As training camp nears its close, defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio has felt encouraged about what he is seeing -- and hearing.
"The communication is really strong right now," Del Rio said. "It is such a huge part of what we do. Being on the same page and being able to play fast to the responsibilities."
Among the strongest voices in the unit is seasoned safety Bobby McCain, who Del Rio noted has "led the way" for the Commanders' back end thus far. Having a veteran presence is particularly important as the secondary has focused on integrating several newer faces into the unit.
McCain has been dishing out words of wisdom to rookie Percy Butler, who has got right to showing the insight will stick.
"I told him from the first day, you'll be in this league a long time as long as you don't make the same mistakes twice, and he really hasn't made the same mistake twice," McCain said. "You can tell the game is slowing down to him. You can tell he's playing fast…and he's understanding the defense really well."
Now with more experience under his belt following his rookie year, Darrick Forrest has turned up the volume on his voice in the secondary. Heading into Year 2, Forrest is demonstrating he has a more secure sense of his role and how the unit can execute.
"He's out there communicating with me and Kam [Curl]. He understands, he knows where he needs to fit," McCain said. "He's playing really aggressive, and he's going to be really good for us."
McCain was also complimentary of a guy who has been biding his time and working hard every day since he arrived in Washington four years ago: Jeremy Reaves.
"He's one of the smartest guys in the back end. Sometimes it's just about opportunity and when he gets his opportunity, he takes advantage of it, but he's been a good football player."
Reaves, McCain and the rest of Washington's secondary will face a valuable test against the Chiefs this weekend – whatever the score, the goal will be to internalize the lessons learned and build.
"There are no shortcuts to success," Del Rio said.
Here's a morning roundup of what the local and national media have to say about the Washington Commanders on Thursday, August 18, 2022. All reports, rumors and conjecture are a reflection of the media conversation and are not endorsed or confirmed by the Washington Commanders.
The reports and deals expressed in this article have not been confirmed by Washington, nor do they reflect any insider information from anyone in the front office.
- NBC Sports Washington's Bijan Todd writes about Brian Robinson Jr. ball security and run style.
- The Richmond-Times Dispatch's Michael Phillip writes about coach Jennifer King's offseason development.
- NBC Sports Washington's Bijan Todd also writes about how Phidarian Mathis is no stranger to patience.
- The Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala writes about Jonathan Allen's mentality after his Pro Bowl-caliber season.
- The Washington Times' Matthew Paras writes about Sam Howell's upcoming development year.
- The Richmond-Times Dispatch's Michael Phillips catches up with Chase Young after preseason opener, NASCAR weekend.
- The Washington Post's Sam Fortier lists his takeaway from the preseason opener.
- NBC Sports Washington's writes about two standout rookie performances against Carolina.
- The Washington Times' Matthew Paras writes about Carson Wentz's Commanders' debut.
- The Athletic's Ben Standig writes gave his takeaways from Washington's first preseason game.
- The Washington Post's NIcki Jhabvala writes that Washington's wide receivers still have plenty to prove this season.
- NBC Sports Washington's Bijan Todd lists five Commanders whose snaps against the Panthers will mean more than most.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux gives five storylines to watch during Washington's preseason game against the Panthers.
- The Athletic's Ben Standig writes about what you should be looking for against the Panthers.
- ESPN's John Keim writes about Carson Wentz improving his chemistry with his pass-catchers.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux writes about Kam Curl's versatility.
The Washington Commanders continued their week of practice by preparing for a road matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2 of the preseason. Check out the top photos from Wednesday morning. (Photos by Emilee Fails/Washington Commanders).
Check Out What's On Commanders.com:
- Training Camp Notebook | Rivera dives deeper into Commanders' DE Depth
- Hail Mail | Weighing Washington's options at WR
- From the booth | We all needed to see something
- Training Camp Notebook | Jahan Dotson grabbed two red zone TDs, defensive line disruptive on Day 16
- Media roundup | 'These past two days have been a delight' for Curtis Samuel
- Training Camp Notebook | Dyami Brown makes four catches as Commanders prepare for second preseason game
- Brian Robinson introduced his physical style to Commanders fans in the preseason opener
- Jon Allen ranks No. 88 on NFL's Top 100 players list
- 5 takeaways from Washington's preseason opener against Carolina.
- Numbers to know from Washington's preseason opener
- Media Roundup | Brian Robinson said FedExField 'felt like home all over again'.
- Instant Analysis | Late Sam Howell surge not enough in 23-21 loss to Panthers
- Competition among Commanders' WRs intensifies ahead of preseason
- 3 keys to Washington's preseason opener against the Panthers
- 4 standouts from Week 3 of Commanders training camp
- Sophie Manning celebrates end of cancer treatment with training camp day full of fun
- Media roundup | Tress Way loves Percy Butler, looks forward to 'watching him hunt' on special team
- 'New best day ever': Cancer survivor Josiah Desper and family cherish a special night out at FedExField
- Training Camp Notebook | Rivera breaks down expectations for Commanders' preseason opener