WFT Quotes 9/16/20: Ron Rivera

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September 16, 2020

Head Coach Ron Rivera

On maintaining momentum from the Week 1 win:
“Well, I think the biggest thing is just focusing on our next opponent. We’re playing an opponent that won last
week. We’re facing an opponent that’s a good football team. Again, reality comes back very quickly. We talked
a little bit this morning about the win. We talked about the game, the things that we did were all positive. We
talked about [DE] Ryan Kerrigan winning his first ever Defensive Player of the Week award. I told them, ‘Now
I’m changing the slide. We’re going forward to our new opponent.’ That’s hopefully what we did. We set it
behind us for now and we’re going forward.”

On what he is looking for from T Geron Christian Sr.:
“Well, I’m looking for improvement. When you watch the first quarter and a half, he didn’t play very well.
Neither did [G] Wes Martin. You watch the rest of the game, and they both bode their necks and stepped up and
played much better. I saw the reports about how poorly they played. Well, they didn’t play very well at the
beginning of the game. I think it might’ve been jitters. But as we watched them progress and we watched the
middle of the second quarter all the way to the rest of the game, they came out and played some pretty good
football from that point on. Hopefully, they’ll continue that trend and they’ll both get better and better. Like I
said, the biggest thing to me for those guys is really just seeing improvement. We want to see improvement
every time they step on the football field and every snap they take is better than the previous one.”

On travel protocols for this week:
“Well, the tough part obviously is we’re going to Arizona so we’re going to go a day earlier than we normally
do. We’ll leave Friday. We’ll be in quote unquote in our own bubble there at the hotel. We’ll stick to the
protocols as mapped out by the league. We’ll play on Sunday and fly back.”

On how Cardinals QB Kyler Murray challenges the pass rush:
“Keeping them in the pocket. He’s such an elusive guy. He gives me anxiety. What you want to do is you want
to keep a guy like that in the pocket. You want to keep that guy contained. You don’t want to give him an
opportunity to extend plays. With his athleticism and his arm, he can make plays. One of the things that we’ve
looked at is his ability to scramble and create downfield. You’ve got to keep that young man contained. You’ve
got to keep him hammed up. You cannot allow him to get outside the pocket.”

On how challenging Murray will be:
“It’s a very big challenge. But, it can be done. He’s a heck of a football player. We know who he is as a football
player. He’s a very dynamic young man who’s got a tremendous skillset. We’ve got to be able to do our jobs.
Obviously, if we don’t, the worst thing that could happen is we could lose.”

On how the Cardinals neutralized the 49ers defensive front:
“Well, I think a lot of it was quick throws and quick hitting plays. They ran the ball fairly well—I shouldn’t say
fairly well—they ran the ball well enough to keep them off balance. A lot of throws were quick. They got the
ball out of his hands. I do believe he ran the ball 11 times for 100 yards or something like that, too, for a
quarterback. That keeps you off balance. That’s what I mean. If they keep him contained, don’t let him rush for
that many yards and for a touchdown. They’ve got a chance to win that football game.”

On offsetting quick throws from Murray:
“Do your job. I’m not going to get into specifics on things like that because that’s game planning stuff. You’ve
got to do your job.”

On how Kerrigan has stayed effective for so long:
“He’s a true pro. The way he works at his game, the way he works at his craft, studies his craft, prepares and the
way he takes care of his body. There’s no secret that there’s a number of guys that have played double digit
years. When you ask people to describe what that guy is, I promise you they all probably say he’s a true pro. He
understands what it takes to prepare each week, to play physically and mentally. Because he does that, he has
success. Secondly, he’s also a guy that understands his role. He’s a proud player. He wants to play. But, he also
understands that when I get an opportunity, I have to make the most of it. That’s what we saw from Ryan on
Sunday. He got an opportunity. What did he have, 25 snaps or something like that? Very productive. Very, very
productive. Two sacks, two tackles for loss, two tackles, two quarterback hits and a fumble recovery—that’s
making the most of your opportunities.”

On what impressed him about the defensive line against the Eagles:
“I think the thing that really as I go back and look at that game, I always talk about the first quarter and a half.
We didn’t play very well. There were a lot of things that we missed, opportunities that we missed, some play
that was disappointing, some penalties that we created that we had no business doing. That’s probably the thing
that surprised me more than anything else. We’ve got some talented players. They have an opportunity to make
plays and they’re going to make them. But the biggest thing that we have to continue to do is we’ve got to do
our jobs and continue to work at getting better. We’re not even close to where we should be or where we can be
or where we’re headed. But I do like our guys. I think we’ve got a group of guys that understand what it’s going
to take. What I did like, too, is their poise. You’re down 17-0, you could’ve easily said: ‘Let’s get out our own
and we’ll go on from here and we’ll get ready for next week.’ But, no, they didn’t. They fought back. They
stayed focus, they did their jobs, they went after their opponent and made something happen. Kudos to the guys
for doing that.”

On Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins:
“We had no sense he was on the market. What he does for the offense, they’re given another playmaker.
They’ve got a lot of playmakers on that football team. That’s one of the things that’s out there is here’s a guy
that’s got the ability to be explosive, the ability to make plays. It’s obvious based on how many times he was
targeted and how many times the ball was thrown to him that Kyler’s become very comfortable with him.”

On if the Hopkins trade surprised him:
“Yeah, just like everybody else. We were all surprised. Here’s a talented player that’s playing for a team that
he’d been playing very well for and they traded him. But, it was a decision that was made on another team.”

On utilizing practice squad activations this season:
“I think it is a unique tool. I’ll be honest, I hope we can keep this tool going forward because I appreciate the
ability to do that. I like the way it’s set up. I like the way that you can now have 28 guys active based on using
an extra offensive lineman. The things that they did to prepare us and give us an opportunity to play this year I
think was brilliant by the NFL and the NFLPA. It also creates more opportunities for these guys that are on
practice squad to be elevated and play and earn a little bit more money. But at the same time, it helps us as a
football team because we elevated a guy last week that we needed some help at the wide receiver position and
special teams and [WR] Cam [Sims] was one of our better guys so we elevated him and gave us a chance to do
something with him. Who knows what we’ll do this week.”

On his treatment on the road:
“My anticipation is to be able to take—if I have to, again playing out and do the halftime IV, I’ll do it again. As
far as it’s concerned, as far as the game’s concerned, it’s pretty much what we’ll map out. I’ll sit down and I’ll
talk to my doctor or I’ll talk to [Head Athletic Trainer] Ryan Vermillion and we’ll have a plan going into this
weekend.”

On former Carolina safety Eric Reid:
“Nobody’s reached out and ask me. I’d tell them he’s a heck of a teammate. He came in and the young man did
exactly what we asked of him. He was not an issue. I will say this, too, he’s a young man that truly helped me
understand the new entire movement that’s going on right now. He’s a heck of a young man, I’ll tell you that
much. We’re in a fortunate position where we have Landon Collins. A guy like Eric Reid wouldn’t fit us
here. But if we didn’t, believe me I’d call him. I think he’s a guy that has the ability to play in this league.
Hopefully if somebody needs a strong safety, he’s a guy that they would call.”

On the receivers and working out receivers from the waiver wire:
“They’re young. I like who they are, but they’re young. So, we’re just taking a look at guys. We’re kicking
tires. We’re trying to find guys that potentially could be on our practice squad, guys that potentially could grow
into receivers as we go forward. It’s always good to have a look at guys. That’s our biggest problem right now
if you look at it, what we had last week. We had [WR] Dontrelle Inman who is really the only veteran I think at
five years in the league. Now he’s played a lot of football because he’s been in Canada for a while. Then [WR]
Terry [McLaurin]’s a second year guy. Cam Sims is a second year guy. [WR] Steven Sims is a second year guy.
Then we had two rookies in [WR Antonio Gandy-Golden] and [WR] Isaiah [Wright] up that were both rookies.
We had five guys that were up that I have more playing experience than they do. I played nine and there were
only eight years of playing experience between those five guys. That’s our biggest concern, that we’re young at
that position.”

On home field advantages at away games without fans:
“I think still the ordeal of traveling still creates the sense that this is the home field. Different locker rooms
create the sense that this is the home field. That’s an advantage for the other team and that’s about it.”

On DE Chase Young playing on the left or right:
“Chase plays left and right in for us. We don’t necessarily say he’s a right end or a left end. I will say this again,
if you go back and look at the first quarter and a half nobody had success. But once everybody settled in and
started to play, I think that was a huge positive. We’ll see how it unfolds this week. If he starts on the left side,
he may have success there and not have success on the right. I think that we may be looking a little bit too far
for something on that.”
 

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