Commander OTA Notes: Highlights from the First Spring Field Session

Here’s what emerged from the morning OTA training session in Washington, which marked Carson Wentz’s “debut” in his new uniform and featured a handful of helpful takeaways.

Sightings of Commanders’ first full OTA practice originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

ASHBURN — Although it was rainy for much of the Commanders’ first OTA practice of the year on Tuesday, it was still fun to watch quarterback Carson Wentz spray the ball, the defense sprinkle in some highlights and the recruits get their feet wet next to the veterans.

And enough weather puns.

Here’s what came out of Washington’s morning session, which marked Carson Wentz’s “debut” in his new uniform and featured a handful of helpful takeaways…

  • Chase Young, Terry McLaurin, Sweat Montez and Camera Sims were all missing on Tuesday. For the explanations behind these absences, go here. Ron Rivera didn’t seem as irritated as he did 12 months ago when Young and Sweat ostensibly skipped voluntary practices, for what it’s worth, because they (and the receiving pair) appeared to have a legitimate excuse.
  • Carson Wentz, compared to the tastes of Taylor Heinicke, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Alex Smith are just a different breed at quarterback. When asked about his first impression of Wentz, Antonio Gibson pointed to the size of the passer, tried to find something else and just repeated that he was huge. Also obvious: The increase in arm strength Wentz will bring to Washington’s offense:
  • As for Wentz’s performance, well, it’s hard to rate him in a hazy, unpadded practice of late May other than making the kinds of general assessments that were made above. He connected on a nice intermediate throw at Jahan Dotson in 11-on-11 as Dotson ran perpendicular to the right sideline, and Rivera told reporters he was happy with the way Wentz was relating with his teammates. For those who predicted it Corn Elder would be the first to intercept a Wentz ball, meanwhile – y’all suckers – you can now claim your winnings.
  • Perhaps the best view of the morning was how active she was and, essentially, how normal she was. Curtis-Samuel been. During some of the brief comebacks he attempted to write in 2021 as he battled a lingering groin injury, Samuel never seemed to trust himself. On Tuesday, however, he was walking around with ease and explained that he finally had confidence in his body again. This confidence was clearly manifested.
  • Antonio Gandy-Golden the tight final transition is officially underway. The 2020 fourth-round pick was with his new position group Tuesday in an effort to stay on Washington’s roster as a different type of wide receiver. Both Logan Thomas and Sammis Reyes weren’t healthy enough to compete in this OTA series, and if they continue to get sidelined, AGG will get the extra reps they need to learn the finer points of tight end. Blocking will be particularly key in his journey, according to Rivera.
  • Gandy-Golden wasn’t the only former fourth-rounder to be moved, however. From a media perspective, it certainly looked like Trojan Apke was back to safety after queuing around the corner for most of 2021. Between him, Percy Butler and Darrick Forest, commanders are full – and probably too full – of special-teams-focused safeties.
  • Corner of the seventh round Christian Holmes had the opportunity to slip a Heinicke pass towards the end of the procedure and, unfortunately, simply sniffed it. Heinicke’s intended target slipped on the wet grass, leaving Holmes as the only man in the area with the ball. For someone who was picked so late in the draft, he can’t afford to waste too many of those freebies.
  • Finally, burgundy commander helmets keep popping up. Some of the fan base is either lukewarm or downright bitter about the uniform overhaul, but when helmets start appearing in front of more people’s eyes, that will change.