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Wake Up Washington | Phidarian Mathis enjoying 'being around football all day' at first training camp


Phidarian Mathis has not experienced sensory overload during the jam-packed days of his first training camp.  

"You can be around football all day," the rookie defensive lineman said. "I think that's kind of the [most fun] thing, just coming out here, playing football, knowing that you don't have to stay up late study for a test, or anything like that."  

Though the "student" part of his student athlete life at Alabama has been dropped, Mathis has relationships with a number of guys playing in the NFL that he can learn from. Two of them he gets to see nearly every single in Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen.  

"Just really learning how to be a pro," Mathis said when asked what he has been learning from Allen and Payne. "Just watching how those guys come to practice, how they work hard, how they take the game seriously, just watching their leadership, just falling in line, being right behind those guys, and just trying to learn from them every day."  

The mentorship has already made an impact. Wes Schweitzer is tasked with going up against Mathis in practice each day and has found that snuffing him out is no easy task.   

"He's a big, strong guy…He tries hard every day, that's what you want. You don't want people to hire draft picks to show up and just expect they're going to make it," Schweitzer said. "I like his attitude. I like his work ethic. I think he's going to be a great player in the league."  

Having spent his college career in a blue blood program, Mathis does not lack patience and he certainly will not be taking a twiddling-thumbs approach to his time at second string.  

"I'm not a selfish guy, I had to wait my time in Alabama. I was there five years, so I understand what it means to wait," Mathis said. "But you can't look at it like that. You got to look at it like, just come to practice, get better every day, and just be ready when your time comes."

Here's a morning roundup of what the local and national media have to say about the Washington Commanders on Tuesday, August 16, 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 Commanders were back on the field for Day 16 of training camp and began preparations for their second preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Check out the top photos from Monday's practice. (Emilee Fails/Washington Commanders)

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