10 Washington Football predictions before training camp begins

10 Washington Football predictions before training camp begins originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Washington Football Team takes the field in Richmond to officially start training camp in three weeks. That’s right, football is just three weeks away. 

In advance of the action, let’s take a look at some predictions and expectations before Washington football coach Ron Rivera and his squad get back on the field.

  1. Ryan Fitzpatrick is the starter, unquestionably, for Week 1
  2. Starting O-line – Charles Leno Jr., Ereck Flowers, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, Sam Cosmi. That’s 40 percent of the offensive line that’s never taken a snap wearing burgundy and gold. 
  3. No new deal for Jon Allen. Yet. The clock is ticking and the pile of cash will only increase in 2022 as new TV deals hit. I’m not sure how close the two sides really got though sources have said all along the talks have been amicable. 
  4. Landon Collins opens training camp on the PUP list, which gives Washington roster flexibility. Collins injured his Achilles in late October last season and that recovery and rehab usually takes a full year. 
  5. Troy Apke won’t make the roster. If Troy Apke wants to make this roster, it will have to be at cornerback, and that looks hard. The safety room is filling up fast – Kam Curl, Bobby McCain, Jeremy Reaves, Deshazor Everett and rookie Darrick Forest makes five for a position that usually only carries four on the final roster. The back-end cornerback spots aren’t as competitive – Kendall Fuller, William Jackson III and Benjamin St. Juste are roster certainties. Jimmy Moreland looks on firm footing. Then you’ve got competition among Greg Stroman, Danny Johnson, Cole Luke and others. Maybe Apke can crack that group? He got some time at corner during minicamp, but those results looked similar to his play at safety – not great. He is a good special teamer, which could matter late in the process. 
  6. The Wilkinson Investigation that has hung like a dark cloud over the Washington organization for much of the last year will be barely a whisper for many by the time the team takes the field in Richmond. And after a day or two of training camp, right about when the players put pads on for the first time, it will be forgotten by many fans. Just the way the league wants it. 
  7. J.D. McKissic had 110 targets last season. That number will fall, probably by about 20 percent and perhaps more. Both Alex Smith and Dwayne Haskins were too reliant on throwing to McKissic, and Fitzpatrick (or Heinicke) will take more chances downfield. 
  8. Logan Thomas also had 110 targets last season. That number will go down too, if for no other reason than more weapons in the pass game. 
  9. Speaking of increased weapons, Terry McLaurin had 134 targets last year, the only Washington wideout with more than 100 targets. The next closest receiver’s target share? Cam Sims at 48. That’s absurd. After that, the next highest receiver target total was Steven Sims at 37. 37! Expect McLaurin and Curtis Samuel to have more than 100 targets each, and don’t sleep on Adam Humphries getting around 60 looks too. 
  10. Expect Chase Young to have double-digit sacks. He finished 2020 with 7.5 sacks, and a number of near-misses. He could double that total or come close this fall. 

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