The Washington Commanders are currently looking to break the Baltimore Ravens’ 22-game preseason win streak. As expected, Ron Rivera decided to sit the majority of his starters, including his first- and second-string quarterbacks.
As a result, Sam Howell made his first NFL start. Looking to bounce back after a rough outing in Week 2, Howell is off to a strong start Saturday night.
Some other notable takeaways included Dyami Brown’s starting role. You wouldn’t expect a third-round pick entering his second season to log significant snaps in a preseason finale, but Brown struggled for playing time as a rookie and has been largely invisible during camp aside from the occasional splash play.
Taking that into account, tonight is huge for Brown. A second-year receiver going up against backups while catching spirals from his college quarterback has no excuse not to show up. While he’s made a pair of big plays thus far, consecutive drives ended with him failing to haul in passes he got his hands on.
The first drop came on a standard slant route.
Commanders WR Dyami Brown hurting his case for playing time with two bad drops against the Ravens.
Unfortunately, I’m unable to find a video of Brown’s initial drop. However, the lowlight just further highlighted the notion that Cam Sims and maybe even Dax Milne and Alex Erickson are ahead of him on the depth chart. While Milne and Erickson aren’t former third-round picks who dominated ACC competition, they’ve made the most of their opportunities throughout training camp and the preseason.
Brown’s second drop was flat-out egregious.
No, it wasn’t an “easy” catch, but Howell laid it on a platter in tight coverage for a walk in touchdown on third down. On the replay, you can see Brown give multiple looks to the approaching Ravens defender. Whether he lost his concentration tracking the defender or foresaw an incoming big hit, both are bad looks.
Who knows what caused the drop, but it’s quite obvious he slowed up and made the catch markedly more difficult than it needed to be. The last thing we want to do is cast aspersions, but it looks as though Brown is playing scared and it’s not a stretch to say he currently finds himself near the bottom of a deep Commanders’ receiving corps.
Is his roster spot safe? We like to think so, but he’s not helping his case for playing time (or a spot on the 53-man) with these brain cramps. Again, he’s a second-year third-round pick playing against backups and has looked pretty ordinary.