Head coach Ron Rivera sat down with reporters to delve into the Week 10 loss to the Detroit Lions
During his usual time slot on Monday, head coach Ron Rivera spent time with the local media to discuss the fallout from Sunday’s loss to Detroit and what could be next for some key players.
Here are some takeaways from the press conference.
Dustin Hopkins on Thin Ice
For a team that needs every break to go their way, having a kicker that they can count on making field goals is a must. Long time kicker Dustin Hopkins ability to do such a thing has started to sour in 2020. Through 9 games Hopkins has missed 5 field goal attempts and 1 extra point attempt. A career 85-percent kicker has withered to a 70-percent kicker this year. The inability to find a groove has led to Rivera getting questioned on whether Dustin will be around longer. It seems that the coaching staff is starting to have more serious conversations about replacing him. Rivera mentioned that it can be hard to find a kicker that fits what you want to do and has the experience this coaches staff wants. Even with the uncertainty of being able to find someone to replace Hopkins, the leash is getting shorter by the week.
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Alex Smith Now and Maybe Then
Washington has been notorious for burning through quarterbacks for nearly 30 years. 2020 is another season where fans will see at least 3 different starting quarterbacks. Questions have started to arise about the future. Kyle Allen isn’t the future franchise quarterbacks and it is clear that Ron is ready to move on from Dwayne Haskins. That then leaves Alex Smith. The inspirational story that should be made into a movie sooner rather then later. But is Alex really the future? Ron says that it all depends on how much longer he can play and how much longer Alex wants to play. It is a conversation that the organization will need to have this offseason, but the door has been left open. It is possible that Ron is serious about Alex being around for more then a couple of season. Or, Rivera could be trying to drive his trade value up heading into the offseason.
Need Disciplined, Fast Starts
Washington continues to have issues in every facet of the game for the first quarter and a half. It does not matter who the opponent is or where the game is being played. But it continues to be a lingering issue. This is something that Ron recognizes needs to change, but the team is getting closer to realizing their potential. Rivera used the first drive as an example that if they had been more disciplined in executing the end around by J.D. McKissic and Smith had not taken that horrible sack, they come away with at least 3 points, if not a touchdown. The opportunities are there. The coaching staff needs to figure out what else needs to be done. Otherwise it will continue to be an uphill battle to win games with a quarterback that performs better ahead then from behind.
Free Safety is Unsettled
Safety Deshazor Everett has done a great job as the starter since replace Troy Apke a few games ago. He has brought discipline and hard hitting ability that was missed and costing Washington points on defense. Everett left the game with what was initially diagnosed as a high ankle sprain. This led to Apke returning to the free safety position and was beaten badly deep on what should have been a game winning touchdown. There has been talk that the coaching staff could use cornerback Kendall Fuller at free safety. But Rivera quickly said that while Fuller could play safety, he is a cornerback. And their best corner at that. Ron could bring someone in from the outside, promote Apke back to being a starter, or give Jeremy Reaves a chance after being called up when Landon Collins went down with his season ending Achilles injury. One player we might not hear about again is Eric Reid, though he would be an upgrade from what they have right now. There are still a lot of moving parts at this crucial position with 2 games in 5 days coming up quickly.