Camp notes: In return to Ashburn, Washington has mixed practice


ASHBURN, Va. — When someone is trying just a little too hard in a given activity, kids these days like to label that person as "sweaty."

Based off that, it would've been fitting if Montez Sweat had an extra "y" on his jersey's nameplate on Monday.

During one 11-on-11 play in the first half of the Washington Football Team's first training camp practice back at their home facility, Ryan Fitzpatrick dumped a screen pass off to JD McKissic, who broke free down the right sideline. Sweat, who may be the most agile 6-foot-6 man on Earth, was McKissic's lone pursuant, and as he finally tracked the running back down, he gave McKissic a hearty push out of bounds.

Since McKissic was running at full speed, the shove from Sweat forced him to topple over and tumble onto the grass. That led to an outcry of displeasure from various members of the offense, and prompted running backs coach Randy Jordan to scream, "Take care of each other!"

Sweat's intensity is part of what makes him such a devastating NFL pass rusher, yet in that instance, it was probably too much (and afterward, Ron Rivera confirmed he had already discussed the incident with Sweat).

Now, if you don't mind, I'd like to push you to read the rest of this edition of camp notes...

  • Kyle Allen was held out of action on Monday after hurting his ankle in the final get-together in Richmond... and he may have had the best morning of any quarterback simply by not participating. Ryan Fitzpatrick was the best of the other three, while Taylor Heinicke and Steven Montez had more downs than ups. Heinicke in particular got off to a rough start — he even missed a few short routes when his targets were going up against air — and though he did drop in back-to-back touchdowns in red zone drills, he finished with a sour stretch, too. He just appears to be thinking too much and not letting it rip.
  • One of those scoring strikes from Heinicke ended in the hands of DeAndre Carter, who keeps chugging along in the absence of Curtis Samuel. Carter snared the ball at about knee height as it was on its way down and chopped his feet to get them in bounds. Other back-end receivers have had their moments, but Carter has been the most consistent amongst the depth chart's bottom half. That TD was the highlight of the proceedings for the offense, which looked better closing out Richmond than it did to open things up in Ashburn.
  • The signal callers weren't the only ones slumping a bit. Terry McLaurin actually dropped two passes, which is more rare than Halley's Comet landing on a four-leaf clover. McKissic also botched one.
  • Jonathan Allen didn't do much due to a tight hamstring, while Jamin Davis was sidelined with an eye infection. Khaleke Hudson replaced Davis when the defense deployed three linebackers, and he was praised by Rivera for how he's made a habit of seizing opportunities. Cornelius Lucas is still in COVID protocols but he was present and working on the side (once he gets his conditioning back, he'll presumably be pulled off of the list). 
  • The squad wasn't fully padded, but the expectation is that they'll strap them on tomorrow. Let's see if that helps Sam Cosmi better withstand Sweat and Chase Young, because so far, it doesn't seem like he's having much fun.
  • In a bullet that may infuriate some fans, Young has dropped back in coverage on a couple of occasions to begin camp. He did so on Monday, but the QB opted to try the other side of the play to move the ball. Young could be heard saying, "I need that wheel route!" once the whistle was blown. He then notched a sack on the following snap, just to remind folks of his true role.
  • It was nice to catch up with Antonio Gandy-Golden after practice, in person and socially-distanced as he stood behind a rope and the media remained a handful of feet away. AGG was very generous with his time as he broke down everything from his vaccination status (he got it recently) to his offseason, which he spent hanging out with his 11-month old puppy (the name is Staxx). His best sequence on the field came when he and Fitzpatrick linked up for a solid back-shoulder completion. Fitzpatrick stopped by him after they were subbed off to bump helmets with him as a sign of appreciation. Here's a photo from Gandy-Golden's scrum, by the way:
  • The Peyton Barber, Jaret Patterson and Lamar Miller battle at running back is intriguing. Barber is the 2020 holdover, Patterson is the undrafted but clearly talented rookie and Miller is an ex-Pro Bowler who's the most accomplished. Overall, there's a ton of rotating going on in the backfield, and we'll eventually see if Barber is rotated off of the roster come September for one of the other two choices.