3 major storylines we’ll be watching closely at Commanders OTAs
By Jerry Trotta
The Washington Commanders‘ organized team activities got going on Tuesday at the team’s practice facility in Ashburn.
While OTAs pale in comparison to training camp in terms of significance, it does mark the first “organized” set of practices since the team went its separate ways after the regular season ended. The workouts span two weeks in three different installments: May 24-26 and May 31-June 2 with the final session going from June 6-8.
This will mark Carson Wentz’s first real practice with the Commanders’ new additions, including first-round wideout Jahan Dotson. With several starters still working their way back from injury, we’ll get to see which backups get first-team reps, so there’s no shortage of storylines to monitor.
Let’s highlight some of them, shall we?
3 major storylines to watch at Commanders OTAs
3. How do the rookies look?
Rookie minicamp marked Washingtons 2022 draft class’ first chance to impress the coaching staff. Now, they get to piggyback off that momentum and continue leaving strong impressions on the coaches AND their new teammates.
That pressure shouldn’t be understated. How will Dotson mesh with Wentz? The new duo connected on a few passes Tuesday and their chemistry will be huge for the offense, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on this throughout OTAs.
We’re also keen to see how Phidarian Mathis looks after his impressive rookie camp. The second-round pick out of Alabama is considered an incredibly selfless lineman, so we’re interested to see if he’s used as a decoy on stunts or if the team wants to get a closer look at him in pass-rushing situations.
In term of other storylines, Brian Robinson begins his mission to eat into Antonio Gibson’s workload as a rookie and Sam Howell begins his quest to supplant Taylor Heinicke as Wentz’s backup. In all seriousness, this marks the fifth-rounder’s first real test as an NFL quarterback. How will he navigate the pressure?