Commanders Coaching Camp Inventory Watch: Montez Sweat, Offensive Rookies Impress;  accidents restrict different gamers

Commanders Coaching Camp Inventory Watch: Montez Sweat, Offensive Rookies Impress; accidents restrict different gamers

The Washington Chiefs weren’t even loaded, however there’s nonetheless loads to glean from the staff’s first 4 classes of coaching camp. So who has made a reputation for themselves to this point? And whose worth has been lowered?

Montez Sweat and the secondary have stood out on a protection that should enhance from a lackluster 2021, whereas Chase Younger and Logan Thomas are nonetheless rehabbing accidents. Let’s dig into these gamers and extra after the primary week of camp.

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Montez sweat

Chase Younger will get numerous consideration as the previous no. 2 total, however Montez Sweat has related dimension, athleticism and explosiveness — all three have been uncovered early in camp. A primary-round decide in 2019, Sweat is settling into his second house: offensive again. Irrespective of who’s lined up towards Sweat, he has persistently discovered methods to explode working performs and bully quarterbacks coming again to cross.

Sweat continues to be searching for his first double-digit sack marketing campaign — he has seven, 9 and 5 (in 10 video games) over his first three seasons — and 2022 might be the yr that the wholesome Commanders reveals full potential.

“Effectively, he already seems explosive,” coach Ron Rivera mentioned after Day 1 on Wednesday. “He is an incredible athlete and his athleticism reveals up in a short time.”

Communication in secondary

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Secondary commanders are ALWAYS speaking. And I am not simply speaking about defensive backs coach Chris Harris, who hypnotizes his gamers and tweets offensively after constructive performs. Rookie cornerbacks Kendall Fuller and William Jackson III are in fixed communication with safeties Kamren Curl and Bobby McCain — who all began no less than 14 video games collectively a season in the past.

These outcomes have been definitely underwhelming — Washington completed twenty ninth in cross protection and thirty first in third-down protection — however this group is off to a robust begin in 2022. The secondary dominated Thursday’s session, the place the spotlight it was Fuller’s cross breakup that resulted in a Cole Holcomb interception and got here again with a robust end in Friday’s apply after the offense regarded like they have been going to maintain throwing the ball all around the area.

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Add in promising younger defenders Benjamin St-Juste, Darrick Forrest and Percy Butler, and this group might look much more just like the one which carried out so effectively two seasons in the past. Communication will probably be an vital a part of reaching such a comeback.

“That is one factor we’re preaching within the room, man, simply speaking,” McCain mentioned Friday. “If you happen to’re all fallacious,
are you OK. So in the event you talk and all people will get it throughout the board, you understand, there’s not numerous groups which are going to beat you athletically.

“Lots of instances you stroll into the room and also you see dangerous performs and it is not essentially the man making a loopy play. It is roughly, ‘Oh, I did not know I had assist. Oh, I had it”. I do not get that decision. Oh, I did not know that.’ So it is all about communication. It is all simply all people doing their half to let the opposite man know like, ‘Hey, right here I’m. Right here is your assist. And listed below are the weaknesses.”

John Dotson

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Everybody entered coaching camp desirous to see the chemistry between Carson Wentz and Terry McLaurin not too long ago, and each have nicely gelated throughout the early a part of the camp. Nonetheless, the connection that has stood out has been Wentz and first-round decide Jahan Dotson.

Dotson obtained sturdy evaluations throughout OTAs and minicamp for his easy and dependable palms, and he continued to play towards everybody he confronted over the previous week. On Thursday, he caught a deep ball from Wentz regardless of St-Juste masking him in protection. On Saturday, he caught one other cross from Wentz, this time for a fourth-and-10 from the 20-yard line throughout red-zone drills.

There’s a lot for followers to be enthusiastic about in relation to Washington’s offense. McLaurin is a strong No. 1, Curtis Samuel is a flexible participant (when wholesome), Logan Thomas is strong at tight finish, and there look like three backs (Gibson, Robinson and JD McKissic) able to producing when required. Nonetheless, Dotson’s expertise might make this unit actually dynamic and the early returns to the No. 1 total decide. 16 have been thrilling.

Brian Robinson

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It is arduous to evaluate a working again throughout coaching camp, particularly earlier than the pads are on, however Robinson makes the minimize for 2 causes: First, he bought numerous first-team reps via the primary 4 classes as Antonio Gibson fed a hamstring damage. ; and second, he has been a fluid receiver out of the backfield.

Rivera described the third-round select of Alabama as a “huge, sturdy, highly effective, downhill runner greater than the rest,” and the staff will probably use that capability by working Robinson between the tackles and quick conditions. much like the function Peyton Barber took on in 2020. However Robinson has already proven in camp that he has the mandatory traits to adequately execute no matter is requested of him in 12 months 1.

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Harm information

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The Chiefs bought some excellent news Thursday when heart Chase Roullier was activated off the bodily unable to carry out (PUP) checklist, however different key gamers have both been sidelined or are nonetheless working their method again from earlier accidents.

The most important of the bunch is Chase Younger, who Rivera mentioned he loves positively a waste of time to begin the common season as he recovers from a torn ACL he suffered in November. Rivera mentioned the 2020 rookie defensive finish will probably begin on the PUP checklist, which means he will not be capable to apply or play for the primary 4 weeks of the yr (vs. Jaguars, at Lions, vs. Eagles, within the Cowboys). The backup rushers on the depth chart are 2020 seventh-round picks James Smith-Williams and Casey Toohill, so one or each should step up in Younger’s absence.

It is also unclear when Logan Thomas will return. The previous quarterback broke out for Washington in 2020, however minimize his 2021 marketing campaign quick in December with a knee damage. The tight ends behind him are very inexperienced but in addition intriguing. Rookie fifth-round decide Cole Turner caught two touchdowns throughout a red-zone drill Saturday, whereas undrafted rookie Curtis Hodges has gotten reward from the coaches to this point and likewise had a landing Saturday. Nonetheless, the front-runner to get Thomas’ reps is sophomore John Bates, a former fourth-round decide who had 20 catches for 249 yards a yr in the past. He would be the TE1 in camp as soon as he returns from a minor damage that has stored him out of the previous couple practices.

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The opposite two gamers value monitoring are Curtis Samuel and Antonio Gibson. The staff stays cautious with Samuel after he spent all of final season battling a nagging groin damage that restricted him to 5 video games. He has been restricted in latest days, however Rivera mentioned it is all a part of the plan for the previous Carolina Panthers Swiss Military Knife.

“Making an attempt to lift it, push it, then watch out,” Rivera mentioned. “He has missed numerous soccer and you don’t need him alone
throw guys in there and immediately expose them to loads. So you need to work your method as much as it.”

As for Gibson, who has been battling a hamstring damage, he made his coaching camp debut Saturday, becoming a member of the opposite working backs for particular person drills. He did not take part in any of the staff classes, however simply him out is an effective signal as he seems to construct off a 1,300-yard sophomore marketing campaign.

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