RICHMOND, Va. — There is already so much to take in here at Washington Football Team training camp.
Ron Rivera's Tuesday press conference was dominated by COVID-related questions, as the coach declared his frustration with his squad's poor vaccination rates numerous times. On a more positive note, Logan Thomas signed a contract extension, right after Jonathan Allen inked his. But back to the negative side of things, Curtis Samuel is on the PUP list.
Yet, on Wednesday, the players will take the field for their first real practice together as they gear up for the 2021 campaign, meaning (most) of everyone's attention can be devoted to what actually occurs on the grass at the franchise's other Virginia facility. And, as usual, the majority of that attention will be directed toward what's happening at quarterback.
When not fending off inquiries about vaccinations, Rivera was asked at one point about how he plans on dividing up the reps between Ryan Fitzpatrick, Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen. Fitzpatrick and Heinicke are in a supposed battle for the starting gig, but the former has a much larger salary, much (much, much) more experience and he received all of the first-team snaps in OTAs and minicamp earlier this summer.
Despite all those facts, though, Rivera insisted that there will be some sort of rotation at signal caller.
"The intent is to find the best combination of players to put them on the field," he said. "We'll make sure everybody gets reps. We'll make sure that we get a chance to really truly evaluate."
The reason for that, he explained, is because he wholeheartedly committed to Dwayne Haskins in the lead-up to last season, and well, that didn't exactly pan out
"I made the decision to do what I did and I'm not sure if that was the best decision," Rivera said. "I wanted to try and get Dwayne as many reps as possible and give him every opportunity to develop within the scheme. I know it was a new scheme and he really didn't have the type of time you would like, but I just thought that would be something that was right for us and it didn't work. So this year, you know, it's going to be pretty much normal in terms of competition."
Well, Wednesday will be the first opportunity to see just how serious he is about that claim.
Will Fitz still be in the huddle with the starters play in and play out as he looks to build more chemistry with the overall group, or will Heinicke get some work, too? What will happen if one or the other struggles during a certain day? Those types of things should be answered in the coming sessions.
Like always, the Burgundy and Gold is busy. But like always, when the team puts on their cleats and their helmets, the majority of conversation will center around who's under center.
Most expect that to be Fitzpatrick, both at camp and come Week 1, even as Rivera indicates otherwise. So, let's see how much Rivera (and Heinicke) truly pushes the veteran.