years, there's always been a division that this happens to and it's just the way it shakes out. Honestly, I feel like a lot of times come playoffs, obviously with the home game as well, it's still a tough matchup ... I think I don't pay much attention. It's nice knowing that we're in it, but I think for us it's more important to work week-by-week. Division games are huge. This is a big division game on the road. Special circumstances, playing Dallas on Thanksgiving. There's a lot on the line. I don't think we need to look past that at all."
1. Rivera on how the team has stayed motivated with a losing record:
"I think they see it. I think they see the growth. You look at our running back situation, we've got some young guys that are involved in the running game. Yesterday, I saw the way [offensive coordinator Scott Turner] handled everybody, brought everybody in, gave everybody a chance to run the ball. They ran it hard. Those guys see it. They see the young receivers going out there and making plays and coming out with huge momentum swing plays. The guys see it. When you see things that prove you're getting better, it makes you want to keep going. It makes you want to keep learning so you can get better, so you can be better. That's what we've got to do. We've got to continue to grow. Keep that excitement about getting better as a football team alive. I think that's what it is. That's why, in spite of the record, they play hard. I will say, just the fact that we're not very good as a division right now and we're half a game off the lead, it's reason for guys to come show up and prepare and get ready and see what happens."