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Training Camp Daily 8/18: Washington's Talented Defensive Line Takes The Field

Elijah Walter Griffin Sr./Washington Football Team
Elijah Walter Griffin Sr./Washington Football Team

Training camp is here, and we have you covered as the Washington Football Team prepares for the 2020 campaign.

Stay up to date with "Training Camp Daily," which comes out every weekday evening.

Also be sure to check out "Washington Football Live 2020" every weekday from 9 - 9:45 a.m. and "Virtual Happy Hour" from 2:30 - 3 p.m. Both shows will be streamed on all of the team's social media platforms.

Here's what you need to know:

The Washington Football team conducts training camp at the Inova Sports Performance Center in Ashburn, Virginia, on Aug. 18, 2020. (Elijah Walter Griffin Sr./Washington Football Team)


Washington's defensive line has garnered tons of hype since the team drafted Chase Young in April, and the consensus is that they will be a terror for opposing quarterbacks.

During Washington's first fully-padded practice Tuesday, the quintet of five first-round picks went up against the offensive line for 1-on-1 pass-rushing drills.

The drill went on for about 15 minutes, and it was clear during that session that defensive end Montez Sweat was still the dominant pass rusher that Washington drafted 26th overall in 2019. Sweat made short work of Jeremy Sprinkle, as he used a combination of speed and strength to beat the fourth-year tight end. Sweat won all of his reps and continued that dominance in 11-on-11 drills.

Young started his day working against right tackle Morgan Moses. The rookie jumped offside for his first rep but recovered nicely and knocked Moses back a few steps. The result was a draw, but Young's quickness was apparent on the play.

Matt Ioannidis, who led Washington last year with 8.5 sacks, worked against guards and centers in the drill and used a bull rush to push offensive linemen back with ease. He and Daron Payne lined up as the starting interior defensive linemen during team drills.


Ron Rivera plans to ease Alex Smith into practicing: Tuesday's practice was the first time in two years Alex Smith practiced in pads. He participated in some throwing drills and worked in after Dwayne Haskins Jr. in 7-on-7 drills. Head coach Ron Rivera said the team was "very comfortable" with his movement skills, but they want to "slowly introduce" him back into practice. "For the last few months, all he's really done has been working out on his own, throwing to trainers and staff. Now he's actually integrated where he's working with other players. Today we introduced him back into 7-on-7. The best part about that, he didn't have a pass rush to worry about, guys around his feet right now."

Landon Collins thinks Ronald Darby is an "excellent corner": Safety Landon Collins and cornerback Ronald Darby both have experience playing for different teams in NFC East. For the past three seasons, Darby has played for the Philadelphia Eagles. The two had never met before Darby signed with Washington this offseason, but Collins had already heard good things about Darby. "I think he is an excellent corner, especially playing in Buffalo, playing with the Eagles. He's doing a great job. He's put on the island all the time. And like I say, when you get on the island, you win some and you lose some. But he knows how to turn the page and continue playing and doing his job. He's gone through a lot of injuries, but I think he's back healthy."

Steven Sims Jr. likes the versatility on offense: There are no shortage of playmakers on offense between J.D. McKissic, Antonio Gibson and Bryce Love. Wide receiver Steven Sims Jr. is among that group as well, and he thinks all of them can have success in Scott Turner's system. "They have to play the whole field. They have to play us honest. Last year I felt it was a little cover two to Terry [McLaurin] and somebody else make a play. I don't think they'll be able to do that to us this year."

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