Training camp is here, and we have you covered as the Washington Football Team progresses through its second season under head coach Ron Rivera. Stay up to date with "WFT Daily," which comes out every weekday evening.
Performance was obviously near the top of Ron Rivera’s list as Washington started the preseason against the Patriots, but it wasn't the only thing he was looking for.
For a handful of players, it was their first time in the spotlight of an NFL game atmosphere, and Rivera wanted to see how they would respond once the pressure started to rise. It's safe to say he was not disappointed in what he saw.
"They really seemed to take it in stride," Rivera told reporters on Friday. "It was really cool to see."
Most of the starters and other key contributors were off the field by the time the second quarter rolled around. But for some -- Jamin Davis and Sam Cosmi -- that have played in bigger roles since Day 1 of training camp, their night continued throughout the first half. Rivera's logic was simple: Washington needs them to play, so they need all the experience they can get.
Cosmi ended up being one of the bigger standouts from the game, as he received an 81.8 overall grade from Pro Football Focus and didn't allow a sack. His hand placement and footwork stood out to Rivera the most, which is evidence of how much work he has put into refining those points of his game.
"He communicates very well with the guards," Rivera said. "You see that synergy that you're looking for."
In Davis' case, there were times when Rivera could tell he was overthinking things. He got more settled as the game progressed, though, and he was at his best when he was reacting to what was in front of him. Davis finished the night with four tackles, which was tied for second-most on the team.
"That stuff will become second nature the more he practices," Rivera said. "We talked about it last year with some of our guys. It's 5,000 reps. It's going to take a while to build up this feel, this second nature for what's happening."
There were others outside of the more featured young players that had some flashy moments. David Bada and Bunmi Rotimi combined to take down Mac Jones for a nine-yard loss. And while Benjamin St-Juste didn't record a tackle, he did have a pass breakup against Kendrick Bourne.
On offense, Jaret Patterson, Washington's only college free agent signee, paced all skill players with 70 yards on 14 touches. Steven Montez, who had 108 passing yards, finished a 15-play, 92-yard drive with a touchdown to Lamar Miller. Sammis Reyes got his first bout of NFL action and made two catches for 25 yards. Rivera would like to see him make cleaner catches, but so far he's satisfied with Reyes' development.
"We saw the results of what he can grow into," Rivera said. "It was a lot of fun to watch Sammis get his opportunity and make the best of it."
Rivera likes what he has in his younger players. They showed they can contribute when the lights are one, and that's a foundation for he and the coaches to work with. The next will be for them to build on that.
"It was a good start," Rivera said. "We can't take a step backwards with those young guys. We've gotta keep going forward."