Friday was definitely the hottest of the three days so far in Richmond, and the heat got to the players a bit on the field as we saw the first two scuffles of Washington Football Team’s training camp.
There weren’t any full blown fights, but a little excitement popped up throughout the day.
- First, tight end Temarrick Hemingway and Montez Sweat mixed it up a bit with Chase Young getting involved in the end. This one had the chance to evolve into something more, but head coach Ron Rivera and others stepped in. Hemingway was very upset, came to the sideline and threw his helmet.
- A couple plays later, tight end Sammis Reyes and Cole Holcomb mixed it up. This one was quick and didn’t escalate.
Rivera is not a fan of fighting.
“I think it’s a good teachable moment,” he said. “One of the things that I talked about with these guys, about how to practice and one of the sections of it is about fighting — don’t fight. It makes no sense. Why? You get into a fight and you get penalized, you get fined, you get hurt, you can get taken out of a game. So, it’s a teachable moment. I’ll use it. I’m not a big fan of it.”
Guard Brandon Scherff was on the field during the extracurricular activities and knows Rivera doesn’t like it, but has a different outlook on it.
“There’s a lot of guys that like to talk to during a game,” he said. “As an offensive guy, you have to be able to shut that out. That’s part of Chase’s [Young] game. Like Coach said, that’s part of Chase’s game. He tries to get in people’s head by talking. If you’re going to let that bother you, he’s already won. So just leave the fighting out of it. Move on with practice.”
Some other practice notes from Friday:
- Friday was the most crisp practice to date, despite the heat. The offense seems to have made strides in the first few days.
- Safety Landon Collins continues to be very impressive coming off his Achilles injury.
- “I feel incredible being back on the field,” he said. “I feel the same. Way better than before. I feel stronger, faster, in shape, just doing my thing. I’m back on the field and I’m happy now.” Collins also said that he was able to focus on his body during the recovery and that’s a big reason he was able to get back in just nine months.
- Quarterback Taylor Heinicke has been sharp during the first few days and looked decent when taking first team reps as well.
- What a difference a year makes for Heinicke. A year ago, he said he was living at his sister’s house, looking for something to do each day. Now, he’s competing for a starting quarterback job in training camp. He realizes how far he’s come and what he was able to accomplish a year ago, starting in a playoff game. As far as the competition, he doesn’t see it that way.
- “I don’t come in everyday thinking I’m competing against him,” he said. “I come in every day just trying to get better and I think he thinks the same thing. We just try to help each other be the best. So God forbid he gets hurt or they throw me in there, he’s going to want me to be at my best so we can go win some games. I think that’s where both of our heads are at. So again, we don’t really treat this as a competition more as, Hey, let’s help each other get better.”
We saw our first one-on-one drills between receivers and cornerbacks. Fans love it, and we got to see more of Terry McLaurin against William Jackson III. That has been the best matchup of camp so far.
McLaurin also had the best catch of the day, a 50-yarder from Ryan Fitzpatrick down the sideline.
Saturday is the final practice in Richmond and it’s Fan Appreciation Day. The team will return to practice in Ashburn on Monday.