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Training camp notebook, Day 2 | Matchups with McLaurin create learning opportunities for Forbes


Emmanuel Forbes has been impressive during his first few months in the NFL, but he'll be the first to admit that he still has plenty to learn. 

He gets some consistent reminders of that whenever he lines up against Terry McLaurin, which has happened several times in camp. Forbes doesn't view it as a problem, though; instead, he sees it as an opportunity to grow his skill set. 

"Terry is one of the top receivers in the NFL," Forbes said. "So, he's just going out there, making me better each and every day, and I'm making him better each and every day we compete."

McLaurin has been among the best receivers for a while now, so it's understandable that he gets the better of Forbes on the majority of their matchups. That was the case on Day 1, when McLaurin hauled in a diving catch with Forbes providing solid coverage in team drills.

"He just knows and understands routes and stems and things like that," Forbes said. "He knows how to use his eyes well. So, I would say he has a big catch radius, and he's really good at what he does."

That is not to say that the matchup is completely one-sided. Forbes had multiple pass breakups during OTAs and minicamp, and he isn't afraid to be physical with any receiver he is lined up across from.

Even though he's a first-round pick, Forbes knows he needs to play with intensity on each snap.

"Just knowing I'm at the highest level and I gotta compete each and every day for my job."

Here are some other observations from Day 2 of camp.

-- The latest matchup between McLaurin and Forbes resulted in another win for the wide receiver. Sam Howell spotted McLaurin breaking free on the right sideline with Forbes trailing in coverage. McLaurin hauled in the pass for a sizable gain, earning the largest cheers from the crowd in attendance.

-- Speaking of the crowd, fans were at practice for the first time this year, and they showed up in droves to fill the new stands that were set up near the sideline. Several players were asked about the new atmosphere, and all of them discussed how appreciative they were to see the Burgundy & Gold faithful. Head coach Ron Rivera said that he could feel the surge whenever someone made a play.

-- Today was not as smooth for the offense as Wednesday, partially because the defense was allowed to blitz more during 11-on-11 drills. The defensive front got the chance to show how talented they are, as they forced Howell and Jacoby Brissett out of the pocket on several plays. With the group mostly at full strength (Daron Payne is dealing with a minor toe injury), it's living up to its reputation as one of the best in the NFL.

-- Brian Robinson continues to improve as a pass-catcher. Howell completed his first pass of 7-on-7 drills to the running back, fitting the ball through a tight window near the middle of the field. Cody Barton looked like he had a shot at an interception, but the ball slipped through his grasp at the last second.

-- Some of the Commanders' depth players stood out near the red zone in 7-on-7 drills. Brissett found Jaret Patterson open in the corner of the end zone, and the running back hauled in the pass over his shoulder for the touchdown. Later on, now with Jake Fromm under center, Jalen Sample got open in the end zone and made the reception for another score, keeping both feet in bounds.

-- Finally, Dyami Brown had an exceptional day and looked like one of the more explosive weapons on offense. He made the catch of the day from Brissett while working against Tariq Castro-Fields. Brown, who was known for his ability to make contested catches in college, leaped over Castro-Fields and snagged the ball around the 10-yard line.

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