2 Up, 2 Down: Big hits are good for defense, bad for Barber


Training Camp Day 6 - This was an idea on the Washington Football Team Talk Podcast that now hits written form. This will look at two positives from practice and two negatives. Let's go. 

2 Up

  1. Antonio Gibson - When Adrian Peterson compliments a rookie, it's time to pay attention. "He’s an athlete. He probably could play linebacker. You could put him on the defensive side of the ball as well. When you look at his snaps in college, he took the majority of his snaps from the receiver position. But being around him, you see him at the running back position and it looks like it’s natural for him as well. He’s a big body, big lower body, thick thighs, he’s a big body guy. He’s not fat by any means. So, to be so big and athletic and have great hands, it’s going to be exciting to see what he’ll be able to do for us within this offense.”On the practice field Gibson makes an undeniable impact even if he's not always in the right spot. What's most impressive with Gibson is how he moves, with speed but under control, not the breakneck pace that some rookies hit when they're trying to acclimate. Last note on Gibson, he's got great hands. High or low, he seems to catch most everything thrown his way.
  2. Hitting - Having now watched a week of Ron Rivera's practices it's clear the Washington boss is fine with heavy contact. The NFL stipulated that teams can hold 14 padded practices before the season begins, and it seems like Rivera will use every last one. The team wore full pads today, for the second day in a row, and the action was serious. On a bubble screen throw to RB J.D. McKissic, LB Cole Holcomb blew up WR Dontrelle Inman who was trying to throw a block. Holcomb hit Inman into McKissic who got blasted to the ground. Shaun Dion Hamilton continued to fly around to the ball without much care of what offensive player got in his way and Troy Apke made a big hit too. More on that later.

Bonus positives: Dwayne Haskins made the best play of camp so far with a deep ball to Terry McLaurin in the corner of the end zone for a TD. After the TD, McLaurin punted the ball in celebration and the offense went nuts on the sidelines. Perhaps the biggest news of the day was Chase Young's return to 11v11 work. He missed a few days of practice with a hip flexor issue but looked great back on the field in goal line work, with a tipped pass and consistent disruptive play. Lastly new team president Jason Wright addressed the team after practice and was received with a round of applause. 

2 Down

  1. Peyton Barber - It's not really his fault but Barber seemed to be on the receiving end of a few big hits on Monday. At one point he limped off the field and was tended to by trainers but came back on the field a few minutes later only to absorb another big hit on a tackle in 11v11 drills. There's some question about the RB depth chart, and while Barber's play has been fine, getting beat up and missing work might not be in his best interest. 
  2. Logan ThomasListen Thomas is having a really good camp and looks to be poised for the top tight end role, but on Monday he got popped by Troy Apke in the middle of the field and put the ball on the ground. That won't fly for a big tight end, and Thomas was clearly frustrated. When he came off the field Thomas walked over to the rest of the tight ends, grabbed a drink of water and then slammed his helmet to the ground. He rebounded later in the session and caught a touchdown from Dwayne Haskins during 11v11 goal line work. 

Extra negatives: Dustin Hopkins had a pretty ugly miss on a long-range field goal to end practice. The Washington kicker has been nailing almost all of his kicks in camp, but the miss was a bit of a let-down to an otherwise good session.