4 critical observations from Commanders-Ravens joint practice No. 1

Things got heated between the Commanders and Ravens as expected.

Curtis Samuel
Curtis Samuel / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders WR duo excel

The Washington Commanders are counting on their talented wide receiver room conjuring the magic for quarterback Sam Howell to thrive next season. Eric Bieniemy's dynamic scheme should put them in better positions to make the plays needed, but the onus is still on the top four or five on the depth chart to execute effectively.

While there wasn't anything given away in terms of Washington's scheme deployment during their first joint practice with the Baltimore Ravens, the performances of Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel caught the eye in no uncertain terms. Both veterans were polished in terms of route-running, creating separation almost at will and displaying the ball skills needed for some memorable highlights along the way.

When one examines the potential complications for the Commanders' offense, McLaurin and Samuel are way down the list. The former Ohio State duo are dependable and productive, fully aware of their importance to the organization during such a crossroads campaign for many in positions of power.

In Samuel's case, health can become a factor. But there should be extra motivation to remain on the field and put up lofty numbers given his contract is up in 2024.

If McLaurin and Samuel keep up this sort of consistency and others such as Jahan Dotson take leaps forward, it's hard to envisage a scenario where the Commanders don't make significant strides on offense with Bieniemy leading the charge.