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Training Camp Daily 8/6: WRs Coach Jim Hostler Is Excited To Work With Antonio Gandy-Golden

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Wide receivers coach Jim Hostler has no idea how the position group is going to shake out, but he already knows that rookie Antonio Gandy-Golden is a uniquely talented player.

"He is a big body. He has range and is long. He has ball skills," Hostler told local media Thursday afternoon. "He can play fast with bodies around him because he is strong. That is why we liked him when he was coming out [of the draft]."

A fourth-round pick out of Liberty, Gandy-Golden led the Flames with at least 1,000 receiving yards in his junior and senior seasons. His 1,396 receiving yards were fourth-best in the NCAA, and he averaged 17.7 yards per reception. There were some who questioned whether his 4.6 speed was good enough for the professional ranks, but that was never a concern for Hostler.

"He plays faster than his time. Everyone looks at his time from a 40-yard dash. We pay no attention to that it is all about how fast you are on the field. He is side-by-side with a guy that runs a 4.3 or 4.4. If he is 15-yards in a route running the same speed, it doesn't matter what he is timed in."

With his size, length and ability to catch contested passes, Hostler said Gandy-Golden is the type of player they were looking for.

"The bigger you are, the farther down the field you are, the more of a target you are to throw the ball to. Bigger players have had success in this system down the field. Big targets, you can throw the ball up and they can go get it."

QUICK HITS

Hostler wants to see more out of Terry McLaurin: Hostler made it clear that Terry McLaurin will be their No.1 receiver moving forward, but he wants to see McLaurin grow in the new challenge. He wants McLaurin to expand his route tree and be more comfortable with moving around the field. "For him to keep growing, the ability for him to move around, expand his route tree, challenge defenders inside and out," he said, "that is where the growth is going to happen and that is where he needs to grow."

Hostler wants to structure his practices around competing: There are plenty of receivers outside of McLaurin who are trying to earn starting jobs. Since Hostler doesn't know which receivers will emerge at the end of training camp, he wants to build his practices around finding an answer to that question. "Repetitions, the ability for guys to show what they can do and how we can expose them either good or bad," Hostler said. "We just go from there with communication from the head coach, personnel people on down to [Offensive Coordinator Scott Turner] and me of deciding who the best players are going to be moving forward and how our depth fills in behind them."

Opt out deadline has come to a close: The time for players to decide whether to opt out of the 2020 season over COVID-19 concerns officially passed at 4 p.m. today. There were 67 players from 29 teams who elected to collect either a $350,000 or $150,000 stipend for the season, including Washington's Caleb Brantley and Josh Harvey-Clemons.

The Washington Football team conducts training camp at the Inova Sports Performance Center in Ashburn, Virginia, on Aug. 6, 2020.

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