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Hail Mail | Weighing Washington's options at WR


The opinions expressed in this article do not reflect those of the team.

The end is upon us. I know that sounds morbid (and like I should be wearing a tinfoil hat on a street corner), but it's true; training camp is nearly over. By this time next week, all the focus will be on who will be making the final roster.

But for now, there are still plenty of questions, and I have answers. Here are the things Commanders fans want to know in the final training camp edition of Hail Mail

-- Cornelius K.: How is the development of Kendall Fuller coming along within the defense?

I think Kendall Fuller has been one of the stars of this year's training camp.

The secondary as a whole has looked better than it did at this point last year, but Fuller is the one who has been on the biggest tears. Most of his impact plays came in the first half of camp, like his interception while defending Cam Sims and popping the loose from Dyami Brown’s grasp for Cole Turner to get the pick himself. He regularly matches up against Terry McLaurin, and while McLaurin does get the better of him on occasion, their battles are always fun to watch. Last season wasn't necessarily a bad one for Fuller, but he didn't get nearly as many interceptions as he did in previous years. I think we'll see him return to form in 2022.

-- Steve C.: Do you think the last receiver spot comes down to Harmon or Erickson?

I think both of those players will be part of the conversation at receiver, Steve.

Both Kelvin Harmon and Alex Erickson have had their moments. Ron Rivera spoke about Harmon today, saying that he has been a competitive, big target. He's used his size a few times in camp to make deep catches over defensive backs. Erickson has a special teams background, which does give him an advantage. Obviously, there have not been any final decisions made as to who will return kicks, but he has been one of the top options from the start of camp.

Rivera likes position flexibility, meaning I'm giving Erickson the slightest of edges between him and Harmon. However, Harmon has a few more opportunities to show why the team needs a bigger target among its receivers.

-- Fredrick M.: What's the one thing you believe the team has improved on the most compared to last year? 

I've thought about this question a lot, Fredrick, because I want to give an answer beside the communication in the secondary (which is ultimately the correct one). For the sake of avoiding the thing everyone has been talking about for the past two weeks, I think the defensive line has been more disruptive at times than it was last year. James Smith-Williams and Casey Toohill have stepped up with Chase Young still recovering from his knee injury, and players like Efe Obada have provided depth. 

Now, to be fair, it isn't perfect. There are still moments where it's clear the team needs Young to come back as soon as possible. However, I think the defensive end spot should be able to hold water until Young returns at some point. 

-- Robert L.: Will Scott Turner create a variety of plays for the offensive players? Can the offense use two tight ends during short-yardage situations? Can the offense use two running backs at the same time? 

Yes, yes and yes, Robert. 

Scott Turner is a play-caller who is known for working with his players to find the best options that help them thrive, so there shouldn't be any concerns there. In terms of using two tight ends in short-yardage situations, that exact situation happened on Brian Robinson’s touchdown against the Carolina Panthers. They motioned away from the play, but Turner is not afraid to pack the line of scrimmage. Washington didn't use two running back sets often last year, but it's certainly in their arsenal. It wouldn't surprise me if they did it again in 2022.

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).

-- Timothy A.: What should our mascot be in your opinion? I think it should be a hog. 

I'm down for whatever the fans vote, Timothy, but in my humble opinion, the hog is the best option. It has ties to the team's legacy, and hogs are really cool. 

-- Michael D.: Any chance Rivera goes out and either trades for additional pieces of the puzzle or snags someone off the cut list? 

I think signing someone off another team's cut list is the more likely scenario. 

Rivera and his staff value draft picks, and they don't give them away lightly. I don't want to say it's impossible, but signing a depth piece after cut day is a cheaper solution as opposed to giving up picks/players on top of eating up a chunk of cap space.

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