As the Washington Football prepares for their preseason finale on Saturday against the Ravens, head coach Ron Rivera wants his player to prepare like it’s the regular season. After Saturday, Washington will have to wait 15 days for their season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.
On Monday, Rivera explained what he wanted to see out his team as they prepare for the final preseason game.
“Well, just the biggest thing more than anything else is really about us going through the process of what that’s going to be like during the regular season,” he said. “Everything from the way we’re going to meet to the way we walk through, the way we practice, and then the post-practice lifts and meetings. It’s just to get a sense and feel for that. Be very direct with the game planning, getting an understanding and feel for how we’re going to game plan. Then also for the guys to develop and understand how important it is for them to take advantage of their own time. Some of the things that we do in some of our meetings, there’s a period where there’s a group of guys that aren’t involved in special teams that have some downtime.
“What I’ve told them is I want them to take care of three things, either getting extra treatment, getting their strength conditioning done, or spending some time watching film. I mean, it’s an opportunity to take about 40 minutes to get a little bit ahead of some things and an opportunity to watch your opponent and kind of study what we’re going to do. It’s about time management now, and that’s what we’re looking for.”
In the past, when teams played four preseason games, the third preseason game was like a dress rehearsal, but with only three preseason games, each team will handle things differently. At this point, Rivera is unsure how long his starters will play against Baltimore.
“When we get together as coaches in the next couple of days, we’ll talk about how much we want to see everybody play, and we’ll go from there,” Rivera said.
The last preseason game is also a chance for players on the bubble to impress, which Rivera discussed on Monday.
“We’ll have some guys that would play an awful lot, and we’re going to look for them to be put in situations and do they capitalize on those things,” he said. “How they prepare this week also, we’ll get an opportunity to really watch to see if they get it. That’s what we’re looking for. We’re looking for guys that are going to take advantage of these opportunities, make plays, make things happen, and handle the situations and opportunities.”