Football Team

Camp Notes (8/25): Observations on C. Sims, L. Thomas and more

Football Team

ASHBURN, Va. — After bludgeoning each other for three days straight, the Washington Football Team ditched the pads on Tuesday before an off day on Wednesday. 

While there were no Terry McLaurin punts or Cole Holcomb hitsticks to report on, it was still a productive few hours for Ron Rivera's squad.

Here's your recap of what took place at the Burgundy and Gold's facility:

 
  • This offense is going to hand the ball of a good amount, and some of those handoffs are going to be quite creative and feature guys other than running backs. Because of NFL rules, that's about all that can be said at this time, so sorry to leave you hanging. But be ready for some real ingenuity on the ground.
  • Logan Thomas' career high for catches in a season is 16, so let's say he has a best-case campaign and finishes with 40 grabs in 2020. Even though that number sounds small, it feels like he's going to make them count. Thomas and Dwayne Haskins have now connected for touchdowns in three consecutive practices during red zone work and Rivera mentioned their growing rapport after Monday's action. When Washington gets in close this year, Thomas could really emerge.
  • Tuesday's 9-on-9 drill had a slight variation to it. Usually, the two players missing are the tackles, so the QBs feel some interior pressure but don't have to worry about outside rush. This time, however, about half of the snaps included a center-guard-tackle lineup instead of the typical guard-center-guard combination. That change was especially noticeable when Alex Smith took a slight bump from behind and his back, still-recovering leg shifted just a bit in the pocket. Smith was fine, no one said anything and he took the next rep, but it was low-key jarring. 
  • Tight ends coach Pete Hoener is very particular. If one of his guys caught a 99-yard touchdown pass and broke seven tackles while doing it, Hoener would likely take issue with how they didn't get by an eighth defender. His attention to detail and desire for every single thing to be perfect will surely get the most out of a group that many see as the weakest on the roster. He's been really fun to watch (and more importantly listen to) so far.
  • Cam Sims was the Randy Moss of 2019 training camp — and then he totaled two catches in the regular season. That makes it hard to read too much into what he does here, since he was so dominant in the summer but so absent in the fall a year ago. He did come down with one wild TD on Tuesday, though, that deserves to be mentioned. Kyle Allen dropped back and was standing around the 10-yard line, waiting for someone to work free. With his internal clock ticking, the backup tossed one up high to the back of the end zone that Sims snared and then secured on his way down, just staying in bounds. It displayed his rare skill set and was one of those moments that will stick in the minds of coaches. Afterward, Scott Turner made sure to call him over and give him a fist bump.
  • The secondary was missing a few of its top guys, as Kendall Fuller and Fabian Moreau were held out. Saahdiq Charles missed again, too, as did Nate Orchard and Wes Schweitzer. The Wes vs. Wes battle at left guard has not come to fruition. 
  • Dontrelle Inman has been relatively effective in his short stint with the organization. That may be his ceiling, but he's shown off reliable hands and has also produced a few Sunday-quality receptions. Antonio Gandy-Golden remains the long-term, ideal second wideout next to McLaurin, but Inman might have the edge to take that role for Week 1. 
  • Gonna switch to first person for this final note — I'm getting really tan guys. This is the most outdoor time I've notched since the pandemic started and it's doing wonders for my skin tone. I've even tried to wear ankle socks instead of my usual half-calfs to make sure I don't get any weird lines down there. Thought you all would like to know.