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Commanders Training Camp Notebook: Confident Carson Wentz Preparing for Next Test

Coming off an impressive first outing, Washington's quarterback looks vastly improved in a short period of time.

ASHBURN, Va. -- The thing about training camp and preseason is that it's important to not take any take about the Washington Commanders too far in any direction. 

The positives, while encouraging, can be fleeting. 

And the negatives are being worked on daily by the players and coaches trying to resurrect Washington's status in the NFL.

Even in a loss, there was plenty of good to take from Washington's first preseason outing. How did the team look in their first practice following it?

Let's check the notebook. 

CONFIDENT CARSON

We all saw a better Wentz on Saturday than I think a lot of press and opinions would have forecasted. 

And seeing him on Monday, he looked like a man who had hit another gear both in decision-making and in confidence. 

One rep stood out the most, and it was a pass completed to rookie receiver Jahan Dotson with a window not much wider than the size of the football. 

It required Wentz to see his guy, understand the context of the defense's position as it related to the route (both defenders had eyes on Dotson, not Wentz), confidence he could get the ball there quickly, and trust that his receiver would utilize late hands so the defense couldn't get a beat on the incoming pass. 

And it worked beautifully. 

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There will be bad days again, but learning is occurring in Washington, and confidence is the byproduct.

FIRST TEAM RUNNING BACK BRIAN ROBINSON JR.

To be clear, the rookie running back out of Alabama has gotten first-team reps in the past. 

But on Monday, it appeared he got even more than usual, and showed his typical burst through the hole and field vision that helped him wow the home crows against the Panthers. 

Meanwhile, Antonio Gibson got first-team reps of course, but he also got onto the practice field with quarterback Taylor Heinicke's unit. Something atypical for training camp up to this point. 

Is the guard changing? It might be, and we already know Robinson doesn't plan on fading into the background any time soon.

SECONDARY COMMUNICATION

The defense had an up and down preseason debut, and to a certain extent, that's to be expected. 

But what's encouraging is the amount of communication we continue to see - or hear - in the secondary.

On Monday, there were several occasions where Washington quarterbacks were forced to run, or check down into outlet passes because the downfield routes were covered up. 

Defensive backs coach Chris Harris liked it, as he vocalized on the field, and it also gives the offense a lot of good work while reinforcing positive decision-making processes that will only help the team once the Commanders season begins.