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Training Camp Daily 8/20: Ryan Anderson Is Learning To Play Aggressive As A Defensive End

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. 20, 2020. (Elijah Walter Griffin Sr./Washington Football Team)


It has been a different kind of offseason for Ryan Anderson, even without considering the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. After spending the past three seasons at linebacker, the new coaching staff decided to move Anderson to defensive end. The experience, he said, is like "being a rookie again," and it's been a slow transition since the start of the virtual offseason.

Anderson said he's still trying to get back to the basics of having fun and playing football, but he's beginning to grasp the concepts of his new position.

"It's not a lot of thinking, just going," Anderson told reporters. "I can just go. I've got stuff I can just go free with. I don't have to sit outside. I'm free with it."

Anderson credits that freedom to defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio and the 4-3 scheme he has implemented in Washington. He said Del Rio's system is "player-friendly," so it isn't hard to play fast. Anderson also said he needs the reps, and it helps that he doesn't have to think too much about his responsibilities on each play.

"I love his aggressive attack scheme. It's not robotic," he said. "There's really a lot of freedom in his scheme. You're basically attacking and I like that. I'm just trying to get into executing that instead of two outside, shoulder free, versus just going. I've been playing in a 3-4 my whole life, so it takes time just to go because you're always thinking of outside, this responsibility. Right now, it's just 'go,' and I like that."

With Ryan Kerrigan and Chase Young both sitting out of practice Thursday, Anderson worked with the starting defense during 11-on-11 drills. Head coach Ron Rivera said Anderson fits right into the rotation, and he and Del Rio have heaped praise on him all summer.

Now, Anderson is beginning to validate that praise.

"Whether he ends up being a rotational player or a starter, he's a guy that has a very good, diverse set of skillsets," Rivera said. "He's done a great job. He really has. He's had a solid camp and we feel pretty comfortable with who he is for us going into the season."


Anderson says Reuben Foster "is not far off" from being an elite player: Anderson and linebacker Reuben Foster have known each other since their days together at the University of Alabama, and Anderson said that Foster, when healthy, is the best player he's ever played with. So far in training camp, Anderson has seen some moments that remind him of the old Foster.

"Just for him to be back after the injury he's had is incredible. It shows perseverance and the determination he has as a man. He's out there running around. ... I don't think he's far off from being an elite player."

Rivera likes what he sees from Marcus Baugh: As Washington continues working with its tight ends to find the right rotation at the position, former Ohio State Buckeye Marcus Baugh has gotten some time working with the starting offense. Rivera said Baugh is a "young, athletic tight end" who still has "a lot to learn," but he has the skillset they're looking for.

"He's quick, he's got good speed, good hands. He's got good strength. He plays with good leverage. ... he's somebody we were interested in enough we wanted to take a second look at."

Bryce Love is not thinking about being hit for the first time since his injury: Bryce Love is going through his first NFL training camp and has quickly become a regularly featured part of the rotation at running back. He hasn't played in a football game in almost two years, and eventually, he will be hit by a defense outside of practice. But he told reporters that reality was "not really" on his mind.

"When it comes to it, it's going to be surreal to be in the first game. But I probably won't be thinking too much about the first tackle."

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