Much of the Washington Football Team's success this fall will depend on its offense. Coaches and fans expect the defense to be good but the offense, that's a different question.
Certainly, the stability and ability of veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will play a large role in how well the offense performs this season, but Fitzpatrick's success is also dependent on other players.
First among them would be a rebuilt Washington offensive line, and particularly, rookie right tackle Sam Cosmi.
Through one week of training camp, Cosmi has struggled but considering he's often matched up against Chase Young or Montez Sweat, that's not too surprising. It's not bad for a rookie to struggle early in camp, but Cosmi needs to show improvement over the next few weeks.
Veteran tackle Cornelius Lucas looks prime to return from NFL Covid protocols, and while he played well last season, that was on the left side. He's played plenty of right tackle in his career though and should provide competition for Cosmi.
If not, Washington will have a problem.
Breaking in a new quarterback with two new tackles sounds daunting for any offense, and that right tackle spot is clearly a pressure point for Washington.
Then there's the defense.
The strength of this Washington Football Team is supposed to be its defensive front, and while Young and Sweat continue to impress off the edges, the middle looks much softer than early projections.
It's not that anyone has played poorly, it's just that few of the expected stars are playing.
Matt Ioannidis and Daron Payne are on the reserve/Covid-19 list and the new $72 million man Jonathan Allen missed Monday's session with a tight hamstring. That's the three best interior defensive linemen on this team not practicing.
These specific Covid-19 issues should clear up within the next week or 10 days, but with so many questions about vaccination rates on the Washington Football Team, it's certainly possible more Covid-19 issues emerge later this year.
As summer becomes fall and injuries eventually pop up, pressure builds for every NFL team.
For Washington, a strong defense was supposed to alleviate pressure on the offense, and the defense can only be strong when it's best players are on the field.