Because he's on PUP, Reuben Foster can't show Washington his physical gifts yet. The 26-year-old is working back from the nasty knee injury he suffered in OTAs last season and just isn't ready to hit the field for the Burgundy and Gold.
The linebacker is still finding a way to stand out these days, though. During a Tuesday call with the media, Foster's position coach, Steve Russ, explained how.
"Reuben has been fantastic," Russ said. "I mean, he's back there taking mental reps. He's making the calls. He's lining up. He's putting himself in that position. He's saying out loud what he's going to do."
That dedication has extended to the defense's online sessions as well.
"I quiz guys a lot in meetings and one of the things I like to do with Reuben is Reuben will push mute," Russ continued. "And I see Reuben making all the calls with his hands whether I asked him or not, and I can see his lips moving whether I asked him a question or not. So I told him: I don't have to ask you a question for you to be able to answer it. ... I like his intent. I really like his focus. I like his discipline right now."
Staying engaged during a Zoom call is damn near impossible, so that's quite encouraging to hear.
As for Foster's health, Ron Rivera explained last week that he wants to see "actual football movement" out of the former first-rounder before he's cleared to return. Russ elaborated on that a bit, too, telling reporters that Foster is doing "great work" with Washington's new, well-regarded trainer, Ryan Vermillion, in an effort to get off PUP.
Even as Foster remains there with camp in its early stages and Week 1 about five weeks away, Russ is proceeding as if he'll have the LB at his disposal for 2020. That's the only way the team and the player can ensure success should he actually get involved soon.
"Well, what we do is, I treat him and teach him and interact with him like he's going to be out there," Russ said.
"There's an old saying that you never know if you're going to have an opportunity, but you better be prepared, right? It's better to be prepared and not have an opportunity than to have an opportunity and not be prepared. Reuben is treating it that way and I'm treating it that way with him."
Stay connected to the team with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.
MORE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL NEWS