Camp observations, 7/29: Quarterbacks and offense respond after poor Thursday

Camp notes, 7/29: QBs and offense respond after poor Thursday originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington


ASHBURN — If you were to give Friday’s practice at Washington Commanders training camp a Stars Wars-like title, it’d be: The Offense Strikes Back… Kinda.

In the first half of the action, Carson Wentz, Taylor Heinicke and Sam Howell took turns slicing up the defense, which was stingy and loud on Thursday. After the last in a string of completions to receivers, Terry McLaurin bragged, “Everybody’s getting some!”

But like an amateur golfer who plays a fantastic front nine, the quarterbacks and the offense as a whole lost that rhythm, as poor throws and mucked-up pockets became more common.

Even so, it was a promising showing for coordinator Scott Turner’s crew, as it showed resiliency and its potential as the week shifts to the weekend.

Here are a handful of other observations from Friday…

  • Dyami Brown is now holding the crown for the Catch of Camp. Wentz decided to give Brown a chance to win a contested ball versus Kendall Fuller — who’s been exceptional overall — down the left sideline, and at first, it appeared as if Fuller had it in his grasp for an interception. The wideout and corner tumbled to the ground, though, and as Brown popped up, he somehow had possession. It was remarkable — and also one of those that makes you say “……….Um, how did that happen?”
  • Though Wentz and Heinicke cooled off toward the end of Friday, Howell largely kept it going. When Madden named Howell as having the 10th-strongest arm in the league, it was odd. Yes, it’s a video game, but still. However, the fifth-rounder was ripping it in both 11-on-11 and smaller battles like 9-on-9. He never really hit on anything for huge yardage, but he was sharp in the short and middle parts of the field.
  • Tight ends coach Juan Castillo was fired up on a few occasions by how his position group was blocking. Behind the recovering Logan Thomas, it’s a young, unproven bunch, but that young, unproven bunch has plenty of size, length and agility to it.
  • Jack Del Rio is probably about to ask his defense to begin converting their pass breakups into picks if he hasn’t already, because there have been multiple unsightly drops by linebackers and defensive backs through three days. On Friday, Khaleke Hudson was the latest to turn an easy turnover into another chance for the offense.
  • The Curtis Samuel Practice Tracker is off to a solid start, as Friday marked Samuel’s third-straight outing. However, there was a scaling back of his work, as Samuel wasn’t too active after the first portion of the proceedings. So, a bit of good news, hold-your-breath-just-a-little-bit news there.
  • Chase Roullier came off the PUP list Thursday and immediately got to building comfort with his new quarterback. NBC Sports Washington Offensive Line Correspondent Mitch Tischler was sure to capture their early morning reps, because it’s what Mitch does best (Roullier didn’t do any real reps):

  • It’s a quad injury for Trai Turner, the wily guard who hasn’t suited up the past couple of days. With him out of the offensive rotation, Saahdiq Charles has stepped in with the starters, but as Friday dragged on, coaches also bumped Wes Schweitzer — who’s been handling center duties — to guard and plugged Keith Ismael into the middle. Charles, who struggled at OTAs and minicamp, has faired better here in July. Not a ton better, but definitely better.
  • Thursday’s fan turnout was ridiculed on social media, yet on Friday, it improved tremendously. Yes, it wasn’t all that difficult to improve on such a scant showing, but there was a decent amount of energy from those who decided to come out to the facility on Friday. Saturday will, in all likelihood, be even better:

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, NBC Sports Washington. Sign up for NBC Sports Washington’s free email subscription today.

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