Camp observations, 8/6: The most notable moments from the FedEx Field practice

Camp notes, 8/6: Notable moments from the FedEx Field practice originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington


LANDOVER — A solid and fairly lively crowd took in Saturday’s special Commanders training camp session, which was held at a freshened-up FedEx Field.

The football portion of the proceedings began around 6:45 p.m., but plenty of Washington supporters were walking around the stadium well before then shopping for new gear, snapping selfies and grabbing grub.

With Week 1 five weeks away, Saturday acted as a placeholder for those desperate for the regular season to arrive. In an effort to tide you over for just a little longer, here’s a batch of notes from the club’s fall and winter home…

  • The list of non-participants for the evening included notable names like Dyami Brown, William Jackson III, Cole Turner, John Bates, Shake Toney, James Smith-Williams, Saahdiq Charles and Trai Turner. The Curtis Samuel Practice Tracker, on the other hand, can now be pushed back up to one, as Samuel dressed for the festivities and was used in team work.
  • Because of his size, Jahan Dotson’s ability to get open against press coverage will be scrutinized during his rookie year. On Saturday night, he was able to shake off a corner with ease in a one-on-one scenario by faking to the outside and then crossing over in front of his opponent’s face to haul in a slant. It was a very physical route and he displayed nice strength to make it happen.
  • Undrafted linebacker Tre Walker, who retired on Friday, was in uniform and back in the fold on Saturday. Rivera said Walker was “a guy we had some hopes for” when he initially announced Walker’s retirement, so the coach is surely happy to have the Idaho product in the rotation again, especially considering that the group is rather thin behind Cole Holcomb and Jamin Davis. 
  • If you’re looking for two extra-under-the-radar defenders to keep an eye on once the preseason games commence, try Jacub Panasiuk and Bunmi Rotimi on for size. The Commanders could badly use burst off the edge from their non-Montez Sweat defensive ends while they wait for Chase Young to return, and those two have flashed in pass-rushing phases of practice. Rotimi has pretty impressive speed that he uses to get around the tackles, while Panasiuk goes really hard and appears to have a decent repertoire of moves.
  • Carson Wentz had one of this best throws of the summer early on during a red zone situation, when he dropped one in for a touchdown to Samuel on a corner route. Samuel beat Benjamin St-Juste and Wentz put it right there on the boundary for Samuel to run under. Seeing those two combine for a highlight like that was awfully encouraging.
  • Unfortunately for Wentz, it was yet another outing plagued by inaccuracy. In all settings — individuals, 7-on-7, 11-on-11 — he struggled to consistently give his targets a chance. He did finish with authority, however, when he launched one more than 50 yards to Marken Michel that concluded with Michel tumbling down around the two-yard line. It was the kind of top-tier highlight the franchise is hoping to get out of Wentz to counteract his maddening misses.
  • Safety Kam Curl had a lunging break-up of a Wentz attempt to Curtis Hodges, and it was typical Curl: He read it beautifully, as he tends to do, and was able to find the ball right before it snuck by him for six points.
  • Joey Slye knocked in kicks from 33, 41, 45 and 49 yards out. He then tried one from 60 that had the distance but not the aim. That dude can blast it with ease.

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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