Washington Commanders linebacker Jamin Davis agreed to a revised plea bargain in his appeal of a reckless driving conviction Thursday, but a Loudoun County Circuit Court judge did not consider the deal because it was “not substantially and materially different” from Davis’s last proposed deal.
A hearing is scheduled for Aug. 31.
Davis’s plea agreement included a maximum of eight days of jail with a minimum of four days actually served. It also included a supervised probation that could be extended beyond 12 months, a six-month mandatory suspended license with no ensuing restrictions, a maximum $2,500 fine, 114 hours of community service, the possibility of another four-hour driving course in Loudoun County (he already completed an eight-hour course) and a written essay on reckless driving that Davis would post on his social media accounts.
“We haven’t had a new discussion to make any new counterproposals,” Davis’s attorney, Jeffrey F. Mangeno of Dycio & Biggs, said after Thursday’s hearing. “It’s unfortunate the case was not resolved today in its entirety. We will continue to work the matter.”
During the first few padded practices of Washington Commanders training camp, there has been a noticeable uptick in intensity. Coaches have shorter fuses — assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy has peppered players and referees with profane reminders not to walk or fight or slow down practice in any way — and players have begun re-acclimating to the violence that will bludgeon and break bodies over the next five months.
With the season opener only about five weeks away, the coaches brought one-on-one drills back into practice. In the skill-player session, rookie corner Emmanuel Forbes stayed on the hip of every wide receiver he faced, including Terry McLaurin. Undrafted rookie wideout Kazmeir Allen created separation down the field but struggled to sync up with the quarterbacks. Tall, long corner Benjamin St-Juste, who may slide inside because of the jammed backfield, faced short, quicker wide receivers, such as Allen and Jahan Dotson.
“Everybody’s geeked up,” Cosmi said of putting on the pads. “We all feel good, and we’re firing off the ball.”
After suffering the first significant injury of training camp on Wednesday the Washington Commanders came back with a lighter practice on Thursday.
The Commanders had what we would describe as a ‘jog through’ on Thursday and while some onlookers may have felt the activity was a little less exciting than they’d like, there was certainly a method to the day’s approach.
“We had a really good week last week, and then coming into this week (had) three hard days in a row and we thought we’d back it off a little bit today,” Rivera said. “We’ll have the pads back on tomorrow (and) we expect them to come back with a little bit more energy and a higher tempo practice for sure.”
What are reasonable expectations for Howell? Remember, he’s also learning a new offense under new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. Yet, if Howell can give Washington more than it had from the quarterback position one year ago — which shouldn’t be too difficult — the entire team will be improved.
Chris Trapasso, an NFL draft analyst for CBS Sports, recently named five players to his “Out of Nowhere” breakout team for 2023. Howell was on the list.
Howell’s backstory qualifies him for the “Out of Nowhere” team. Once widely regarded as a future first-round pick — heck, in some circles, he was bound to be the first pick in the 2022 NFL Draft — a relatively down final campaign at North Carolina precipitated a plummet all the way to the fifth round of his respective draft.
Howell was the sixth quarterback picked last year, and he stayed in the shadows during his rookie campaign in Washington until the final regular-season contest. While far from a Mahomesian rookie year audition, Howell averaged nearly nine yards per completion in the win over the Cowboys at home in his only Year 1 action.
He’s also an “Out of Nowhere” selection because of those natural gifts that were integral to the early draft buzz. Howell has a strong, live arm and plays with a propensity to push it downfield. He gets Eric Bieniemy as his offensive coordinator for his second professional season, and Terry McLaurin is, to me, a superstar wideout in terms of his individual, well-polished game. Expectations aren’t high for Howell, so he very well could sneak up on most of his competition, particularly early. Howell isn’t a freaky athletic talent but did run for more than 800 yards with 11 ground-game scores in 2021 for the Tar Heels. Beyond McLaurin, the Commanders aren’t bursting with pass-game talent, yet second-year, former first-round pick Jahan Dotson is worth monitoring as the club’s secondary receiver.
Do I think Howell has an enormous ascension up quarterback rankings, jumping many established, high-profile names in the process? No. But he is positioned for a Year 2 breakout that will leave no questions about who the future starter is in Washington, and that franchise hasn’t had any prolonged stability at that position since the Robert Griffin III/Kirk Cousins days a decade ago.
Some fair analysis from Trapasso, but this sticks out: “He is positioned for a Year 2 breakout that will leave no questions about who the future starter is in Washington.”
Washington Commanders coach Ron Rivera has been impressed by veteran quarterback Jacoby Brissett.
“Don’t sleep on Jacoby [Brissett], he’s done a nice job as well,” Rivera said. “I mean, we got some really good quarterback play going on right now. We’ve got a real good quarterback room. We’re very happy with what we’ve got right now.”
With quarterback Deshaun Watson suspended for the first 11 games of the 2022 season, Brissett started the bulk of the games for the Cleveland Browns last year. Brissett tossed 12 touchdowns to six interceptions, racking up 2,608 passing yards. The Browns went 4-7 in games started by Brissett.
Since buying the Commanders, formerly known as the Redskins, Mr. Harris and his ownership group have made several references to the franchise’s old name. The embrace of the moniker — which was retired in 2020 amid renewed societal and corporate pressure — hasn’t gone unnoticed. Over the last few weeks, an online petition has generated more than 50,000 signatures calling for the franchise to rebrand back to the Redskins. Local radio stations also devoted entire segments to the topic.
A Commanders spokesperson said in a statement that Mr. Harris’ use of the Redskins moniker does not “signify a shift” in the team’s policy toward its former name. But the repeated references still arguably reflect how the dynamic has changed — softened, even — for a franchise that often tried to avoid using the former moniker in the wake of changing its name three years ago.
“For nearly 90 years, this franchise had a different name, and fans and our new owners alike have fond memories of cheering for that team and watching it win three Super Bowls,” a Commanders spokesperson said. “Making a historical reference to watching and rooting for the Redskins does not signify a shift nor does it change the reasons for dropping the name.”
D.C. has forged ahead with pursuing a “sports study” that Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s administration says could help the District weigh its options for financing a new stadium at RFK, while also identifying the needs of pro sports teams that already play in the city and want to see upgrades at their facilities.
The study will be quick turnaround, with final reports due within six to eight weeks once the contract is awarded. “You know I don’t like studies that take a long time,” Bowser said last week, promising the city would get it done in a “reasonable period of time.”
The study has two main objectives. In the first phase, the contractor will produce a report that recommends “potential financing structures to support new stadiums or stadium rehabilitation,” as well as maintenance and upgrade needs at other existing facilities. That report, due six weeks after the contract is awarded, will look at the RFK Stadium site and upgrade needs at Capital One Arena, Nationals Park, Audi Field and Carter Barron.
In a second report due eight weeks after the contract award, the study will examine the economic impact of sports facilities on surrounding communities, measuring job creation, tourism and local business opportunities. This report will also look at “the potential impact of teams relocating to and from the District” — and the economic impact in cities that recently lost a major sports team.
Washington Commanders wide receiver Curtis Samuel can thrive in coach Eric Bieniemy’s offense.
Getting the ball to Samuel quicker and with room to run may emphasized even more this season under Bieniemy and a refocused Rivera.
“Everything from running the jet sweeps to going vertical to working underneath, and the coverages against the coverages,” Rivera said. “You know, it’s about getting the ball into the hands as quick as possible in as much space as possible.”
With Samuel and running back Antonio Gibson, Washington has two guys who can do it all on offense. If Bieniemy can use the versatility of both players to the best of its ability, the Commanders offense will be a pain for opposing defenses.
When the Washington Commanders selected safety Percy Butler in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL draft, they had special teams in mind. Butler was a player that NFL draft expert Daniel Jeremiah called the best “special teams coverage player in the entire draft.”
Could he see a bigger role in 2023?
If you ask head coach Ron Rivera, then yes, he could.
“You know, another young guy to keep an eye on is Percy [Butler],” Rivera said. “You know, Percy’s a guy that runs very well and plays very fast. So, you’ve gotta find ways to get those types of players on the field.”
“They’re my good luck chains. I’m really superstitious,” Forbes explained. “I’ve never lost them. I wear them every day. I never take them off.”
Beyond just giving him an extra dose of swag on and off the field, the chains hold a lot of meaning to the Grenada, Mississippi, native. The oldest of the two was given to Forbes by a very important person who shares his name — Emmanuel Forbes Sr.
“My dad passed it down to me and hopefully I can pass it down to my son one day,” Forbes said of his gold cross chain.
That chain was given to him over a decade ago, following a moment in which a young Forbes showed up clutch in a high-pressure situation on the baseball field.
“I pitched that game,” Forbes said while racking his brain for the memory. “It was a championship game, and I came in to close it. I think I went two-for-four with a double…And my dad gave me the chain afterwards.”
“It’s really cool to see that we have the support of the fan base back out to our games, back out to our practices. It gives us life; it gives us energy. It’s really cool to have them out here supporting us.
It’s definitely really exciting times around here, getting new ownership in the building, new beginnings, I like to call it. It’s definitely pretty fun. We’re really looking forward to it (2023 season).”
Adams inquired to Dotson, “What is a specific you have noticed already from the Josh Harris leadership?”
“The fans,” he replied with emphasis. “The fans is the biggest thing. It’s so easy to notice it when you come out to practice every day, and people are chanting your name. Last year? We didn’t have anything like that.”
Podcasts & Videos
Episode 624 - Guest: @SharpFootball. 30-minute masterclass of #Commanders analysis from the GOAT of NFL analytics. Insight on analytics opportunity under Josh Harris. Sam Howell. Dissection of Washington's flawed offensive approach in 2022. And much more.https://t.co/SfJSDmeqmK— Al Galdi (@AlGaldi) August 2, 2023
Heard JP mention this morning that a couple of DL told him that they felt Chris Paul is the best G on the team. Floating this back on the timeline from the Dallas game. Thought he had a good chance after breaking down his debut vs. Dallas. #HTTC https://t.co/IWoMw3zCCj— Jamual (@LetMualTellit) August 3, 2023
Kevin today opened with some Frank, Sonny, and Sam and then talked about how Washington has become a playoff pick public darling for some reason. @Sam4TR joins to talk #Commanders camp.— The Kevin Sheehan Show (@SheehanPodcast) August 2, 2023
Find it on all podcast platforms or:https://t.co/c5wR01pgph
The Washington Commanders toned things down for a lighter practice for before putting the pads back on for Friday. Check out the top photos from Thursday morning.
"We had a really good week last week, then coming into this week, three hard days in a row, and we thought we'd back it off a little bit today in terms of the tempo."@ZachSelbyWC's training camp notebook— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) August 3, 2023
A roundup of highlights, observations and notes from Day 8 of Commanders training camp. https://t.co/A7h8CDNBGq— Commanders Wire (@Washington_Wire) August 4, 2023
As the Commanders sales news reverberated across the NFL, the ex-Washington employees that spoke out against Dan Snyder in that moment experienced something that NFC East rivals became accustomed to during 24 years of facing Snyder’s team:— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) August 3, 2023
NFC East links
Bleeding Green Nation
• JALEN HURTS WATCH: Unlike the previous two practices, Hurts was not on fire today. I don’t think he had a bad practice; I thought he was OK. Hurts made a really nice tight window throw over the middle to Dallas Goedert, who had Zech McPhearson and Reed Blankenship closing in on him. Hurts did almost throw his first pick of camp when Kelee Ringo broke on a ball thrown to DeVonta Smith near the front left corner of the end zone. That was an interceptable pass that ended up as a deflection.
• EAGLES INJURY REPORT: Nakobe Dean visited the trainer’s tent after position drills. He ended up watching the rest of practice from the sideline, therefore missing all team drill participation. The Eagles don’t seem too concerned about him.
James Bradberry was evaluated in the trainer’s tent later in practice. He ended up watching the rest of practice from the sideline as well. That’s typically a much better sign than an injured player going back into the team’s facility and not returning.
Haason Reddick (groin soreness), Avonte Maddox (toe), and Derek Barnett (knee) are still limited. Deon Cain (ankle) missed his second straight practice. Devon Allen (calf) is still on the NFI list.
Big Blue View
The spot concept, which is similar to the snag, is a common passing concept at many levels of football. It’s one of the many passing concepts that symbolizes the geometric theory of Sid Gillman, whose nickname is The Father of the Modern Passing Game.
Gillman employed geometry, spacing, and timing to optimize the passing game. Hall of Fame coach of the 49ers, Bill Walsh, the father of the West Coast Offense, stated he got his ideas from Gillman, who started experimenting with his theories 20 years prior in the AFL.
The spot concept is a half-field read consisting of the number one (outside) wide receiver releasing inside and sitting at about 4-6 yards, with a deep corner, or 7, route as a vertical stretch element. A third receiving option, typically from the backfield, releases into the flat, as seen above.
This creates a three-progression read to one side of the field while putting zone defenders into conflict. The corner route acts as two high-lows - depending on the coverage - with the number one and flat route. The primary read (the spot) is great against zone coverage, for the player has the freedom to find and sit away from the middle hook defender.
NFL league links
After He Endured A Torn ACL And Leukemia, It’s Pretty Awesome To See John Metchie Showing Out At Texans Camp
John Metchie was a damn good wide receiver at Alabama. Even though he tore his ACL in his final collegiate game, the Houston Texans thought enough of Metchie to trade up and draft him in the second round.
Beyond that major knee injury, though, Metchie got hit with a devastating diagnosis last year. Missed his entire rookie season recovering from leukemia. We’re talking about a world-class athlete who was born in the year 2000. To have the tireless work ethic and perseverance and endure all of that at such a young age is almost unbelievable.
But then yeah, here’s John Metchie, at Texans camp cooking a savvy vet in Desmond King II with sheer route-running prowess:
Although Damar Hamlin will be a tough man to beat for Comeback Player of the Year, I feel like Metchie should be in that conversation, especially if he produces like a No. 2-caliber receiver or thereabouts. By all accounts, Metchie has looked excellent in training camp. He had 96 catches in the last full season he played. Dynamic to say the least, if overshadowed a little bit by eventual Lions 12th overall pick Jameson Williams.
Revised Personal Conduct Policy expressly reserves the right to discipline players for conduct occurring before they sign an NFL contract or become eligible for the draft. That is a major change. https://t.co/usufvKmTh2— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 3, 2023