ASHBURN — Two essential training camp ingredients were added to the pot here on Tuesday: pads and one-on-one receiver-corner battles.
Thanks to the added gear, Ron Rivera's squad upped the physicality, which was necessary to ensure the action didn't get too stale in early August.
For a summary of how the pass Commanders catchers and defensive backs fared against each other, meanwhile, come right this way...
- Dyami Brown, who's fought a case of the drops at times, showed up well in man-on-man work. He beat William Jackson III early on an instant slant and then maintained possession as Jackson III did his best to jar it loose. A few minutes later, Brown then ran right by Christian Holmes down the sideline and snared a Carson Wentz pass over his shoulder for six points. More of that, and less of the unforced errors, would serve Brown and this team well.
- Benjamin St-Juste got a little too grabby when he was isolated. Versus Jahan Dotson, St-Juste put his hands inside of the rookie's shoulder, which caused position coach Chris Harris to remind him that'll be flagged mercilessly in the season. To St-Juste's credit, he erased Dax Milne soon after that, displaying much better discipline. For the majority of the summer, St-Juste has excelled.
- The top matchup pitted Terry McLaurin against Kendall Fuller, a showdown that Fuller won. McLaurin attempted to convince Fuller that he was running a go before slamming on the brakes on a comeback, yet Fuller didn't budge, leaving the quarterback nowhere to throw it. Fuller is absolutely locked in right now.
- Lastly, little-known corner Josh Drayden is doing what he can to remove the "little" from that label. The Cal product is popping more than Danny Johnson, who's been with Washington since 2018. A year ago, Torry McTyer emerged in the secondary to sneak onto the roster. Perhaps Drayden will follow on a similar path.
- Elsewhere, the wideouts added a new drill to their position-specific warmups meant to dial in their concentration. Two guys would go at a time, with one running in front of four tall tackle dummies and the other running in back of them. The former's job was basically to distract the latter, while the latter was tasked with hauling in multiple passes while not losing focus. Here's Dotson making it look routine:
- The Curtis Samuel Practice Tracker remains at zero. While he was present and wearing his jersey, Samuel wasn't involved at all. Unfortunately, The Curtis Samuel Missed Practice Tracker has now climbed to two.
- Wentz was better than the poor effort he authored on Monday. He reconnected with Dotson, whom he seriously clicked with at OTAs and minicamp, and also found McLaurin on a couple of occasions that required sharp timing and ball placement. However, he tailed off in the last 11-on-11 phase, lobbing two deep shots well out of bounds. He also almost committed an egregious turnover when he was rolling left and tried to flip the ball away before getting sacked; the problem was that he didn't get it high enough, giving St-Juste an opportunity to snag it. Fortunately, it fell incomplete.
- As Tuesday was winding down, McLaurin took a reverse and followed a nicely-blocked path for a first down and likely much more. On his way back to the offense, he made sure to give intense high-fives to Wes Schweitzer and others who cleared out his alley.
- John Bates, Trai Turner and Troy Apke joined Samuel as non-participants. Those three Commanders have all been absent for a string of practices. With no Bates at tight end (and still no Logan Thomas), Curtis Hodges and Armani Rogers have been filling in capably, with Rogers earning snaps with the starters on Tuesday.
- Lastly, it's time to plug a different post. Instead of clicking away from this to watch chipping tutorials on TikTok or to mindlessly scroll through Instagram stories that you've already scrolled through today, read this feature on how Washington's players make use of the JUGS machine — and how Tress Way keeps a suspicious eye on it.