Football Team

Three WFT players to watch in preseason matchup vs. Bengals

Football Team

Mistakes happen in football, but what coaches value are players who learn from their errors and succeed in their next opportunity.

For Washington, that next opportunity comes on Friday night versus the Bengals, and the trio below is made up of three guys who would love to take advantage of it after iffy outings against the Patriots.

So, let's list them off, starting with a very obvious one...

Dustin Hopkins

The Washington kicker, along with holder Tress Way and long snapper Camaron Cheeseman, weren't in sync in the Patriots game, which resulted in a pair of missed field goals.

Since then, that unit, and especially Hopkins, has been grilled more than a pack of hot dogs at a tailgate. Some are even wondering why Ron Rivera hasn't yet brought in competition for Hopkins, who had the worst year of his career in 2020 (to be fair, he finished the season exceedingly well).

For now, though, Rivera is opting to stick with the veteran. Way, meanwhile, insisted that the kicking operation is "hammering" out what went wrong in New England.

Hopefully, that show of confidence and additional attention to detail will lead to a clean sheet for Hopkins at FedEx Field. Should he come up short (or, more accurately, left or right) once more, then the worry meter will reach untenable levels.

Jamin Davis

Davis admitted to the media on Wednesday that he wasn't able to be as effective as he wanted to in his NFL debut because he wasn't quite sure of his run fits and wasn't as precise with his duties in pass coverage.

 

In short, he wants to get to a place where he's playing much faster.

Unlike the name listed above and the name listed below him, Davis' spot on the roster is totally secure no matter what goes down when the Bengals visit. Even so, it was clear during his press conference that he wasn't thrilled with what he put on tape and following up that first effort with more missed chances would no doubt disappoint him.

Davis has tremendous speed, exhibits a lot of maturity and figures to be a key cog of Washington's defense for many years. Perhaps he'll give fans something to cheer (and tweet and text and snap and DM) about on Friday.

Antonio Gandy-Golden

Rivera's recent release of Kelvin Harmon was certainly good news for Gandy-Golden, considering that's one less bigger body for him to battle with at receiver for the rest of camp.

The 2020 fourth-rounder must keep that momentum going, however. 

While Rivera told reporters AGG has done a "nice job" this summer, he hasn't gotten open or hauled in receptions as consistently as coaches would probably like him to. That's been especially true whenever he's mixed in with the starters. Then there was the two-point conversion he couldn't secure last week.

Gandy-Golden doesn't have to tally triple digits in the yardage column or get into the end zone, but it'd be a solid step for him if he could catch three or four balls or produce one chunk play by going over the top of a defender. It's still a bit hard to envision Rivera dropping him before he embarks on his second pro campaign, though Gandy-Golden would be wise to simply make himself un-cuttable.