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Nate Sudfeld Using Preseason To Learn Teammates' Preferences


Even as a rookie, Nate Sudfeld is showcasing his leadership traits alongside teammates, gathering them together to learn more about how they like to get the football in their hands.

While at Indiana, Nate Sudfeld had the luxury of spending days and nights with his teammates on campus, some of whom he had been close with through his entire college career.

In the NFL, though, building a rapport with teammates -- especially as third-team quarterback -- can be difficult.

But Sudfeld has been using the little downtime he's had over the last few weeks to get in sync with the team's younger wide receivers.

While in Richmond for training camp and then in the hotel the night before his preseason debut, he gathered teammates in his room to go over plays.

"We're all in a group chat and Nate hits us up when one of us feels we need to watch film and we make it happen," said rookie wide receiver Dez Stewart, who signed with Washington on July 18. "Fix the mistakes and get out there and make it better on the field."

Sudfeld would explain what goes through his mind pre-snap and then as the play develops.

"I'll be like, 'Hey, on this route, I'm expecting you to be here. So if you can go nine steps, break it in and I'll put it on the money if you get right there,'" Sudfeld said. "They'll say, 'On this one, this signal looks weird. Can you make it more like this?' Just constant communication, just trying to get better."

As a sixth-round rookie behind Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy, Sudfeld isn't expected to see much if any playing time during the regular season, so the preseason slate will be his best opportunity over the coming months to adjust to the speed of the NFL game.

During the preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons on Aug. 11 at the Georgia Dome, Sudfeld played the entire second half for the Redskins, completing 10-of-15 passes for 89 yards and a fourth quarter touchdown toss to tight end Marcel Jensen.

With the 187th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins selected quarterback Nate Sudfeld of Indiana. Take a look at his collegiate career in photos.

"I thought Nate did a good job," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. "He's a competitor, got his team in and out of the huddle, no delay of game penalties which is good. There were no formation issues, he didn't call the plays wrong, and that is half the battle for a young quarterback coming out of college. I thought he did a good job. I liked the way he competed. He stood in there, took a couple of sacks that weren't his fault. He protected the ball. It was a good start for the guy."

Sudfeld was pretty happy that he didn't let the game become "too big." He settled in and tossed the pigskin around like he was still at Modesto (Calif.) Christian High School when he earned second-team all-state honors as a senior.

"I didn't feel overwhelmed at any point, but I really thought the coaches just helped me out," Sudfeld said. "The line, the running backs, the receivers – they made some great plays and great blocks. I really felt confident and guys were feeding off energy. I had a lot of fun."

While Sudfeld will eventually settle into the third quarterback role, he isn't going to allow a potential minimal role during the regular season impact his daily approach.

"You have to bring your A-game every day, whether it's at practice or in a game," Sudfeld said. "You can't rest on your achievements any day because you watch that film then you've got the next day and then you've got to keep bringing it every day. So I haven't dwelled on it too much, but I like how I've started."

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