ASHBURN, VA (WTKR)- For NFL teams, the dog days of summer mean the start of training camp. Commanders headquarters in Ashburn was alive and well with the sights and sounds of football on Wednesday morning as the team kicked off its 2022 edition of the event.
Football may be a job to the Washington players, but being back on the field made them feel a little bit like kids again.
"It was actually two nights ago that I got no sleep," said linebacker Cole Holcomb. "I was just so excited to see the guys, so excited to see everybody, get back and catch up with everyone."
"I thought 'hey, maybe year nine I'll be nice and chill. No way," added punter Tress Way. "We did punting and I was freaking jacked up. You've got to take a deep breath, settle down and get going, but I think it's cool that it's that way. It was a good time."
Make no mistake, though. The guys in the locker room know what's at stake in 2022. After missing the playoffs last season, predictions are afloat that it's a must-win campaign for the Commanders. Whether or not that creates an added sense of urgency depends on who you ask.
"I don't think there's a feeling of needing to win, I think it's just already in us," wide receiver Dyami Brown noted. "We come in, we want to win and we do everything we need to do to win, so that's what we're prepared for."
"We kind of had a slow start in the last two seasons," Holcomb pointed out. "We waited until week five, week six to finally put it all together and start really getting it together, so we're emphasizing starting fast this year."
Many of the players on the roster were part of last year's squad that went 7-10 and finished third in the NFC East. Some are newcomers, such as quarterback Carson Wentz and rookie wide receiver Jahan Dotson. Whether they were on the team in 2021 or not, they're all part of history as the first group taking the field as the Commanders and are hoping to set a new standard.
"Hopefully we can bring back some championships, start a good legacy and keep it going," said Holcomb.
"You know the goal," added Brown. "The goal is to win and that's what the Commanders are here to do."
The Commanders held a walk-through on Wednesday afternoon that was closed to fans and the media. They'll be back on the field for practice on Thursday morning at 9:00 AM.