4 critical observations from Commanders 2023 training camp Day 9

The Washington Commanders got the pads popping again during Friday's practice.

Ron Rivera and Eric Bieniemy
Ron Rivera and Eric Bieniemy / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders defense dominates again

There aren't many offenses that are going to get the better of what looks to be an exceptional Washington Commanders defense in 2023. The missing pieces to the puzzle were acquired this offseason and getting Chase Young back to full health is another primary factor that can elevate this unit to heights not seen before.

As expected, the Commanders' offense is having a hard time getting anything done consistently against such a prolific group. Sam Howell flashes moments of brilliance, but Washington's defense is overwhelming with no real weak links to exploit consistently.

According to those in attendance, the defensive side of things was locked in from the first whistle and it stayed this way throughout practice. This all starts up front with an outstanding line and is matched by an improving secondary which is rapidly becoming one of the surprises of camp to date.

Obviously, this isn't ideal for Howell in pursuit of building confidence. However, it should slow things down and make things easier for the signal-caller when he goes up against defenses with far less going for them during the regular season.

There was one scare for Jack Del Rio when first-round cornerback Emmanuel Forbes hobbled off the field after his second pass defense on Terry McLaurin of practice. But it didn't look too serious in the grand scheme of things, leaving the Commanders' defensive players free to bask in the glory of a profitable morning's work.