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The All Things 2022 OTAs/Training Camp Thread


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2 minutes ago, Skinsinparadise said:

 

At least from the perspective of training camp on offense there are three things you can see that IMO has carry over

 

A.  QB accuracy.  They are asked to make so many diffferent type of throws that you can see their consistency and accuracy and their sweet spots and where they struggle.  I mentioned last year you can see that both Fitz and Heinicke were streaky.  They'd got hot and then all of sudden get wild especially Heinicke.  You can see that Fitz had much better velocity on the ball than Heinicke which was striking in part because Fitz wasn't known for velocity.

Don't you be mean to TH.  You know he's our secret weapon just waiting for his time to be unleashed!

 

Joking aside, I agree somewhat, though I think accuracy for new QB/WR combos can take a while to develop. I think it was Moss who said at one point, it took Brunell a while to get used to him.  He would constantly either over or under throw him early in practice.  Brunell developed a faster relationship with ... David Patton?  Is that right?  They brought 2 guys in in 2005.  I think it was him. 

 

So sometimes the chemistry can take a while.  

 

But overall, I agree.  If QBs make good decisions and hit what they are throwing at, that tends to carry over.  

 

2 minutes ago, Skinsinparadise said:

 

B.  Compare one Qb to the other.  It's easy to see the comparison because the QBs are making the same throws back to back

 

I posted that Instagram Video which clearly illustrated this.  Fitz and TH throwing at the same time to opposite sides, one ball got there, the other took a while.  

 

2 minutes ago, Skinsinparadise said:

C.  What type of offense they plan to run because of what they practice more of.  I recall for example watching the camp before the season Chris Thompson exploded and I recall saying man are they throwing the ball a lot to him in practice. 

This is true, but they really shouldn't be tipping their hand too much.  Remember back in the 80's, Gibbs would run a 2 RB set all of preseason, and that was the last time they ran it?  I think at times they would put Riggo in at FB in the preseason and hand the ball off to some guy who was going to be farming in Idaho.  

 

But I agree, if they practice something more, they will tend to use it more. I remember in the Griffin year, they WORE OUT practicing a quick 5 step drop (from under center) set and throw to the (almost always) right side WR who was running a medium depth out.  Griffin probably threw that thing 80 times in practice, and 10 times in the pre-season.  

 

They didn't use that play a ton in the regular season, but it was indicative of what they wanted Griffin to do: pay attention to your footwork, drive the ball.  

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10 minutes ago, Voice_of_Reason said:

Don't you be mean to TH.  You know he's our secret weapon just waiting for his time to be unleashed!

 

Joking aside, I agree somewhat, though I think accuracy for new QB/WR combos can take a while to develop. I think it was Moss who said at one point, it took Brunell a while to get used to him.  He would constantly either over or under throw him early in practice.  Brunell developed a faster relationship with ... David Patton?  Is that right?  They brought 2 guys in in 2005.  I think it was him. 

 

 

As an example I saw with Jay's offense they were practicing quick out routes in the flat a ton and they'd throw one after the other after the other.  lol, Colt McCoy did the best with that throw.  Haskins (RIP) really struggled to hit Wrs in stride and had a really hard time with that throw and I said so at the time, Keenum was hit and miss with it.

 

So its not so much chemistry but more than you can see their range of accuracy.  first level, 2nd level, third level.  Main reason why its easy to see is they throw so many balls.  More throws than you see in a typical game.

 

10 minutes ago, Voice_of_Reason said:

 

I posted that Instagram Video which clearly illustrated this.  Fitz and TH throwing at the same time to opposite sides, one ball got there, the other took a while.  

 

 

Yeah that was very easy to see in camp.  I recall saying in one camp the idea that Colt improved his arm strength a lot (WP story) in an off season was BS -- easy for me to see watching Kirk and Colt throw back to back.  Kirk looked like Elway in comparison.  Colt's throws floated.

 

10 minutes ago, Voice_of_Reason said:

 

But I agree, if they practice something more, they will tend to use it more. I remember in the Griffin year, they WORE OUT practicing a quick 5 step drop (from under center) set and throw to the (almost always) right side WR who was running a medium depth out.  Griffin probably threw that thing 80 times in practice, and 10 times in the pre-season.  

 

They didn't use that play a ton in the regular season, but it was indicative of what they wanted Griffin to do: pay attention to your footwork, drive the ball.  

 

I didn't go to camp in RG3's era but I heard they showcased the RO plenty before the 2012 season.  I don't recall if that was just for the reporters only practices or the public ones though.

 

I do think you can get at least a sense of it by seeing what teams put more emphasis in practice.  

 

For example, reading about those three safety sets, I'd bet there is a ton of fire to that smoke. 

Edited by Skinsinparadise
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9 minutes ago, Skinsinparadise said:

I didn't go to camp in RG3's era but I heard they showcased the RO plenty before the 2012 season.  I don't recall if that was just for the reporters only practices or the public ones though.

 

I do think you can get at least a sense of it by seeing what teams put more emphasis in practice.  

 

For example, reading about those three safety sets, I'd bet there is a ton of fire to that smoke. 

They used it very sparingly in training camp practices.  I remember seeing it a few times.  They ran A LOT Of under-center stuff, because Griffin had never done it before.  

 

I remember a reporter or two said they were experimenting with the pistol. (Ok, so I just looked it up).  Here is the article: Hogs Haven wrote it, and it was based on clips from an NFL Network segment.  There is also a sideline pic from the Hogs Haven reporter. I think a few others, specifically Sheehan on the radio show, picked up on it, because he's a college football guy.  

 

However, unless I'm very much mistaken, they did not run it at all in the preseason.  

 

I think it caught the Saints somewhat flat-footed when they pulled it out in week 1.  

 

And I agree about the 3 safety thing.  But not so much from the smoke as they don't have a 3rd LB on the team.  So, there's that to contend with.  

33 minutes ago, MartinC said:

This was my point really. I think at the start of the season we believed our own bull**** too much about the talent on the D'line and thought we could just turn them loose and play C3 behind that front four.

It should have taken a quarter to figure out it wasn't working and adjust.

 

However, in Jack's defense, the secondary was ALSO a complete disaster, so maybe he was focusing on that debacle instead of the pass rush debacle?  (Ok, maybe that's not so much a defense....)

 

I still say, and I will die on this hill (though honestly, I don't think I'll have to), the stupidest thing they did last off-season was basically benching Kam Curl.  For Landon Collins.  That was stupid from the get-go.  And it has less to do with Collins than it did with Curl.  He was their best playmaking safety down the stretch in 2020, and you bench him?  Why?  That's madness.  MADNESS I SAY. 

 

There were other stupid things as well.  But to me, that one took the cake.    

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4 minutes ago, Voice_of_Reason said:

They used it very sparingly in training camp practices.  I remember seeing it a few times.  They ran A LOT Of under-center stuff, because Griffin had never done it before.  

 

I remember a reporter or two said they were experimenting with the pistol. (Ok, so I just looked it up).  Here is the article: Hogs Haven wrote it, and it was based on clips from an NFL Network segment.  There is also a sideline pic from the Hogs Haven reporter. I think a few others, specifically Sheehan on the radio show, picked up on it, because he's a college football guy.  

 

However, unless I'm very much mistaken, they did not run it at all in the preseason.  

 

I think it caught the Saints somewhat flat-footed when they pulled it out in week 1.  

 

And I agree about the 3 safety thing.  But not so much from the smoke as they don't have a 3rd LB on the team.  So, there's that to contend with.  

 

I recall Keim among others saying they saw a lot of RO in the practices they watched and were asked to be quiet about it.

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Just now, Skinsinparadise said:

 

I recall Keim among others saying they saw a lot of RO in the practices they watched and were asked to be quiet about it.

Could be.  I don't remember that.  But it would fit.  

 

They also might have run the RO out of gun at times, not necessarily out of pistol.  I don't remember seeing a ton of pistol.  But it was 10 years ago.  I struggle to remember what I had for breakfast at lunch time.  (Today, I didn't have breakfast because I was herding children.  So I guess I remember that?   Go me.)

 

Though I think Keim is one of the few 2012 beat reporters who actually would know what RO was.  Honestly, I wasn't terribly familiar with it, because I've never really been a college football guy. Keim, being an Ohio State guy, I'm sure picked up on it immediately.  I did do some studying on it when it became a big part of the 'Skins offense, though.  

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1 hour ago, MartinC said:

 

The talent in question though includes 5 recent first round picks. Including two athletic freaks at DE.

 

It is up to coaches to put these guys in positions to succeed, cant just rely on talent in the NFL, the other guys get paid as well. Scheme matters.

I think it's up to the coaches to put the players in 1 on 1 situations. If the players don't win those it's on them.

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34 minutes ago, shemp nixon said:

I think it's up to the coaches to put the players in 1 on 1 situations. If the players don't win those it's on them.

 

Sometimes it's a question of 1 on 1 with who as well. Can you scheme a mismatch.

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1 hour ago, Voice_of_Reason said:

I'd look at both.  Though the DL coach is apparently not very well liked by the players and JP was questioning overtly why he's still around.

 

My two best guesses are loyalty and name recognition. I still have no clue why Sam Mills III is the DL coach. 😒

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2 hours ago, Skinsinparadise said:

You got to be cool though like RG3 and Portis.

 

RG3 was cool? Dude is a primadonna. He's the type of guy you sit next to at the bar and he spends the entire time talking about his trials and tribulations, and absolutely killing your buzz and desire to go on living.

 

Portis though, I'm sure that guy would be a blast. It would be all costume talk, and then at the end, he'd ask me if I'd want in on a little "financial opportunity" he has going on.

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18 minutes ago, Captain Wiggles said:

 

My two best guesses are loyalty and name recognition. I still have no clue why Sam Mills III is the DL coach. 😒

I think it's entirely loyalty.  

 

He was with Ron since he got to Carolina, and was a holdover from the previous regime.  So Ron saw something in him that he liked to retain him.  He showed up in Carolina in 2005.  He was a defensive quality control coach and assistant strength coach.  

 

When Ron got there in 2011, he was made assistant DL coach, and then took over as DL coach in 2018.  

 

They're clearly close.  I'm sure he is Ron's security blanket in a way, because I'm sure Sam knows exactly what Ron wants.

 

However, there have been stories Sam has not gotten along with the players in his group.  It was speculated he and MattyI did not see eye to eye.  Guess who's still here and guess who's gone?

 

What is somewhat interesting is JDR is the DC, but most of the guys on his staff are Ron's guys.  I do, at times, wonder how that is working out.  If there is any tension between the way the staff wants to do things vs. the way Jack wants to do things. We haven't heard about it, but it is somewhat odd that a coordinator really had his staff picked for him entirely.  (And almost entirely the previous staff of the HC.)

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I don't buy the notion that Mills is some awful DL coach. Young won DROY in 2020. Sweat had a 2nd year breakout. Allen made the Pro Bowl last year. I think Ion was just fussy because he wasn't playing that many snaps anymore but he's clearly not on Allen or Payne's level and on top of that he's injury prone.

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47 minutes ago, MartinC said:

 

Sometimes it's a question of 1 on 1 with who as well. Can you scheme a mismatch.

You can at times.  But not always.  I mean, if you're a starting DE in the NFL, you're going to have to face the opposing OT.  And you have to be ablet to beat them occationally.  If you can't do that, then you aren't good enough.  

 

Now, can they do things to get the DE matched up against a TE, for example?  Sometimes.  If you bring a blitz to the inside, and in that offensive set, there is a not a RB to pick up the blitzer, typically the rule is you take the inside guy because he has a shorter route to the QB.  So, in that case, you could either get a free rush from the DE or he could be matched against a TE.

 

You could also run some type of stunt, where you pull the DE around and rush from the inside where the DT's clear space.  The issue with that is if you telegraph it, it leaves a gaping hole where the DE vacated from.  So you can do it sometimes, but not always.

 

There are a variety of creative things DCs can to do bring pressure and scheme mismatches.


But at the end of the day, if you can get your DE 1:1 with an OT, they have to be able to win that matchup, at least in known passing situations.  If not every time, that at least sometimes.  

 

One philosophical thing I've always been for, both on offense and defense, is not falling into patterns.  You need to be able to rush 4, bring pressure, change looks, do a variety of things.  If you just do ONE thing, then your opponent sees it and can adjust. It's why I gave Jay such a hard time for running the same 2 plays on first and 10 for no yards for 5 years.  The only question, was the dive run coming slightly right, or slightly left?  When THAT is your level of ingenuity, you're sunk.  Same with Jack.  He's got to vary the defense more and be more creative to keep the offense guessing so they don't KNOW what you're doing. 

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39 minutes ago, Warhead36 said:

I don't buy the notion that Mills is some awful DL coach. Young won DROY in 2020. Sweat had a 2nd year breakout. Allen made the Pro Bowl last year. I think Ion was just fussy because he wasn't playing that many snaps anymore but he's clearly not on Allen or Payne's level and on top of that he's injury prone.

I think it was more than just Matt I.  I think Allen originally was not on board either.  

 

I literally have no idea.  But JP (and a few others) have consistently reported that the "vibe" in the DL room has never been great.

 

Maybe by subtracting Matt I. and Settle (though I can't imagine he was a problem in that regard), and bringing in new guys with no history, it changes.

 

We'll see. 

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Posted (edited)

 

 

Things are going to be a little different for Sam Cosmi as he enters his second season in the NFL.

For one, he no longer has to earn a role on the Washington Commanders' offensive line. He made the point that he belongs in the starting lineup, and despite missing eight games with injury, he was the team's third-best run-blocker, according to Pro Football Focus.

 

Cosmi will also have a new teammate holding down the right side of the offensive line now that Brandon Scherff has signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Two months after Scherff departed, the Commanders replaced one Pro Bowler with another by adding eight-year veteran Trai Turner, who has slid in as the team's starting right guard.

 

It hasn't taken long for Turner to develop a rapport with the rest of the unit.

"I love Trai. Trai's a great guy," Cosmi told reporters after last Wednesday's OTA. "We click real well. The chemistry is there."

 

Chemistry was never a problem for the Commanders' front last year in spite of all the different combinations that were featured last season. The offensive line dealt with multiple injuries -- they had to play with their third-string center for an extended period -- and the position was still one of the best in terms of ESPN's pass-block and run-block win rate.

 

Turner, who played six seasons for the Carolina Panthers, doesn't have much experience playing alongside the Commanders' offensive linemen -- the only exception being fellow guard Andrew Norwell -- but his previous knowledge of offensive line coach John Matsko’s system has allowed him to jump right into the mix.

 

"The biggest thing about Trai is it kind of solidifies the fact that we have 10 guys that we really believe are guys that can give us that veteran experience. Again, one of the things that we try to do is we want to make sure if we're gonna be strong, we gotta make sure we stay strong and that's having good depth on the offensive line."

 

 

😂😂

 

 

Edited by HigSkin
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6 hours ago, shemp nixon said:

I think it's up to the coaches to put the players in 1 on 1 situations. If the players don't win those it's on them.

agree, these are damn good players , just go beat your man !   

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1 hour ago, smooth said:

agree, these are damn good players , just go beat your man !   


 

 

7 hours ago, shemp nixon said:

I think it's up to the coaches to put the players in 1 on 1 situations. If the players don't win those it's on them.


The problem with that line of thinking is that there are 10 different matchups going on simultaneously. And each play design is drawn up for every player to win their matchup for the play to be successful. And any breakdown in even a single matchup can be catastrophic to the play. And what are the chances all your guys are going to win all 10 matchups, on every single play?

 

And each team has their best players too. So you have to minimize weaknesses or overload strengths to accommodate (scheme).
 

Its organized chaos and chance intertwined.

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Two former Washington standouts, cornerback Shawn Springs and tight end Logan Paulsen, are now media analysts and have been present for Commanders’ OTAs. The pair spoke with Julie Donaldson on commanders.com in a segment titled “Stars & Sleepers from Commanders OTAs.”

Paulsen and Springs have been impressed by Wentz.

“Just the way he’s picked up the offense, his ability to put the football down the field, and the tight-window throws he’s been able to make,” Paulsen said. “He’s throwing him (Dotson) open; they’ve done a really nice job, and their chemistry is on point. It just makes this offense look so different. It’s a totally different animal going into the season with him at the quarterback position.”

Springs said he’d heard Wentz had shown “Peyton-esque” leadership skills this offseason, referring to Peyton Manning.

Next, the pair discussed second-year cornerback Benjamin St-Juste as another star of OTAs.

 

“His length, his foot speed, his patience, his physicality with the receivers, I mean Jahan has been very, very sharp except when he goes up against Benjamin St-Juste,” Paulsen said. “His length, his athleticism, all those things you want. Check, check, check, check. He’s played a little Buffalo nickel; he fits runs well; he’s just been super impressive to me.”

Springs, who knows a thing or two about excellent cornerback play, was equally impressed.

“Last year seeing him, you could see the potential. I called him ‘Baby Richard Sherman’ at times,” Springs said.

“He’s a 6-3 guy, it’s hard to throw him, he’s got great ball skills, and he’s physical at the line of scrimmage. Often times receivers like to be fancy and give you all these moves, but when you’ve got a guy who’s gonna stand in front of you, put his arms on you, and can run with you, you can’t just mess around, you’ve gotta get off the ball. I expect a great year from him.”

 

We know St-Juste has worked inside in the slot this spring, but it was interesting to hear Paulsen say he’d worked at Buffalo nickel, too.

Finally, the duo named their sleeper for OTAs and chose seventh-round pick, cornerback Christian Holmes.

Paulsen named three players who have stood out to him. Washington’s other seventh-round pick, guard Chris Paul, undrafted tight end Curtis Hodges and Holmes.

“He has just looked very, very sharp,” Paulsen said.

“The kid looked like he’s got some veteran experience,” Springs said. “If you watched the tape and didn’t know he was a rookie, you’d probably think he was at least 2-3 years in the NFL.”

Springs also noted he loved his size and speed.

“He can run. He moves well. He has great hips. He was planting, breaking, and challenging the receiver,” Springs said. “This kid’s got a real upside.”

 

There are depth questions at cornerback behind Kendall Fuller and William Jackson III. We know the coaches love St-Juste, but he missed eight games as a rookie last season. If he can develop into the player they believe he can be, the Commanders should be in good shape at cornerback.

As for Holmes, his positive showing is even more impressive. Washington would love the seventh-round rookie to crack the cornerback rotation and play meaningful snaps as a rookie. It sounds like a former great NFL cornerback believes he has quite the future.

 

https://commanderswire.usatoday.com/2022/06/08/two-washington-commanders-cornerbacks-are-standing-out-in-otas-benjamin-st-juste/?taid=62a073547385bc0001a539bc&utm_campaign=trueanthem&utm_medium=trueanthem&utm_source=twitter

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You can't do a lot of contact during OTA's so that more so means that Juice-box is simply blanketing the guy with pure coverage. That's, kinda interesting.

 

That battle will be even more riveting when we get to TC. By St J will have maximum allowance to mug his receiver and not just shadow them.

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Posted (edited)

Listening to Logan Paulsen on Sheehan's show and I know some here now see him like Larry Michael because he works for the team.  Cooley used to work for the team too and ripped players in his film reviews and took plenty of flak on this board for it, too from some who didn't appreciate it at the time albeit on most of it he was vidnicated, Fuller being the exception.    Paulsen isn't as harsh as Cooley was but he takes his share of shots.  So I see no Larry Michael in anything he says.  But I do agree this is the time of year for optimism.  And what's wrong with that? 😀

 

Top 3 stand out players to his eyes

 

1.  Dotson -- smart player, gets open, runs sharp routes, hard to miss

 

2.   St. Juste:  looks like the best corner on the team right now and is playing some buffalo nickel in the mix

 

3.  Jamin Davis -- been impressed, looks more confident, reacting well, running by people to make tackles, seeing some of the things you've seen in college but he hasn't shown here yet.  That's the 2nd time he's plugged Davis.  Bram also said he's heard good things.  i am not saying these guys are right.  Will see.  But speaking for myself, I wanted JOK not Jamin at 19.  But I was OK with the pick even though he I thought was slightly overdrafted.  His range at Kentucky both sideline to sideline/open field tackling and backpeddling in coverage was impressive IMO. 

 

I could see why two ex-LBs Rivera and Del Rio were sold.  I know he's already a punchline to some.  And maybe he ends up a punchline.  But I'd let the movie play out.  He was a raw inexperienced college player -- the idea that someone like him would take time makes sense to me.  With his freakish athleticism and freakish range -- so i wouldn't write the book yet that he's a bust.   Some of our favorite potential FAs at LBs that we hyped in recent off seasons ironically were dudes who didn't start their career on fire but developed over time.  

 

4.  Cole Turner and Curtis Hodges have both looked good but both are dealing with hamstring issues now

 

5.  Christian Holmes has been the most surprising player for him.  Started with the 4s, then 3s, now 2s.  Looks polished.

 

6.  Brian Robinson and Gibson running back to back is helpful to see -- more nuance and vision with Robinson's runs, more explosiveness with Gibson

 

7.  Beneficial to watch Wentz and Heinicke back to back to see the differences.

 

As far as Wentz, he's opened up the defense, he's made the defense have to play softer compared to practices last year where they played tighter to the line of scrimmage.  The horse power in that arm gives him optimism.   He played up how he looks more the professional QB and nuanced player -- suggesting versus Heinicke.

 

 

 

Edited by Skinsinparadise
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