• Joey Jarzynka

Washington's HC Ron Rivera & VP of Player Personnel Kyle Smith Quotes 4/24/20

On not trading T Trent Williams tonight:

RR: “We’ll just wait and see. At the end of the day, there’s no rush, there’s no hurry. We have opportunities and we’ll just continue to keep working on it. We’ll have to wait and see. We’re not going to speculate on something that’s an ongoing process right now, guys.”

On drafting RB Antonio Gibson:

KS: “Yeah, no, he’s an exciting prospect. We’re excited about this kid, man. He’s a swiss army knife, obviously was playing a little bit of wide receiver and running back at Memphis. He’s a return specialist, he’s got good hands, he’s 228 pounds, he runs fast, he plays fast, he’s got physicality to him. We really viewed him – where the excitement came – not only from the tape, in the background, in the character, how he’s wired. Also, speaking with [Offensive Coordinator] Coach [Scott] Turner and how he’s going to utilize him along with the other backs. You know, it’s not just like a normal running back that you’re like, ‘okay, here’s his skillset.’ You can put him on the field with [RB] Adrian Peterson, with [RB] Derrius Guice, with [RB] J.D. McKissick. You can use this guy in a lot of different ways, so it opens up a lot of different options for our offense.”

On the options for picks tonight:

KS: “Yeah, we had a nice cluster, and [Head] Coach [Ron Rivera] and I had a good conversation about a bunch of the guys that were there that we were willing to take. At the end of the day, it wasn’t one position that we were looking. It was actually multiple positions. We talked about how this guy fits, and we felt really good about making the pick.”

On discovering Gibson:

RR: “Well, I know he was a guy that was brought to our attention because they were moving him around in the Senior Bowl, and [Vice President of Player Personnel] Kyle [Smith] and his guys kept pointing him out. So, we started really diving into who he is and what he does and what he’s capable of with the multi-faceted offense style of offense we use. You know, Scott Turner really feels that this is a guy that can come in and be a very versatile player for us. Plus, he has special teams value. He’s a very good fit, we believe, into what we do and how we want to do things.”

On comparing Gibson to Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey:

RR: “No, that’s fair. He’s a little bit bigger than Christian, but he’s got a skillset like Christian. He’s shown some position flexibility playing in the slot, then he shows position flexibility playing in the backfield. Ran some wildcat with him behind the center taking direct snaps. This is a very versatile, young football player that we really think is going to be a guy that can get on the field for us early and contribute.”

On how Gibson fits with the surrounding offensive talent currently on the roster:

RR: “Oh, very much so. He’s a guy that, again, you can look for matchups, you can create matchups and you’re not necessarily always putting the ball in his hands. They have to honor him wherever he’s aligned. It is going to open up things for his teammates, whether they be wide receivers, tight ends or other running backs. This is a guy that is really, as Kyle said, he’s a little bit of a swiss army knife. We’re kind of excited about what his impact can be for us.”

On balancing their drafting approach:

KS: “Yeah, it’s like you said really. That’s kind of how our board is set up. On the X and Y axes across the board, you start looking horizontally at the different positions and where the guys are graded. Obviously if it’s close, if it’s like this and you have a need, then you usually go towards the need. But we’re not going into it saying we want X, Y, Z tomorrow or maybe even today if we can get back in. We’ll just go through it and let the board kind of speak to us that way.”

On the expectations for Gibson this season:

RR: “I think to be able to contribute, whether he plays a situational role for us, specific packages. I also do think he can make an impact on our special teams. So, I’m excited about the young man’s ability to come in and help this football team from the beginning.”

On what it would take to consider moving back into the third round:

KS: “Well number one, it’s who’s there. Number two is how much it’s going to cost to get up – do we have the ammo to get up in those conversations there? As the picks keep coming, we’re obviously monitoring it. We’ll see if there’s a player there that we’re excited about. Maybe make some calls and see what it’s going to take to go up, but we’re constantly doing that. We’re doing that before our pick and that’s what we’ll continue to do moving forward.”

On how much Gibson’s special teams experience played into the selection:

RR: “Well, it was most certainly a consideration. It was talked about. [Special Teams Coordinator] Nate Kaczor really likes him. He thinks that this is a guy that can come in and contribute from the beginning on special teams. He’s also had some play time as a gunner, as a cover guy, so this guy is going to get on the field for us early. We’re excited for who he can be for us as a football player.”

On RB Bryce Love’s status at this point in the offseason:

RR: “Bryce is still going through his rehab process, and we’ll get into that once we start getting ready to report, whenever that is. But he is going through his rehab program right now, and he’s progressing daily. That’s pretty much it. That’s kind of all I get. I don’t get to go out and see him because it’s restricted in terms of who’s allowed to be there and working out with our trainers.”

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