In past years, had there been weather similar to what rolled through the area on Monday morning, it feels safe to say that Washington would've taken shelter inside their bubble and held practice there. Not this time, though.
Between head coach Ron Rivera's preference to have his players handle adverse elements and the recently upgraded fields at the franchise's home facility, the Burgundy and Gold suited up despite heavy, heavy rain as they continue to gear up for a matchup versus Cincinnati on Friday (Washington Football Kickoff Live will air on Friday at 7 PM on NBC Sports Washington).
"You've got to learn to be comfortable when you're uncomfortable," Rivera told reporters after the morning workout.
While the second half of the workout did clear up, the opening portion was... not ideal.
Here's what stood out from the soggy and padded session...
- Since Sunday came and went without a notes story (my Sunday status report would've listed me as "DID NOT ATTEND — FRIEND'S WEDDING), let's get you caught up on who's playing and who's sitting. Quarterback Kyle Allen is finally back from his ankle tweak, meaning he should be on track to make his preseason debut this Friday against the Bengals. As for Curtis Samuel, who returned on Sunday and participated in individual drills at receiver after a lengthy stint on the PUP list, he was held out of Monday's action and instead did agility work on the side. Rivera has said he wants to "ease" Samuel in, and there wasn't much sense in putting Samuel out there in the wet conditions. Temarrick Hemingway remained in concussion protocol and wasn't spotted at practice.
- At the height of the rain, pass catchers faced a decision: Either haul in an incoming throw with their body and give themselves a strong chance of holding on or try to spear it with their hands (some were bare and some kept their gloves on) and likely see it slip right on by. As this clip of Logan Thomas shows, though, even a simple stop route was difficult to execute when the sky was pouring:
- A name that hasn't gotten a lot of run in this space — but one that has consistently done well — is Dax Milne. The seventh-round rookie wideout still appears to be on track for a practice squad spot because of how many other receivers reside ahead of him in the pecking order, but the BYU product is holding his own in practice thanks to his reliable hands and polished route running. If he has to be in the lineup at some point in 2021, coaches will likely have confidence in him, and hopefully, he can grow and become a more regular contributor down the road.
- Per NBC Sports Washington's Mitch Tischler, who was in attendance here on Sunday, quarterback Taylor Heinicke was the victim of an abundance of interceptions. He may not have been as reckless with the ball on Monday, but he wasn't exactly smart with it, either. Benjamin St-Juste had the highlight of the morning when he skied for one Heinicke toss, tipped it with one hand then corralled it with two for an end zone takeaway. (An aside: BSJ is going to be a home run of a draft choice.) Deshazor Everett and Jeremy Reaves both spilled easy ones, too. As for Allen, his final attempt of the proceedings ended in the arms of Danny Johnson, who had a clear route for a pick-six following the grab.
- Jaret Patterson was in the kickoff return group Monday, a few days after Rivera revealed that he'd like to experiment with the undrafted rookie in that role. Patterson may not have the typical long speed that someone like Cordarrelle Patterson possesses, but as he displayed in New England, he's bouncy with his cuts. It'll be intriguing to watch how he performs in that capacity if Rivera truly hands him the opportunity.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick just keeps stacking solid efforts. He and Thomas have a connection that, on the surface, looks like it's been years in the making, as opposed to just a few weeks.
- "The Cheese can snap, man." That's Pro Bowl punter Tress Way describing Washington's new long snapper, Camaron Cheeseman. Of course, Cheeseman, Way and Dustin Hopkins are being scrutinized after two missed field goals in the exhibition opener, but Way isn't losing any faith. He, along with Rivera, told reporters that Cheeseman's snaps come in hot, so that has been an adjustment for everyone involved. Also, Way discussed how some of the amazingly simple things — such as where the specialists stand on the sideline before a kick or what Way likes to do to kill time when they don't need to be ready for duty — need to be worked on as well. With Nick Sundberg gone and Cheeseman in, the chemistry on that unit has to be rebuilt.