The Washington Football Team wrapped up Thursday's practice ahead of its Week 7 game against the Green Bay Packers with coordinators Scott Turner and Jack Del Rio addressing the media. Here are some of the key takeaways from their press conferences.
- Taylor Heinicke said Wednesday he feels like he's tried to play perfect over the past two weeks, which has been one of the reasons for his struggles. He threw two interceptions against the Saints, and Turner knows they weighed heavy on the quarterback. As a result, Turner believes he overcompensated a bit and was hesitant to take chances on throws. That's not Heinicke's game, though, and Turner wants him to be himself whenever he's on the field. Heinicke can't be afraid to make mistakes in the NFL, Turner said, because that approach still leads to mistakes.
"He's gotta go be himself, trust what he sees and relax, and be the player that he is, not trying to be perfect or do everything perfectly."
- On that note, Turner has no issue with Heinicke scrambling to make plays. After all, that also is part Heinicke's game. The reason he didn't have any rushes against the Kansas City Chiefs was because they made a point of taking the use of Heinicke's legs away from him. The Packers, who are tied for ninth with 14 sacks, might try to do the same thing. If that does happen, Washington will likely call plays to get Heinicke out on the edge like it did against the Chiefs.
- Turner got a close look at what Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers can do to defenses, given that he spent three seasons with the Minnesota Vikings coaching quarterbacks. There are a lot of things that make Rodgers the quarterback that he is today, but one thing about the former MVP that does stick out to Turner is his ability to keep plays alive. Even when he doesn't have a lot of space, he can still generate a lot of power.
"He makes a lot of tough throws in a lot of tough situations and that's the biggest thing with him is just that the play is never dead."
The Washington Football Team continues its week of practice leading up to Green Bay. (Photos by Emilee Fails and Karlee Sell/Washington Football Team)
Jack Del Rio
- Del Rio had a simple answer when asked at the top of the press conference about Packers' wide receiver Davante Adams: "Really gifted receiver." The numbers back that up, too. He leads the NFL with 668 receiving yards and has a Pro Football Focus grade of 92.4. He and Rodgers are on the same page, and Del Rio can see it based on how they work together.
"He's targeted a lot and it'd be a big challenge for us. He's one of the elite players in the league and you see him every week. I mean, people, they come in different shapes and sizes and different names, but the best of the best and he's really gifted."
- Del Rio had similar praise for running back Aaron Jones when asked about the former 2017 fifth-round pick. Jones has been an efficient weapon for the Packers in both aspects of their offense. In addition to being ninth in the NFL with 385 yards, he's second on the team in targets (23), receptions (21) and receiving yards (166). He's going to present some challenges on Sunday, Del Rio said.
"I think he's a dynamic runner, a slasher, really runs behind his pads, finds the hole, exceptional vision. I think he's a really talented back. I think he's one of the top backs in the league."
- Up until five minutes in the third quarter, Del Rio was pleased with what he saw from Washington's defense against the Chiefs. The unit was opportunistic, got off the field on third downs and held one of the league's best offenses to just 10 points. Things began to slip away quickly after that, though, and with another offense filled with quality players coming up shortly, Del Rio wants to emphasize that the defense needs to play four quarters.
"As we do that, we have a chance to fight our way out of this and play a lot better and help our football team win."