Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera and quarterback Carson Wentz addressed the media following the team’s 25-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Here are some of the quotes from their press conferences.
On how he starts to analyze the issues that lead to a loss
“It’s hard to say this quickly after a game, but we had a plan, coming into this game, I thought it was a good plan and I thought we executed some things decent early running the ball and I thought we kind of made a commitment to that. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot, a couple of penalties, the dumb intentional grounding that I had, just a couple of things that kept shooting us in the foot. If you’re going to play and run the ball and try and be effective against a really good defense, you can’t do that. You can’t get away with shooting yourself in the foot like that and it definitely cost us.”
On if he’s surprised that the success of the ground game didn’t lead to more success in other areas
“You’d like to think, you’d like to think. I thought we did a good job coming out here kind of establishing the line of scrimmage in that regard and did some good things there. You’d like it to translate into a better job, by me, completing passes and getting the ball out and doing different things. Between the mistakes, obviously the lack of execution on my part, different things like that, penalties, we just didn’t make enough plays in the end.”
On what are some of the areas in which he is most frustrated regarding execution
“Hard to say right off the bat. Obliviously the turnovers. One before half trying to make the play, that is what it is kind of, but you definitely want to leave that ball a little more outside to give my guy a shot. Guy made a good play, but I’ve got to be better and smarter with that. Late in the game, trying to find a way to push it down the field and go find a way to score, guy made a good play. But just trying to be smarter in the situations, just being consistent and execute, trying to convert third downs. It’s hard to say, there were a lot of things going on out there today. But I’ve got to be better, I’ve got to be more consistent.”
On how to keep the group together after back to back divisional losses
“I think we’ve got to build on the positives. I think we came in today and it’s a really good defense, it’s a really good front. Hats off to them, but I thought the way that we kind of established the line of scrimmage early on, I think there’s things we can build on. I think we’ll try not to think the sky is falling or the world’s ending or anything crazy like that. What do we do well, how do we build on those and we’ve got to clean up the small mistakes, the details that, in a game like this. They come back to bite you pretty quick.”
On if defenses have done anything different the last couple of games versus the pass
“I don’t think so. Every team is different. It’s a new game every single week. They’ve got good players over there too. It’s hard to say exactly what they did. Form my vantage point, it looked like they did their thing. They did what we expected them to do and they just made more plays than us, out-executed us, and hats off to them.”
On the passing game.
Well, I think one of the things we worked on this week was obviously trying to protect the quarterback and give him an opportunity to get the ball out. For the most part there were some things that were working pretty well, and we just got to sustain them at that point. We get opportunities to score, we’ve got to score. We get down there, we’ve got to score touchdowns. Kicking field goals, especially in the second half, was not good enough.
Can you differentiate what’s on the quarterback to improve and what’s on the offensive line?
Yeah, we can. We’re going to take a look at it and we’re going to get those things straight. Right now, we’re going to have to see what gives. I don’t want to jump to conclusions because, as plays go on, certain things happen. You’ll see certain players get open if the quarterback has time, and you’ll see sometimes decision-making…those are all things we’ve got to get right.
On the penalties.
Well, I’m disappointed for the most part. Certain penalties are concentration focused. Sure, it gets loud. Sure, the crowd gets into it. Sure, they’re jumping the line, something like that. But we’ve got to sit in there and we’ve got to be disciplined. That’s something that we as coaches got to make sure gets corrected. That was not good enough. We hurt ourselves and took ourselves out of certain opportunities. Early in the game, we’re moving the ball and get a holding penalty. Those things happen that really messes things up.
On if he should have been more aggressive, waiting to “take a shot” just before halftime.
I thought we took a shot early in the game, too. Again, taking shots is something you need to do. If we don’t take shots, especially with the guys that we have, we’re wasting ourselves. I’m glad we took a couple of shots. When you take them, it’s really up to the quarterback and what he reads and what he sees.
On his message in the locker room.
I think there were some really positive things that can be taken from what happened out there. We did some positive things running the football. We did some positive [things] shutting down the run, but we’ve got to sustain it though. When you’re running the ball successfully, you can’t take minus plays, especially at the start of the second half. We came out, set a tone, did some things really good in the first half as far as running it.
I thought we took a shot early in the game, too. Again, taking shots is something you need to do. If we don’t take shots, especially with the guys that we have, we’re wasting ourselves. I’m glad we took a couple of shots. When you take them, it’s really up to the quarterback and what he reads and what he sees