Ron Rivera's Monday presser with the media was dominated by questions regarding Derrius Guice.
However, the coach did touch on other key topics that are also worth reporting on now that the ex-Washington running back's situation has largely been addressed.
So, here are three non-Guice related things Rivera discussed on Zoom, all of which fans should know about.
1) We may be discounting someone in the backfield
How does Guice's dismissal impact Bryce Love and Antonio Gibson? Is Adrian Peterson going to lead the offense in rushing for a third year in a row?
Those are the kinds of conversations that are happening about the running back depth chart now that Guice is no longer a part of it, but Rivera wants one more name to be included.
"Don’t forget Peyton Barber," he said, bringing up the free agent signing unprompted.
Barber's career stats — 3.6 yards per carry in 63 games — are uninspiring on their own and have caused most to ignore him even after Guice's departure.
Rivera, however, made the move to acquire Barber in March at a time when the group seemed completely set and is making a point to mention him to reporters as well. If the franchise's main decision maker cares that much about the veteran, perhaps others should as well.
2) The team is really enticed by Reuben Foster
Rivera was fairly asked on Monday why Foster has a place on Washington's roster but Guice doesn't, and you can find his answer here.
As for how much Foster can contribute football-wise in 2020 after coming off the PUP list, Rivera sounded quite optimistic.
"He can be a very big asset, just because of his ability to make plays, his explosiveness as a football player," he said.
Rivera then compared Foster's comeback to that of Jaylon Smith, the Cowboys' impressive linebacker. Smith suffered an injury in college that was very similar to the one Foster experienced last May, but Smith has since worked himself into shape and is celebrating his first Pro Bowl selection.
Rivera believes his defender can follow that kind of path.
"That’s what we’re hoping for, is an opportunity for Reuben to get back on the field and prove that he’s back," he said.
3) Rivera's emphasizing practice speed
The media will head out to Ashburn and watch training camp for the first time this Thursday. So, one member asked Rivera what he would like to most stand out to outsiders who do attend his team's upcoming camp sessions.
He didn't need to think long for a response.
“The biggest thing is I want you to see tempo," Rivera said. "I want [reporters] to be able to say, ‘Man, they practice fast. Man, they move from one drill to the other.’ To me, that’s one of the things that you have to do, is play with up-tempo. The only way to do that is practice with an up-tempo. You’ve got to be able to understand how things have to be done."
As Rivera explained, that speed is even more critical this year without the preseason. In fact, the coach actually wants someone to let him know if the energy doesn't seem to be up where it should be.
"We’ve got to practice at an up-tempo every opportunity we get, and that’s what I hope [reporters] see," Rivera said. "If [they] don’t, let me know because that’s something we need to get corrected."
Here's an advanced "good luck" to the first person who actually tries to tell Rivera how to run his workouts. You're going to need it.
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