Which Washington Commanders players are already turning heads during the opening portion of organized team actiivities in 2023?
Even though there were three prominent roster figures missing, the opening series of OTAs was incredibly well attended by the Washington Commanders. There were also storylines aplenty for media members and fans to examine during an eventful few days.
The Commanders participated in practices that had a noticeably higher tempo than in previous years. This is down in no small part to the presence of Eric Bieniemy, who was the most vocal on-field coach by a considerable margin and didn't suffer mistakes gladly - especially on offense.
It was a good first stepping stone for players and coaches alike. They'll enjoy a long weekend away from the facility before OTAs resume next week, which is another chance for many to make their own statements with training camp on the horizon.
With this in mind, here are four Commanders players who are already turning heads at 2023 OTAs.
Phidarian Mathis - Commanders DT
After missing the entire season through injury, the presence of Phidarian Mathis on the practice field has been a breath of fresh air. The defensive tackle drew praise from veterans such as Jonathan Allen for displaying the steely determination needed to recover and hit the ground running, which is a strong foundation to build this summer.
There's no immediate pressure on Mathis to become a starter thanks to the presence of Daron Payne and Allen on the defensive line interior. But the former second-round pick out of Alabama is going to be a key rotational piece capable of wreaking havoc if there are no more complications on the health front.