The opinions expressed in this article do not reflect those of the team.
It's Washington's final day of practice for the week before the team hosts the Cincinnati Bengals on Friday. In a similar fashion as last week, each side of the ball was mostly focused on their own scripts as the team enters the final stretch of camp.
Here are some key observations from Wednesday's practice.
-- Dax Milne received some extra reps with the starting offense today, and the seventh-round pick was joined today by other rookies in the lineup. There were times when Milne and undrafted free agent Jaret Patterson would line up in the same formation, and that lines up with the praise that Ron Rivera has heaped on both players. Rivera said that Milne is ahead of where a lot of rookies would be at this point, and Patterson has taken advantage of his opportunities. Both players have given themselves an outside shot of making the roster, and if they hope to survive into September, they will need to develop more chemistry with the rest of the starting unit.
-- Ryan Fitzpatrick has not been afraid of taking shots in practice, and Rivera loves it. In fact, the more he does it, Rivera said, the better off the offense will be on gamedays. Rivera and Scott Turner want to utilize their players' strengths, and with Fitzpatrick lined up under center, that includes making downfield passes. Trying them in practice allows Washington's deep threats like Dyami Brown, and eventually Curtis Samuel, to become more acclimated to Fitzpatrick's style. And seeing that Washington wants to be more explosive, the skill players will need all the experience they can get.
-- There's a lot to like about Cole Holcomb's recent progress in camp, but his consistency might be the most impressive to Rivera. Holcomb, one of Washington's top tacklers the past two seasons, didn't make many mistakes to begin with, but he has limited his errors even further this year. That has helped him perform better in the running game, which has been apparent in practice and during the team's first preseason game. He has raised his skillset, Rivera said, and that's what he wants to see out of a player who will have an even bigger role in Year 3.
-- Antonio Gibson's progress was one of the bigger topics that fans cared about to start camp, and that hasn't changed in Week 4. Gibson said after Wednesday's practice that he is getting more comfortable with what the coaches are asking of him, particularly when it comes to pass-blocking. Blocking itself is certainly not a foreign concept to Gibson, but he's had to adjust his eyes and where he looks for defenders. He needs to be aware of external factors, such as if there's a possibility a safety could blitz. He wasn't where he needed to be in that area last year, he has been improving over the past month.
-- There were plenty of lessons to be learned for Jamin Davis in his first preseason game. He's played well in practice, but last week's game against the Patriots gave him a chance to get a better feel for the speed of the game. Now that he has an idea of what to expect in a game scenario, he knows how to adjust certain aspects of his game. Based on his own assessments, he could have played more downhill and used better positioning in coverage. And as a linebacker, he could always improve upon knowing his teammates' assignments and making sure they're working together. By fine-tuning those aspects of his game, Davis hopes to give people a better idea of the player he really is.