Fans make their return on Day 1 of WFT Training Camp

Chase Young stretched with teammates during the Washington Football Team’s first day of training camp.

WFT fans line up to watch the first day of training camp in Richmond, Virignia.

Jonathan Allen talks to the media on the first day of training camp in Richmond, Virginia.

Terry McLaurin addresses the media on the first day of training camp in Richmond, Virginia.

Ron Rivera speaks to the media on the first day of training camp in Richmond, Virginia.

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WTOP’s George Wallace will be at Washington Football Team’s training camp. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram to get the latest news out of training camp, and come back to WTOP News and WTOP.com for more updates.

From the first snap of the day, you could feel the energy and buzz as the players and fans were happy to have football back in what resembled a pretty normal training camp practice.

Players were not in pads, and won’t be for their entire stay in Richmond. That didn’t seem to matter to all the fans in attendance. They were happy to be there.

Ron Rivera and the players were happy too.

“It is really cool,” Rivera said. “I love the fact that they’re back out there. They’re a knowledgeable bunch. They knew when to cheer and that’s usually when the offense does something and so the defensive guys get excited because they’re cheering for the offense and you can tell that creates a little energy and then you can hear it, you can feel it and it’s something special. We really did miss our fans down the stretch last year. It would’ve been good to have them as we got into the playoffs, that would have been cool.”

On the field, it was our first look at all the pieces out there together.

  • Safety Landon Collins was on the field just nine months after tearing his Achilles tendon. He was out there with Kam Curl in some instances.
  • The defensive line was very disruptive all day, batting down passes from all three quarterbacks and just flying around the ball consistently. Chase Young and Montez Sweat were leading the way.
  • The rookie that caught Ron Rivera’s eye on Day 1 was linebacker Jamin Davis. “Jamin stood out right away,” Rivera said. “A number of the young guys really did a nice job. That’s one of the groups you always worry about, the new guys that come in. I really thought we had a lot of good retention.”
  • Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick picked up right where he left off with wide receiver Adam Humphries. The two played together in Tampa and they hooked up on a number of plays on Tuesday. Terry McLaurin had a nice long grab from Fitzpatrick early as well.
  • The catch of the day goes to Sammy Reyes. Taylor Heinicke threw a deep ball to him along the sidelines and he fully extended to bring the ball in, much to the delight of the crowd.  All three quarterbacks had their moments.

Jonathan Allen and Logan Thomas officially sign their contract extensions

In a sign of some stability, the team locked up two of its young core players with contract extensions. These are the first contract extensions handed out by Ron Rivera and his front office, another sign showing how Ron is in charge of this organization.

He hopes it sends a message:

“I think that’s the thing, and hopefully the other players, their teammates see that we’re serious about wanting to keep guys that do things the right way, guys that fit what we do and how we do it,” Rivera said. “And we want to try to keep as many of our own as possible. Drafting Jonathan where we did, you don’t want to see a guy like that move on, especially if he fits and is the right type of guy, and we’ve got a lot of guys like that, that we want to try and figure out how we can keep them around.”

The players couldn’t be happier either. For Allen it was a longer process, having gone on since early spring, but in the end it got done.

“It was a tough negotiation,” Allen said.  “At the end of the day both sides wanted to get a deal done and I’m glad we were able to do it before training camp. So, I’m ecstatic, I’m happy and I’m ready to play some football.”

Logan Thomas grew up in Virginia, another local product that gets some long term stability in a place he calls home.

“It’s amazing to be able to stay home,” Thomas said. Especially playing for my hometown team, the team I grew up playing with. I’m blessed beyond belief. I know Jon [Allen] said Washington for life, and I feel the exact same way.”

Thomas knows what this means for Allen, himself and the organization.

“We are both guys from Virginia,” Thomas said. “We understand what Washington is like. We understand the legacy of the old school or what it was in the 90’s or early 2000s. Some of the struggles, some of the highs, the lows, we respect that. We want to see this program be the best it possibly can be for a long time.”

George Wallace

George Wallace is the WTOP sports director. He began at WTOP on Christmas Day of 2000.

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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