Football Team

Three who surged and three who struggled in Washington's camp

Football Team

Sunday marked the end of the Washington Football Team's 2020 training camp. Now, they'll settle into a more regular season-like practice schedule as they head toward their Sep. 13 opener against the Eagles. 

So, who will be feeling really solid about what they did during the past few weeks in Ashburn, and who'll be wishing they performed better? Here are three names for both sides of that discussion.

Three who surged

Antonio Gibson

Gibson entered camp as somewhat of a mystery. Without any OTAs or other summer sessions to attend, the media really had not clue what the third-rounder's role in this offense would be.

Now, though, there is no mystery: He's going to be involved. Often.

The hybrid player did the overwhelming majority of his work as a running back, but even so, he was targeted often by every quarterback. The guy who Adrian Peterson believes could fit in as a linebacker proved to be deft at finding empty space as an outlet option and was dangerous after the catch. He seemed to improve as a runner each day as well. 

Ron Rivera admitted that Gibson still gets "confused" at times because of all the staff is asking him to do. But that didn't stop the staff from consistently calling his number anyway. And that didn't stop Gibson from becoming more and more confident in himself as camp progressed.

"I feel like nobody can guard me if you line up across from me," Gibson said after Sunday's action. 

 

A lot of Washington's defenders would probably agree with that. Now, he'll be everyone else's problem.

Troy Apke

Because he was drafted by a previous regime and didn't do much in his first two years, Apke seemed like someone who could be on the roster bubble. 

Not anymore, however.

The safety displayed a newfound desire to get physical and, according to Rivera, also is "really learning" how to take better angles on the back end.

So, unless something drastic happens, expect Apke to be next to Landon Collins in Week 1. That's a sentence that would've felt absurd to type in early August, yet in late August, there's nothing absurd about it.

Logan Thomas

Thomas is a guy who found his rhythm in the middle stretch of practices and carried that momentum through to the end. That's not to say that tight end is now no longer a worry — it's still a thin spot — but Thomas at least looks like he'll be capable there.

The free agent signing should be particularly effective in the red zone. That's where he and Dwayne Haskins most connected.

His blocking is going to be a flaw and he may top out around 40 or so grabs, but if five or six of those grabs are for scores, the organization will be pleased.

Three who struggled

Antonio Gandy-Golden

The hope was that Gandy-Golden would be able to overcome both the lack of offseason training and difficult transition from Liberty to the NFL to surface as a reliable weapon for Haskins. While that could still very well happen in 2020, it may take a couple of months.

In Ashburn, Gandy-Golden didn't come down with many jump balls, which was supposed to be a skill he could exhibit right away. His speed will always be a question, but if he can't dominate in the air, then he's really in trouble.

Don't give up on him. Don't even come close to giving up on him. But also don't count on AGG to be a main contributor right out of the gate. He has to develop more before that can happen.

Cornelius Lucas

The former Bear's reputation as a strong backup and possible one-year stopgap took a hit at camp.

Lucas never really challenged Geron Christian for the starting left tackle gig, and now, the idea of him having to step in for an injured blocker is concerning. 

His size is rare and he'll still make Rivera's 53-man roster, but Washington has to be hoping he doesn't have to rotate in too much this season. 

Sean Davis

As Apke's stock soared, Davis' tumbled.

On Sunday, Rivera was asked about what he had noticed from Davis in Burgundy and Gold. Here's how he opened his answer: "I see a guy that’s competing. We’re fortunate, we’ve got a little bit more depth than we initially anticipated."

 

The first part of that response was very general, and the second likely has to do with Apke stepping up. Together, they spell out that the ex-Steeler is slated to begin 2020 as a second-stringer, which can't be what he wanted when he signed with Washington in March.