4 critical observations from Commanders 2023 mandatory minicamp Day 3

Percy Butler
Percy Butler / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders RB Chris Rodriguez Jr.'s growth

It was a baptism of fire for Chris Rodgriguez Jr. during his rookie minicamp. The running back looked a little sluggish and bore the brunt of Eric Bieniemy's wrath on numerous occasions, which was obviously the rocket he needed to increase personal standards when the time came to link up with established veterans.

The sixth-round selection has looked much better since. There's a renewed focus and sharpness to his approach, which is exactly the sort of response Bieniemy and the Washington Commanders' staff on offense were looking for.

Rodriguez is seen as a development project behind Brian Robinson Jr. and Antonio Gibson. Bieniemy saw something in the Kentucky product that he feels could be of use, which is a confidence he's slowly starting to repay as he becomes more comfortable within an NFL setting.

One of the more surprising elements of Rodriguez's production so far has been from a pass-catching standpoint. This was an area that was a relative unknown in college and many didn't believe that the player could ever become a dual-threat weapon at the next level.

His superb catch from Jacoby Brissett working with the second-team offense that resulted in a touchdown might not seem like much, but these things matter to coaches. Rodriguez is gaining some real momentum and hopefully, it's a trend that continue right through the summer.