Football Team

WFT camp notes: On-field intensity ramps up big time

Football Team

RICHMOND, Va. — Things didn't reach a full-on boiling point here on Friday, but they sure were simmering as multiple scrums broke out after the whistle on a couple of plays. 

Afterward, Ron Rivera explained that, though he likes intensity, he doesn't need to see those kinds of situations escalate. Brandon Scherff, meanwhile, said they can be useful, because they force players to learn how to handle and tune out opposing trash talk.

Now, that's enough of an intro. Let's recap the shoving matches, as well as everything else that went down in the third session of camp...

  • Backup tight end Temarrick Hemingway got upset with Montez Sweat, which led to a large mosh pit forming near the 50-yard line about halfway through the proceedings. No punches were thrown, but plenty of curse words were used and there was a healthy amount of pushing. Chase Young happily hopped in to defend his fellow pass rusher, and for a second, it felt like something really serious was about to break out. The two sides were separated before that occurred, though. Also, it's worth mentioning that Scherff was just bopping around and tossing guys around for fun, including Jon Bostic and Kam Curl. It was hilarious.
  • Almost right after Hemingway and Sweat attempted to hash out their problems, Sammis Reyes and Cole Holcomb had their own disagreement that again required intervention from other guys. It was the first time Reyes has gotten fired up like that since joining Washington.
  • OK, let's move on to football events. At last, the receivers and defensive backs were allowed to go at each other in 1-on-1s — which is always the highlight of these summer days — and Terry McLaurin, predictably, balled out. Here's a math formula for you: No pass rush + no safety help + plenty of grass to work with = endless McLaurin receptions. The guy is a stud in any setting, but in that specific drill, keeping track of him is damn near impossible.
  • Former Burgundy and Gold fan favorite Chris Baker was in attendance on Friday, and when an offensive lineman flinched in a 9-on-9 scenario, Baker gave a hearty, "WHOA" from the sidelines. As NBC Sports Washington's Mitch Tischler cleverly pointed out, a D-linemen will always cease on an opportunity to point out a false start, even if he's moved on to a post-NFL life.
  • Taylor Heinicke took his turn at the podium on Friday, and in one exchange, he revealed that he sometimes struggles when throwing to the left. That comment gave new color to a sequence that unfolded earlier, as Heinicke hit John Bates on a relatively simple dump-off. The pass was completed, yes, but the toss carried Bates just a hint upfield, and in a real game, it would've carried him right into the chest of the flat defender. It was a very minor detail, but it might be one that coaches harp on and he wants to tidy up. Not every completion is a good throw, and that moment was a perfect example of that.
  • Antonio Gandy-Golden was pretty involved throughout practice. In one 11-on-11 rep, a screen was called for him, and then on the ensuing snap, Heinicke tried to hit him deep but overshot the wideout. AGG later snared a sweet back-shoulder throw and also came down with a grab on an in-breaking route over the middle. He has to stack days like that in order to remain relevant in the battle at receiver, but Friday was a solid effort from him.
  • Landon Collins, Troy Apke, Daron Payne and Chase Young all registered pass break-ups at various parts of the action. Collins flew in from his deep safety spot for his (and nearly turned it into an interception), Apke deflected one away from Kelvin Harmon, and Payne and Young spiked a couple of Ryan Fitzpatrick throws at the line. For the most part, the defense is being very stingy. 
  • Saahdiq Charles lined up at right tackle with the starters for a handful of plays. He's not necessarily about to overtake Sam Cosmi, but it was valuable experience for him nonetheless (even if Sweat basically knocked him over on one dropback). 
  • Last one: Steven Sims got upset with himself for not getting set quick enough on the outside before Fitzpatrick called for one snap. The QB tried to connect with Sims on a go route but the two were unable to, and as Sims jogged back to the offensive group, he shook his head and accosted himself a bit for being a little slow to his mark, which messed up his release, which affected the overall timing. Fitzpatrick certainly hustled up to get under center, and that probably caught Sims off guard, but that's on him and not the signal caller.