Washington Football Team padded practice notes: Day 2
By Ian Cummings
I hope you guys still have your training camp caps on, because we’re diving right into the Day 2 action.
The days of wild speculation and fanfare are over, and the offseason is slowly winding to a close. In less than a month, provided that all things remain nominal on the virus front, the Washington Football Team will be playing football again — the sport that serves as its namesake.
For now, however, teams are individually preparing for the season at separate training camps, and at these camps, we’re starting to get answers to questions we’d been asking all offseason. For the Washington Football Team in particular, those questions spanned from coaching changes to position battles to cultural shifts. And we get a look at all of it with training camp.
Yesterday, Jacob hit you with some highlights from Day 1 of padded practices at the Washington Football Team’s training camp. Now, I’ll give you some of the highlights and important notes from Day 2. Let’s do this.
Highlights from Day 2 of Washington Football Team training camp
First team repeats. Yesterday, there were some surprises on the first-team units, as Jacob mentioned — namely offensive tackle Geron Christian, free safety Troy Apke, linebackers Kevin Pierre-Louis and Jon Bostic, and cornerback Jimmy Moreland.
Today, Apke, Christian, Pierre-Louis, and Bostic all reprised their roles as starters at their respective positions, and Peyton Barber filled in for Adrian Peterson at running back. Marcus Baugh also got a lot of work at tight end. Apke and Pierre-Louis, in particular, seem to have a big fan in Ron Rivera, who’s repeatedly expressed excitement at the prospect of using their athleticism on the second and third levels.
With all that being said, it’s still early, as only two days have passed. But it’s well-known that Apke has historic athleticism at his position, and he’s still fairly young. He could go the way of previous special teams standouts such as Terry McLaurin and Steven Sims, and take on an increased role in a larger phase of the game.
Left tackle battle. Going off of surprise starters, Geron Christian, to reiterate, was the starting left tackle again for the Washington Football Team on Day 2 of padded practices, and Washington writer Zach Selby said on the team’s virtual happy hour that Christian was performing “very well”.
With Saahdiq Charles sitting out the first two days of camp with an apparent short-term injury, Christian may be reinforcing his case to be a starter when the regular season comes around. There’s still a long way to go, and Christian won’t be able to prove consistency until the season kicks off. But so far, he appears to be the front runner.
Dwayne Haskins still “the man” at QB. Dwayne Haskins took all the first-team reps at quarterback on Day 1, and on Day 2, he did the same thing. He’s reportedly looked sharp on the practice field, playing with decisiveness, confidence, and freedom.
Haskins may not be the official starter yet, but it’s looking more and more certain that he will be the starter when Week 1 rolls around. Haskins keeps getting the starter’s opportunities, and he’s made the most of them so far. He’s shown great mobility and arm talent, on top of the leadership traits that he’s come to embrace.
Antonio Gibson gets a chance. Per The Athletic’s Rhiannon Walker, third-round rookie Antonio Gibson did get an opportunity with the first-team offense today. Walker remarked that on his second pitch, Gibson made a quick cut up the field and got a big gain. Walker also said that Gibson “finds a way to get big yards, even with little space to work with”.
These comments are reflected in Gibson’s college tape. Although he didn’t shoulder a very large volume at Memphis, he was absolutely electric as an offensive weapon, and his upside as a chess piece and a spark plug all in one will be tantalizing as the season progresses.
High pressure system. One thing has been made clear through two days:
Washington defensive line > Washington offensive line
Chase Young turned heads with his power move against Paul Adams on Day 1, and on Day 2, Matt Ioannidis and Montez Sweat both had big wins against their respective blockers. Haskins has been dealing with pressure a lot from his defensive linemen, but the hope is that iron will sharpen iron as the season grows nearer.
Injury updates. Speaking of Chase Young, the prestigious rookie sat out today’s practice with some tape on his leg. Ron Rivera revealed later in the day that Young had a minor hip flexor, and they were just being careful with it. Young should be back to action within a few days.
Ryan Anderson helped compensate for Young’s absence, though it wasn’t clear if he played at edge rusher or inside linebacker in the practice reps.
The Washington Football Team’s preseason practice progress is far from over. Stick with us as we keep you up to date with all the latest developments!