Commanders DL shines without Daron Payne
The Washington Commanders are counting heavily on their defensive line to provide the dominance needed to make things easier for everyone else. All four projected starters are first-round selections and capable of wreaking havoc at will as a collective force.
Jack Del Rio hasn't had the benefit of stud defensive tackle Daron Payne over the first two days of camp. The former Alabama star is dealing with a toe issue that Ron Rivera didn't put a specific timeline on - it was more a case of letting the medicine take effect and taking it from there.
Even without Payne, the Commanders' defensive line was causing havoc throughout Thursday's practice. Jonathan Allen was joined in the starting lineup on the interior by Phidarian Mathis - a second-round pick in his own right who is looking to make up for some lost time after his rookie campaign ended abruptly in Week 1.
Sam Howell and Jacoby Brissett were under constant duress, being flushed out of the pocket consistently by the fabulous foursome. This also happens to include the pass-rushing edge duo of Chase Young and Montez Sweat - an embarrassment of riches for the Commanders and something the coaching staff must put to good use.
This all comes down to health. If the Commanders keep everyone fit and firing, there isn't much any opposition can do to prevent their defensive line from causing significant damage.