Five Takeaways from Ron Rivera’s August 4th PC

Alan Lepore

The Washington Football Team continues to ramp up for the 2020 season. Position battles continue to loom large over a roster that continues to have plenty of question marks. 

One thing is for certain, head coach Ron Rivera has let it be known among the 80 players still on the roster the high standards he has for everyone. There are also preparations being made should COVID hit the coaching staff like we have seen in Philadelphia. 

A little over 5 weeks left until the regular season begins and the journey to 53 has just begun.

Washington Football Team Head Coach Ron Rivera met with the media via ZOOM and WashingtonFootball.com Tuesday morning. 

Alex Smith is looking good, but more to prove

Head coach Ron Rivera was happy to see how quarterback Alex Smith has progressed and practiced last week. Ron did talk about how impressed he was with the workouts that Alex was doing last week and did not have any setbacks. Rivera went on to say that Alex could compete in camp for the starting job and he already knows about 75% of the playbook. However, Alex still needs to show that he can do everything a quarterback needs to do to protect himself, slide, handoff, etc. Basically, can Alex return to “football shape” to be considered for the quarterback competition. At a minimum, he will be a resource for Dwayne Haskins, Kyle Allen, and Steve Montez throughout camp and into the season.

It’s still Dwayne Haskins starting job

With everyone chattering about Alex Smith and how he looked last week, the Washington Football Team does still have a young star at the same position. Dwayne has already received praise from Rivera throughout the offseason about his approach and going beyond what has been asked of him. Ron re-emphasized this when asked about where Dwayne is currently. Haskins is just behind, if not right there, with Kyle Allen and Alex Smith in knowing the playbook. Even with an abbreviated camp, it still sounds like this is Dwayne’s starting job to lose.

Left side, competition side

A big question on everyone’s mind throughout the offseason and heading into camp is “what will happen with left tackle and left guard.” The coaching staff is also asking themselves the same thing. Without OTAs and mini camps, it has been hard to evaluate where Saahdiq Charles is at when it comes to NFL readiness at left tackle. Ron mentioned that Saahdiq did workout with a veteran tackle to get better about his footwork and hand placement. Rivera also mentioned that he has been impressed with what he has seen from Geron Christian and the potential there from him to start at left tackle. Left guard also came up as a key competition to watch during camp. Rivera did not mention names, but the thought is that Wes Martin put enough on film late last year that it is his job to lose. Thought do not be surprised if Wes Schweitzer squeaks out being the starter to begin the year. As for center and the right side of the line, Ron likes what they have and expects that to stay in tack from last year, but they need to be prepared to still compete in case someone comes out of nowhere and impresses the coaching staff.

Hot Read: Is Saahdiq Charles the next great left tackle in Washington? 

Next man up mentality, among coaches

There has been concern among what will happen if a player gets diagnosed with COVID during the season. Does the entire room have to quarantine? Does it make such a competitive imbalance that the game will have to be pushed? But, what about coaches? What happens if a coordinator or position coach gets diagnosed with COVID? The coaches will have to have the same mindset as a player on the bench. One goes down, the next one steps up. There are coordinator assistants that are preparing for such a case and the coordinators or Ron will be spending a little extra time with that position.

Ronald Darby is your CB1 until further notice

Cornerback Ronald Darby had an up and down stop while in Philadelphia. Injuries plagued his time just up I-95, but his skillset is still there. Ron talked about how they will be working on instilling a discipline in Darby to do his job and stop looking into the back field for additional plays to be made. You could see this last year on film that he had his man covered, but then decided to check and make sure that there wasn’t a guy running underneath he felt he had to make a play on. That resulted in getting beat deep. Ronald’s injuries should be healed up by the beginning of the season and which will help solidify the top outside cornerback position for this roster.

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Alan Lepore joins "Washington Football" on SI.com, while still doing outstanding work as an editor/writer at FullPressCoverage.com or @FPC_Redskins. You can follow him on Twitter @AlanLepore or on instagram @leporealan. Alan is a Villanova University MPA Nonprofit Management candidate and is a fundraising/development professional. 

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