The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of the team.
Thursday's practice has come and gone, which means training camp is over for the Washington Football Team. It will take a day off before playing the Ravens on Saturday; after that, its 53-man roster will need to be finalized on Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Here are some observations from this morning.
-- Aug. 31 is going to be a difficult day for many people on the team, and that includes head coach Ron Rivera. He's familiar with the emotions of being cut; it happened to him after nine seasons with the Chicago Bears. Not only does he want to make the best situation for the team, but he also wants to be empathetic towards the players who will be released that morning. This year, he said, will be tougher than 2020 because he and the coaches have a better grasp of the players on the roster. Washington also has a more talented roster, so the decisions on who will make the team aren't as clear. Either way, Rivera will not take the day lightly.
-- Rivera has made it clear that he wants teachers on his team. Chase Young is one of the players who has embraced that mentality, and he spent some time after practice passing along some pass-rushing knowledge to William Bradley-King. Moments like that take some weight off the coaches' shoulders, Rivera said. Young is regarded as one of the best young defensive linemen in the league, and Bradley-King admired Young's skillset while playing at Baylor. Getting advice from their teammates, and not just the coaches, carries some significance to the rookie class. It ensures that they're getting a wide variety of pointers on how to have a successful career.
-- Charles Leno Jr. has been Washington's starting left tackle from the moment he signed with the team in May. He's managed to hold his own against the likes of Young and Montez Sweat, which has earned some praise from Rivera. The head coach feels "very comfortable" with Leno as the starter in addition to the left tackle position as a whole. He knows the offense has a solid backup in Cornelius Lucas, who had one of his better seasons in 2020. In an improvement from last season, when Morgan Moses had to play left tackle out of necessity. On top of that, it provides confidence for Ryan Fitzpatrick and the rest of Washington's quarterbacks that they can dissect defense without a pass-rush bearing down on them.
-- The NFL is a league driven by production, and obviously Scott Turner cares a great deal about getting positive results from the offense. That's not necessarily the center of his focus, though. Instead, Turner said after practice that Washington is a team that focuses on process over results. Players can have flashy moments without doing things the right way, he said, but that isn't a formula for long-term success. That statement echoes Rivera's challenge to the team when first became Washington's head coach. Do things the way we ask, he said at the time, and the results will be theirs.
-- Turner had nothing but good things to say about Jaret Patterson when asked about the undrafted rookie's development. In the former Buffalo star, Turner sees a natural runner with a low center of gravity who has plenty of strength. He also has the ability to get yards when they're not there, and that was evident in his 133 all-purpose yards against the Bengals. The ball goes where it's supposed to go when the ball is in Patterson's hands, and he knows how to catch the ball out of the backfield, which Turner said is an important trait to have in Washington's scheme. It's only in a preseason setting, but Patterson has carried over what made him a success in college to the next level.