With Training Camp in progress for the Washington Commanders, the team is prepping for the first preseason game at home vs the Panthers on Aug. 13th at 1 pm ET. Though some fans do not see value in preseason action, it’s an important opportunity for a lot of players to make a strong impression, and for some even make the team. I’ve decided to make a list of 3 players from both sides of the ball that fans should tune into see, and why.
Commanders’ Preseason Players Spotlight:
Sam Howell: This one is probably the most obvious selection for the offense. Sam Howell to no surprise has impressed a lot in training camp, and has shown that his arm strength separates himself from other backups in the NFL. Though the talk may be if he is the QB of the future, let’s start with now. Getting reps in preseason action can show a look at his potential. He’s reconnected with his old North Carolina teammate Dyami Brown who he broke records with. Don’t be surprised if these two put on a show. Sam “Highlight Reel” Howell is an exciting player to watch, and may even show his skills with his legs.
Brian Robinson: Even though he’s projected to be RB2 in the offense, I’m expecting to see split carries between Robinson and Gibson. He’s been running people over in camp, and looks like he’s picking up where he left off at Alabama. Washington hasn’t had a true running back in a while, and Robinson could have a major role in this offense. He is excellent in pass blocking, and slowing becoming a receiving threat as well at camp. If he gets enough playing time in preseason, he could be the player fans are impressed with the most.
Dax Milne: Milne enters his 2nd year in a now busy WR room. Fans can expect the Commanders to run with 6 or 7 WRs this season, and Milne absolutely has a spot on the team right now, and can solidify that in preseason. Dax has looked sharp in training camp with sharp routes, and making big-time tough grabs. There was a a one-on-one drill against St Juste where he looked like he was going to run a NINE (vertical route), and ended up with a great square break on a post that had St Juste running past him. You can see improvement in Milne, and looks like he might be a starting return guy on special teams as well. Don’t be surprised when Milne has a big play during the preseason.
Percy Butler: Ron Rivera praised the selection of Percy Butler in the draft this year, and you can see how he fits in the defensive scheme. With Landon Collins gone, Butler is the guy that could come in and play very similar to Collins. So far Butler has looked solid in training camp, but real game action is where you see how a DB plays free with the whole defense on the field, and that’s where he trives. Butler will rptate around the safety positions for the Commanders, and could also see a good bit of that Buffalo role, and “BIG” packages that Washington used a lot last year. Butler could quickly become one of the most important rookies quickly, and preseason is the first true look at his skillset.
Daniel Wise: Wise is a guy that fans aren’t too familiar with after he joined the team January last year. The DT out of Kansas is only 26 years old and looks every part of his 6’3″ 285lbs frame. We got to see a good look against the offensive line in training camp, and there were a lot of reps that impressed me. Wise could be a disruptive interior guy in the run game, and could get to the QB as well. There was one rep where he and Bada ran a stunt where Bada crashed the line to the right, while Wise looped left and took over the A gap, and stuffed Jaret Patterson for a loss on the run. With the loss of depth in Tim Settle and Matt Ioannidis, Wise catching on fast could be key for Washington.
Jamin Davis: I was hesitant to pick Jamin Davis because we don’t know how much playing time Davis will get in the preseason as a starter, but we all want to see how much of a jump he will take in his second season. The importance of Jamin Davis playing well can’t be stressed enough, as Washington runs a thin LB room this season. Rivera said at training camp that he loves what he sees out of Davis this offseason, and some positive action in preseason could give fans some relief for this season. Washington runs mostly two LB sets, and the young duo of Holcomb and Davis will be where eyes are focused on early and often especially in coverage.
Washington has three preseason games to see these players in action before team cuts, and the season starts. The Commanders host Carolina on Aug.13th, before going on the road for the last two games. They travel to the Chiefs on Aug. 20th before crossing the Beltway into Baltimore on Aug. 27th.