Washington Football Team: Early camp observations

  • Antonio Gibson
  • Bryce Love
  • Chase Young
  • Dwayne Haskins
  • Montez Sweat
  • Ron Rivera
  • Troy Apke
  • washington football team
By David Opperman August 22, 2020 0 Comment
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Haskins and Apke stand out-for different reasons

As the first week of padded practice closes, there have been some highlights and struggles along the way for the Washington Football team.  While the offensive skill positions has some explosive play makers, the lack of a proven tight end could become a serious issue. The offensive line presents much uncertainty while the hype grows for the defensive line. As camp moves forward and the defensive line is showcasing the hype, one unlikely player appears to be standing out.

Dwayne Haskins

Through what’s been a week of highlights and growing pains, Dwayne Haskins has shown much more dedication to his craft. As his off-season work stands out in many ways early on in camp, there’s much work ahead. The noticeable command of the huddle and his decisive play calling is much improved compared to last off-season. Head coach Ron Rivera has been thoroughly impressed with his leadership and determination to be great on the field.

Dwayne Haskins has shown great pocket awareness and improved mobility. His off platform throws are fairly accurate when under duress, while showing a quicker burst tucking the ball and running. He has shown no fear to fit the tight throws down field yet will take what’s given to him on the check down. One of the biggest takeaways is the chemistry between Haskins and Terry McLaurin as they’ve connected a few times on touchdowns.

Of course with the good comes the bad for any young quarterback and Dwayne is certainly no different. He has shown some inconsistencies with anticipation, proper reads and accuracy. As Washington is early in camp it’s important to note the struggles all the quarterbacks have to face from the offensive line. Whether the defensive front is just that good or not, the concern not only exists but has affected Haskins. While the offensive line has played a role in his inconsistencies, it’s not an excuse Haskins is likely to use. Typically, this early on, defenses have the advantage, so harping too much on Haskins struggles is pointless but worth monitoring.

Troy Apke

Troy Apke, considered a reach in 2018 draft, had struggled a good portion early on in his career. Although incredibly fast and athletic, he was just a liability on the field taking poor angles. While his make up speed certainly aided in recovering from poor mistakes, the safety position can ill afford such poor decisions. Fast forward to today, Troy Apke has spent the majority of time with the first team defense. He has drawn rave reviews from Chris Harris on his development as most accounts have shown a strong camp thus far. His angles can still use improving but his play recognition has been a plus. The battle at safety seems to exist between him and Sean Davis, which most did not see coming.

Bryce Love and Antonio Gibson

There is not so much a battle for the number two running back role as much that it’s a showcase of two potential dynamic weapons. Bryce Love’s off-season work with Christian McCaffrey to understand Scott Turner’s offense has paid off. Love’s talent has not only taken notice of the staff, but his understand of the offense has turned heads. Love, having no issues with the various schemes and motions Scott loves to run, shows off his dynamic ability. Not only does the second running back spot seem secured today, but the future feature running back looks promising.

Antonio Gibson is a weapon pure and simple in Scott Turner’s offense. Outside of his pass protection, he has excelled in every area of this offense proving to be dynamic and versatile. Out of the backfield, he’s elusive through the hole and fantastic on screen plays. From the slot, Gibson gives this offense a home run threat not only in the passing game but on jet sweeps. Gibson’s hands are reliable and his elusive burst after the catch has shown to be frustrating for defender.

The future in Love and Gibson looks to not be one of dynamic versatility especially if Love improves his hands. It won’t boil down to who’s our future feature back because Gibson appears too valuable limiting him to one position. Turner’s use of both thus far has also shown a dynamic offense Washington has not had in quite some time.

Final Thoughts

Thus far the defensive line has looked dominant while the offensive line struggles, which clouds Haskins’ overall evaluation. Even with these struggles, he has shown great pocket awareness, accurate off platform throws and great command in the huddle. Like for most young quarterbacks, patience is the key and overreaction needs to be limited. On defense, Apke looks to be the biggest surprise thus far but, like Haskins, it is early. If he improves the angles he takes and develop better discipline, Washington may finally have their answer at free safety. What more can anyone say about Bryce Love and Antonio Gibson but WOW?

Don’t forget to check out our guys on Washington Brawl pod cast as they give great in depth coverage of what’s happening in camp.  Click Here

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