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Wake Up Washington | First day of pads delivers a dose of intensity, fun to training camp


Josh Drayden had a tougher walk back to the facility after practice on Tuesday morning than he had the previous five days. The rookie, who was being a good sport about his first-year duties, was carrying multiple sets of pads on his shoulders. The first day of pads delivered entertainment in a few different forms for the Commanders.  

"It was fun. I mean I was talking all morning," Cole Holcomb said. "That's when the real football starts so I was super excited. I was maybe a little too excited jumping the gun out there, lunging a little bit but it felt good to get them back on."  

For linebackers like Holcomb, playing with full pads comes with more physicality and, in turn, increased importance on being physical in the right ways.  

"The lineman can grab a little more…there's definitely more contact," Holcomb said. "So, it's like you got to be on your P's and Q's with your fits. You've got to be a little more violent using your hands."  

Linebackers certainly aren't the only position group affected by the addition of pads. The feel and pace of practice as a whole becomes more game-like – a shift that comes with both positives and potential negatives. 

"Probably the biggest thing obviously is the intensity gets ramped up," head coach Ron Rivera said. "We just want to make sure that as we ramp this intensity up, we are doing things the right way. We don't wanna lose our focus and our intent in terms of developing, learning and growing, just because we got the pads on." 

With the fun, intensity and excitement it brings, the first day of pads offers important pieces of information that will be critical to review and build off of as the training camp journey continues.  

"Lots of good things on tape that we're looking forward to watching as a coaching staff," Rivera said.

Here's a morning roundup of what the local and national media have to say about the Washington Commanders on Wednesday, August 3, 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.

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