Dyami Brown is exceeding expectations and says he's "feeling good" heading into Year 3.
The 2021 third-round pick has returned to training camp with the Washington Commanders and is ready to revamp his most well-known skills and implement detailed changes in his tactics.
Brown has been utilizing his speed and clean-catching skills through the first five practices of camp. His readiness on every play is giving him a consistent edge during practice that's pushing him as a key part of the Commanders roster. His ability to maneuver through nearby defenders and still manage catching the ball has always been a skill that caught coaches' attention, and he has flaunted that skill set this offseason.
"In this offense, and really anytime Dyami gets on the field, you do expect certain things," said head coach Ron Rivera. "One of the things that he was noted for coming out of North Carolina as he was known for the ability to catch the ball in traffic. He led the NCAA in contested catches. He was also one of the top guys in the deep balls thrown as well. So, we're expecting and anticipating to get that from Dyami. We got a little bit of it last year. [I] wish we had gotten more, because he is an explosive guy with good speed."
Brown has been prioritizing the finer details of his skill set during the individual drills at training camp, which he feels has built a larger difference in his game.
"Everything we do individually is always gonna lead up to the things we do with 7v7s", Brown said, "Basically, most of this stuff is different ways of working over ways of catching the ball. High, low, high, and the energy behind it. And if you do that, it'll translate when you're playing."
For Brown, these drill-developed tactics translate best when he's on his feet in a game situation. He also benefits from being surrounded by another talented wide receiver, Terry McLaurin. To Brown, McLaurin has been someone to learn from. Playing with a top-ranked player like McLaurin gives Brown the chance to take note of different strategies that work into his gameplay.
"There's a few of us that just can work really great together and learn from each other," Brown says, "I learned from Terry a lot. Him being Terry and doing a lot of great things out there has been able to help me a lot."
Brown's movement as well as his ability to think on his feet and change his route in order to create more space on the field has also helped him stand out on the field.
"It might be a little dip in a route or something I can do at the top of the route to change it up, things like that," Brown said. "It's important to just create more separation."
The Washington Commanders finished their first week of training camp with thousands of fans packing the bleachers and areas surrounding the practice field. Here are the best photos from Saturday. (Photos by Emilee Fails and Kourtney Carroll/Washington Commanders)
Brown has an additional advantage in his collegiate football history with starting quarterback Sam Howell. The duo played together at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The connection between the two has been is critical in executing key passes, and the foundational chemistry of the two former college teammates has aided both in transitioning to more developed NFL players.
"They were both excited about it was they worked together all spring [when] they went back home," says coach Rivera, "They were both back at UNC. They hung out together when they went to Charlotte. They hung out together, did a lot of work, so it's carried over. We saw it during OTAs and minicamp, and we're seeing it right now with the start of training camp, so that's very promising and very exciting."
Brown's transformed confidence on the field pushes his chances of being a key contributor for game days this year. Brown has played in 30 NFL games and started in six with flashes of what he could be, like his two-touchdown performance against the Tennessee Titans; however, with his promising training performance, this player could see a significant shift in his game time.
Brown also entered the offseason with a more particular attentiveness to his body, which meant changing his diet and ensuring real rest on off days.
"I'm feeling good actually," says Brown, "I had to change my diet. That's something that changes how I'm feeling, and then hydrating as well."
As training camp continues and preseason takes off, a more apparent answer about Brown's playing time will come forward. Though throughout it all, the wide receivers are sure to be there for one another.
"At the end of the day, we can all help each other out," says Brown.