Darrick Forrest didn't have the rookie season that he or the Washington Commanders expected, but he's been making up for that this offseason.
Forrest, who was drafted in the fifth round last year, was expected to be a key contributor on special teams as well as a piece of the Commanders' secondary. Those plans were derailed before they began, however, as he was placed on Injured Reserve prior to Week 1 and didn't make his debut until November.
Now that Forrest is healthy, he's getting plenty of attention from his coaches.
"I've seen a tremendous amount of growth," coach Ron Rivera said of the safety.
Forrest received a bulk of first-team reps during OTAs, and there have been several plays where he came close to grabbing an interception from Carson Wentz. That shouldn't be a surprise, considering how well the former Cincinnati Bearcat captain performed in college. From 2017-20, he recorded 200 tackles, 12 pass breakups, six interceptions and a fumble recovery.
While he didn't get a pick for himself during OTAs, he did help a teammate secure one. During the final team drills of the day on June 8, Forrest jumped on a pass from Wentz, who was trying to make a play in the middle of the field. Rather than hitting its intended target, the ball popped in the air and fell into the hands of Cole Holcomb.
Rivera said the play was emblematic of Forrest's progress.
"He is also one of the other guys that I've had to speak to about being a little overly anxious," Rivera said. "But you don't wanna take that away from him because that's why he's making those plays because he's doing those things."
Forrest, who took pride in his role on special teams at Cincinnati, has been making progress on that side of the ball for Washington as well, with Rivera adding that he's stepping up as one of the leaders for the group.
"There's a lot of positives that are coming out of this."
With much of Washington's starting secondary already in place, special teams is where Forrest is most likely to make an impact. However, if Forrest continues this growth spurt into training camp, the Commanders could use him more often in the rotation.
Here's a morning roundup of what the local and national media have to say about the Washington Commanders on Friday, June 10, 2022. All reports, rumors and conjecture are a reflection of the media conversation and are not endorsed or confirmed by the Washington Football Team.
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 Ethan Cadeaux writes about Carson Wentz developing a strong bond with Jahan Dotson.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux writes about the absence of Curtis Samuel and Antonio Gibson during Wednesday's OTA.
- NBC Sports Washington's Bijan Todd writes about Brian Robinson valuing veteran leadership from former Alabama teammates.
- Sports Illustrated's David Harrison opens his notebook from the Commanders' OTAs.
- NFL.com's Adam Rank writes that 2022 is a pivotal season for Ron Rivera.
- NBC Sports Washington's Bijan Todd writes about Benjamin St-Juste impressing Shawn Springs during OTAs.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux writes about Ryan Fitzpatrick's retirement.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux writes about the Commanders announcing their fight song will debut on Aug. 13.
- Sports Illustrated's Ethan Hurwitz writes about Percy Butler's progress during OTAs.
- Sports Illustrated's David Harrison looks at where Carson Wentz ranks among the NFL's deep passers.
- USA Today's Ivan Lambert reports on the Commanders announcing their home themes for the 2022 season.
- CBS Sports Shanna McCarriston writes about Ron Rivera comparing Carson Wentz to Philip Rivers.
- The Washington Time's Matthew Paras writes about the Commanders' secondary banking on continuity for success in 2022.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux writes about how the Commanders want Chase Young and Montez Sweat to grow.
- NBC Sports Washington's Peter Hailey writes that Ron Rivera believes the team and training staff are in sync.
Check Out What's On Commanders.com:
- Antonio Gibson named Top 10 explosive runner by Next Gen Stats
- Media Roundup | Ron Rivera, Jacks Del Rio, Carson Wentz address the media
- Carson Wentz is focused on finding balance between aggressive and conservative
- Benjamin St-Juste is thriving in his new role
- Stars & sleepers from Commanders OTAs
- Why Montez Sweat's length, explosiveness gives offenses so many problems
- Trai Turner is fitting right in with Commanders' O-Line
- Jahan Dotson continues to stand out in OTAs
- Percy Butler is eager to learn, and it's leaving a good impression on his teammates
- Scott Turner | 'There's a lot of different things we we'll be able to do' with Jahan Dotson
- Ron Rivera | Montez Sweat 'becomes more and more dynamic'
- Washington Commanders announce 2022 preseason schedule
- Commanders' offense primed to be more explosive with Wentz at QB
- Logan Paulsen, Santana Moss break down injury updates on Chase Young, Curtis Samuel, Logan Thomas
- Chase Young remains confident in his recovery process
- Senior Pro Scout, former tight end Don Warren retires from NFL
- OTA Notebook | Jahan Dotson, offensive weapons continue to improve
- Riveras open up on how Filipino ancestors shaped views of hard work, sacrifice, family priorities
- Rivera: Gandy-Golden has size, athleticism to switch to TE