Commanders HC Ron Rivera's expectations
As previously stated, the Washington Commanders are about to embark on their first padded practices of training camp. This has been a source of great excitement among the players, who've benefitted enormously from a galvanized atmosphere throughout their time in Ashburn so far thanks to thousands of fans in attendance.
Working out in shorts and helmets is one thing, but there is no substitute for strapping pads on and getting them popping. Something that was reflected in Ron Rivera's comments on the team's website, which laid down the gauntlet to his players in no uncertain terms.
"There's a certain nature that you have to have about you when you step onto the field. A certain grit and toughness that has to be developed through practicing and pads. We're going to try and do it very smart, very diligently. We'll go two days in pads, we'll back off the guys for a day, go out there in shells again, and then come back in pads for a fourth practice this week. They'll have their day off, but the idea is that we've got to work through this and we've got to develop that grit that you're going to need to play when you're in pads. I'm looking forward to the continued growing and maturing as a football team."- Ron Rivera via Commanders.com
This is a sink-or-swim scenario for many, especially those who've yet to taste the ferocious aspect of NFL practices. One player to watch is first-round selection Emmanuel Forbes, who's lit up training camp so far but there are some concerns about his slender frame and how it might cope with the physical nature of playing the cornerback position.
Get your popcorn ready!