Heading into training camp, Cole Turner knew what one of his major focuses would need to be. Coaches and scouts had identified it when the Nevada tight end first came on their radar.
"The biggest thing that we really didn't see a lot of was in blocking," head coach Ron Rivera said.
The lack of blocking they saw out of Turner in college was more of a feature than a bug. The Wolf Pack play in an Air Raid offense that emphasizes more running and catching from their tight ends than blocking. Turner has been impressive so far in camp as a pass-catcher and revealed that, beginning in OTAs, he has adopted a determination to transform a perceived blocking "weakness" into a strength.
"We spent a lot of time with [Tight Ends] Coach [Juan] Castillo, extra time watching film working on just the basics of blocking," Turner said. "At the end of the day, technique will save you. So as long as we keep working hard and keep our technique, I think it'll only keep getting better."
As Turner works to improve this aspect of his game, the sheer amount of info that needs to be digested and wielded correctly has proved to be an adjustment.
"When you get to this level, we have every single zone scheme, almost every single gap scheme in," Turner said. "So, remembering which footwork to take on which play, which guy you're going to, that's the hardest part."
Luckily, the rookie has had some great support in the form of mentors and experienced players who all want to see him succeed.
"I've had a lot of guys who have helped me out like Logan Thomas and John Bates and Sammis [Reyes] and Alex [Armah] as well," Turner said. "They've all taken me under their wing a little bit … So, I've been lucky to have those group of guys around me."
Here's a morning roundup of what the local and national media have to say about the Washington Commanders on Thursday August 4, 2022. All reports, rumors and conjecture are a reflection of the media conversation and are not endorsed or confirmed by the Washington Commanders.
The reports and deals expressed in this article have not been confirmed by Washington, nor do they reflect any insider information from anyone in the front office.
- The Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala writes about the similar paths of Percy Butler and Washington Legend Brian Mitchell
- NBC Sports Washington's Peter Hailey writes about how Kendall Fuller's standout knowledge of the playbook, football IQ has set him up for success at camp so far
- The Athletic's Ben Standig writes about rookie Percy Butler's adjustment to NFL life and dad life.
- NBC Sports Washington's Peter Hailey writes about Taylor Heinicke's love of LEGOS.
- The Washington Post's PJ Morales writes about the hunt for the team's next starting dual-returner.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux writes about Antonio Gibson's confidence entering Year 3.
- NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay provides a look back at Ryan Kerrigan's career in Washington.
- The Washington Post's Sam Fortier writes about the sounds of the first few days of training camp.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux writes about Dyami Brown's epic in Day 3.
- The Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala writes about the positive Day 2 outing for the Commanders' secondary.
- NBC Sports Washington's Peter Hailey also writes about the glimpses of Curtis Samuel magic that offer hope for the future.
- NBC Sports Washington's Peter Hailey also writes about how Carson Wentz's attitude has impressed as training camp gets underway.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux writes about the humble approach that is fueling the Commanders defense.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux also talks about Jahan Dotson's excitement towards learning from Terry McLaurin.
- ESPN's John Keim writes about Carson Wentz building his confidence on the first day of camp.
- The Washington Post's Sam Fortier gives five position battles to watch ahead of training camp.
- The Washington Time's Matthew Paras looks at his top position battles to watch.
- NBC Sports Washington's Peter Hailey talks about Antonio Gibson wanting to be known exclusively as a running back.
Check Out What's On Commanders.com:
- Kendall Fuller: Commanders secondary can be 'as good as we wanna be'
- Training Camp Notebook | Curtis Samuels suits up, Cole Turner establishes chemistry with Carson Wentz
- "I absolutely love it, being out here in the uniform": Military members enjoy Salute Day at the Park
- Terry McLaurin provides roadmap for Jahan Dotson's development
- Cole Holcomb proud of Jamin Davis' growth
- Training Camp Notebook | RBs found open lanes in first padded practice
- Antonio Gibson looking 'spry' in return to team drills
- Training Camp Notebook | Defense shines to start Week 2 of camp
- 4 standouts from Week 1 of Commanders' training camp
- Kam Curl gives inside look at intense defensive competition
- Kerrigan: Love from Washington fanbase 'made my career'
- Ryan Kerrigan pens letter to announce retirement
- Ryan Kerrigan announces retirement, will sign one day contract with the Commanders
- Training Camp Notebook | Defense shines on Day 2
- Media Round Up | Ron Rivera sees Brian Robinson as 'big, strong, powerful downhill runner'
- Carson Wentz focused on building chemistry to start camp
- Quick hits from Ron Rivera's introductory training camp press conference
- Hail Mail | Training camp is finally upon us
- Commanders players begin reporting for training camp