Football Team

Camp Notes (8/28): Observations on RB battle and a new face at LG

Football Team

ASHBURN, Va. — After a planned off day and then a not-planned off day, the Washington Football Team was back at it under a beating sun at their headquarters.

Overall, the practice wasn't the cleanest. There were a decent amount of false starts and offsides, some drops and not as much juice as the media has recently become accustomed to under Ron Rivera.

Rivera even acknowledged that in his daily Zoom, saying he felt some of his squad was "a little distant" but he understood why, considering all of the heavy issues that are on their mind.

Regardless, there are still plenty of things that need to be passed on, so let's pass those on now:

  • After each group did their typical warming up, the offense (minus receivers) and the defense (minus corners) got together at one end for 9-on-9 run drills. Jon Bostic, Cole Holcomb and Kevin Pierre-Louis were the first linebackers up, with KPL replacing fellow three-namer Shaun Dion Hamilton. Adrian Peterson took the first three handoffs, meanwhile, then the rest of the running backs followed. The offense had the advantage in this portion, especially on Peterson's reps, forcing Jack Del Rio to at one point yell at his guys, "This is not that hard!" 
  • In that 9-on-9, Antonio Gibson was kicked in the shin and was limping for the rest of the action. To his credit, though, he didn't ask out, despite having a noticeable hitch in his run. Even with the bum leg, he was a factor in 11-on-11s, with his top sequence being a clutch grab-and-run over the middle on what was a simulated third down. The dude can play. He's going to be a factor in 2020, and when he gets a few NFL seasons under his belt — Rivera told reporters that there are stretches where the rookie gets "confused" due to all he's being given — he's going to be a factor. 
  • Once that above section wrapped, the O-line and D-line initiated some 1-on-1s. Chase Young and Morgan Moses squared off for a snap, and afterward, Moses crossed the line of scrimmage to go back-and-forth with Young on some pointers. Moses has his faults, yes, but the veteran is constantly supporting Dwayne Haskins, helping out his fellow blockers and now even coaching up the rushers. It was interesting to watch him and Young rehash their battle.
  • Speaking of Young, between his No. 99 and his dark visor, he might be the coolest-looking edge defender to have ever played the sport of football. That's not official yet, but early indications are he's trending that way.
  • Kendall Fuller and Fabian Moreau weren't participating. Saahdiq Charles is still recovering from his calf injury. Near the end of the two-hour session, Antonio Gandy-Golden left with a trainer.
  • Running back is going to be a really tight race all the way to cutdown day. In his newest 53-man roster projection, JP Finlay actually has Washington keeping all five: Peterson, Antonio Gibson, JD McKissic, Peyton Barber and Bryce Love. And it's difficult to argue with that, too, even if that's not usually how a roster comes together. The way Scott Turner plans to run the ball and lean on that position to contribute with catches means he'll want as many of them as possible, and none of the five obviously don't belong. McKissic and Barber may be fourth and fifth in the fight, yet they still have traits that'll be useful.
  • New face Joshua Garnett was quite involved at left guard. Garnett got here just a week ago and was thrown into the trenches to try and limit Jon Allen, Daron Payne and company. Garnett's a former 2016 first-round pick out of Stanford and Washington is clearly trying to figure out what he can offer them. No better way to do so than ask him to block their front. Rivera believes his skillset fits in to what this offense wants to accomplish more so than his past stop in San Fran.
  • Is Troy Apke all of the sudden a heavy hitter? The past few days here seem to suggest that. On Friday, he forcefully broke up a deep crossing throw to Isaiah Wright. He's also laid out Terry McLaurin (in a collision that probably would've flagged in a game) and forced a fumble on Logan Thomas as well. He's playing like his job depends on how these few weeks go, and so far, he's thriving.
  • Apke's run-in wasn't the only standout part of that snap. As that was happening, another guy on the field (who will remain unnamed) started — here comes the proper medical term — vomiting. He knelt on the sideline, then continued to vomit. After vomiting a little more, he strapped on his helmet and re-entered the lineup. He missed just one play. It was a supremely NFL Training Camp Thing. Here's JP with more analysis: