Washington Football

Montez Sweat expects to have his hand in the dirt more for Washington in 2020

Washington Football

During his Thursday Zoom press conference with the media, Montez Sweat gave a 16-word answer that will have Washington Football Team fans around the nation and the world rejoicing, celebrating and maybe even tearing up.

The response came to a question about how Sweat's role will change in 2020 under a new staff that includes Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio, and while it was short and simple, it was also glorious. 

"We're going to have my hand in the dirt more so than I was last year," Sweat said.

That's right, everybody. It sounds like the plan is for Sweat to rush the passer as much as possible this year, instead of sometimes rush the passer and sometimes drop into coverage like he was asked to do as a rookie.

Isn't that a novel idea?

Between that attack-first approach Rivera and Del Rio are "preaching" and the switch to a 4-3 scheme, which Sweat starred in at Mississippi State, the 2019 first-round pick is feeling confident about his immediate future.

Those factors aren't what makes him most optimistic, though. 

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In reflecting on his debut campaign, Sweat described how much more comfortable he got as the schedule progressed. The numbers back that up, too — 5.5 of his 7 sacks came in Washington's final eight contests.

 

That increase in production came as he began figuring out how to study for his opponents and how to better take on the lineman across from him. Those are things he's prepared to carry over into 2020, too.

"I feel like I developed more of a rush plan going into the games," he said. "Winning with speed and stuff like that isn't going to work most of the time. You have to get moves, you have to refine your technique."

Add all of that up, and Sweat is fully ready to do more for the defense after what he's personally labeled a slightly disappointing rookie season.

"I definitely didn't live up to my expectations and my standards," he said. "It was a learning year for me. I learned a lot, and I just want to show what I learned coming up this next year."

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