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Practice Notes: A Disruptive Interior 


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of the team.

There's officially one week left until the Washington Football Team makes its final cuts for the 53-man roster. Just like the past three weeks, most of the action was dedicated towards building a game plan for the Ravens, but there was still plenty of impressive individual efforts from veterans and rookies alike.

So, let's dive into the observations from Tuesday's practice.

-- Chase Young is already known for being an impressive pass-rusher, but he wants to continue breaking his ceiling each season. That's why he's been focusing on the little details of his game, including his hands. A lot of that comes down to repetition; he spends time after practice working on that detail, but he also tries to avoid overthinking how he could use his hands to win reps. It's also helped him alter the passing game outside of getting sacks. On one particular play during 11-on-11 drills, Young batted down one of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s passes to force an incompletion.

-- Young and Montez Sweat get their share of attention, but Washington's interior defensive linemen have proven to be just as disruptive. Young said the group that includes Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis, Daron Payne and Tim Settle help him and Sweat out "like crazy" because they consistently crash the pocket. Quarterbacks can't step up in the pocket when the interior players are adding pressure on the inside, and that gives the edge rushers even more time to bring them down. And it pays off in the running game, too. A prime example of that came on Tuesday when Ioannidis dragged Antonio Gibson down from behind.

-- Here's a reminder that Peyton Barber is still an impressive third option for Washington's backfield. The weight he lost in the offseason has allowed to increase his quickness and his ability to make plays in the open field. In one of the last 11-on-11 drills of the day, Barber caught a screen pass on the right side of the field, made an immediate change of direction and sprinted upfield for a nice chunk of yardage. Barber wants to be more than just a third-down option for the team. Plays like that will go a long way towards making that a reality.

-- Even someone as experienced as Fitzpatrick can learn something from practicing against Young. With the former No. 2 overall pick being so dominant on the edge, it has him make sure he's putting himself in the proper position to avoid rushes and step up in the pocket. It's also been great work for the offensive tackle taking reps against last year's Defensive Rookie of the Year. The limited amount of work Young has had in the preseason is enough to show Fitzpatrick how talented Young is. And, of course, he's thankful Young is on his team, rather than playing against him.

-- There is no shortage of talented players trying to make the roster, and Torry McTyer has been one who has garnered the most attention. McTyer, who entered the league in 2017, has caught the coaches' attention with his pass breakups against some of Washington's better pass-catchers. He even was one of the starting cornerbacks in last week's preseason game against the Bengals. Rivera said McTyer has handled his situation well, and as Washington prepares for its preseason game, he and the coaches are "very interested and very intrigued" in how he performs.