Washington Football Team Practice Report - Friday Aug. 28

It was a back to work Friday for the Washington Football Team. It went OK. Some good, some sloppy. Lots to improve on.
Publish date:

Ashburn, Virginia: 

The Washington Football Team players  had two days off from the practice field. One a scheduled day off and one an unplanned day to reflect and join together. 

When a football team doesn't practice for a few days, you can get one of two results. 

A super crisp, energetic performance because legs are fresh and everyone is hyped. 

Or you could have a sleepy, sloppy performance as players grind through the mechanics of getting back on the field. 

That's more of what Friday at the INOVA Sports Performance Center was. 

It wasn't a terrible practice session by any means like last Saturday was. 

It just wasn't crisp. 

“I thought they responded well," Rivera told reporters via video conference. "I still kind of felt some of the guys were a little distant, but it’s natural. This is a very deep issue going on right now, and I think sometimes it will catch some of these young guys’ attention. 

"But for the most part, I thought the guys handled practice well. I thought we sped up some of the periods, we had a couple up-tempo periods and I thought they handled that very nicely. They were very competitive, that was the other thing that was good. I really did. I was pretty pleased. But, I understood there were a few guys that seemed to be a little distant every now and then.”

My sense is that was Rivera trying to put a positive spin on things because that wasn't the sense that any reporters had but it's understandable. 

Speaking for myself, I wasn't necessarily thinking of what was going on outside of the practice field. I was more thinking of the mini-break and the effect it had. 

We'll see what Saturday and Sunday yields. The team is expected to practice on Monday at FedExField to replace what they postponed on Thursday. 

There was plenty of good however. Including this guy. 

Young is still getting his legs back under him from missing about a week with a hip flexor but he was getting some work against and with the 1's today. 

Young also absolutely buried Logan Thomas who has had a really interesting week. 

Thomas met with reporters after practice after getting shredded by Pete Hoener earlier in the week and then committing a false start today, which led to him doing pushups on his own along with banging his helmet on the ground several times in frustration at his performance. 

Thomas appears to be the best red zone threat for a tight end that Washington has had since Jordan Reed was mostly healthy for that one year in 2015. 

J.D. McKissic is my football man crush and has been as I told "The Junkies" on 106.7 The FAN before training camp. 

Today was a good day for my guy. He had several catches and showed speed, acceleration and I think will be a huge upgrade over Chris Thompson, who just was never right after his leg injury in 2017. 

I don't know how many catches McKissic had but you can just see juice and pop in him that just wasn't in the backfield before and while many of the fantasy demons focus on Antonio Gibson, you should remember McKissic first. 

Why? He's experienced and versatile. He can do a lot of things Gibson can do only he's smaller. 

"In certain situations, you’ll see more J.D. than the other backs. So, today was an opportunity to feature him and highlight him in some of those circumstances," Rivera said after practice. "He did handle them really well today. It’s his skillset. We’ve watched him, I’ve watched him from his Seattle and Detroit days. He’s a guy that really fits some of the things that Scott [Turner] wants to do on the offensive side."

As for Gibson, he appeared to have a rough day. 

Rivera was asked about how his evolution is going and remember he was very, very raw at the running back position coming out of Memphis. 

“[He is] confused. We’ve put a lot on him, and he’s handled it very well. But, you can see sometimes it gets to him," Rivera explained.  "He’s a great young man. I really love his demeanor and his approach to things, his honesty about being surprised about how some things are. When he does it right, you do see that athleticism, you do see that burst, you see that ability. He’s an exciting young, dynamic player."

All of that is 100% true. It's just going to take time. You fantasy guys are going to want to stash and wait on Gibson on a deep league or be patient in picking him up. I would very much be willing to be that Washington will feature Adrian Peterson, Bryce Love, McKissic and even Peyton Barber before Gibson gets enough touches. 

"The thing is that we’ve tried to back off on him at times, and when we’ve done that, you really do see him making things happen. But, when you do that, he only has a limited amount of plays so we’ve got to throw back on him again. Because again, having him on the football field helps us be a better football team. He’s done a nice job for a rookie. He’s got a maturity about him already that a lot of rookies don’t have, so I’ve been fairly pleased with his progress," Rivera said. 

On Tap: 

The Washington Football Team is scheduled to practice on Saturday and Sunday at 9 AM ET and 'Washington Football' on SI.com will have all-day coverage here and on twitter @Russellmania621. 

Chris Russell is the Publisher of this site, a part of SI.com. He can be heard on 106.7 The FAN in the Washington D.C. area and world-wide on Radio.com. Chris also hosts the "Locked on Washington Football Team" Podcast and can be read via subscription to Warpath Magazine. You can e-mail Chris at russellmania09@Gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @Russellmania621