- Erica Blackburn
Washington's Sam Cosmi taking his rookie licks in stride
Making a living in the NFL sounds like a great job, until you have to deal with premier defensive
ends on a daily basis. That’s the life of rookie tackle Sam Cosmi, whom Washington grabbed in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He’s currently getting most of his reps at right tackle at Washington Football Team’s training camp and his performance so far has been uneven.
“I mean that's what's going to happen,” said tackle Charles Leno Jr. “Nobody comes into this league and is the chosen one. Everybody's going to have to have those growing pains and they say that you're going to learn how to grow up quickly or you're going to be out of the league. And he's one of the players that's grown up really quick and he's showing some really good stuff out there as a football player.”
Washington returned to Ashburn and took the field in full pads for the first time. At times, Cosmi seemed to be holding his own. Sometimes, he’s overmatched. Head coach Ron Rivera likes the progress of Cosmi so far.
"He's coming along very well. Very nicely,” said Rivera. “The nice thing for him is who he's practicing against. He practiced against [DE] Montez [Sweat]. He practiced against [DE] Chase [Young], he's practiced against all of our front-line guys and he's holding his own. That is very, very encouraging, especially now that we have pads on. There were some things that he did that were very good. There are some things that he's got to work on, he's got to understand. A guy like him with what he's done to date has been very, very encouraging for us as far as his opportunity to play for us right away."
Guard Brandon Schreff told the media in his press conference that he’s always uplifting Cosmi because he won’t win every rep.
“I put Montez and Chase up there as one of the best end duos out there,” said Schreff. “So he gets to practice against one of the best duos every single day. He's going to lose some; he's going to win some. So if he loses one, I just tell him pick your head up and do it again. You can let one play beat you twice. If he messes up, holds his head down, he might get beat again. I said just move on, flush it, move on and just improve.”
Schreff also believes the different looks the defense gives in training camp can help Cosmi. “I'm just saying with the different fronts they get, opening the stance or tightening the stance. Just different looks that I know that I've seen before that people have helped me with, different adjustments that the secondary makes and all that. The linebacker alignments, whether they're going to run a blitz or whatnot here, just the pre-snap, all that pre-snap movement. As you're a rookie, everything speeds up really fast, but once you get those adjustments, it starts to slow down and then you can think less and less and play a lot faster.”
As long as Cosmi continues to grow and learn from his mistakes and doesn’t get discouraged, Washington should be pleased. Cosmi has everything he needs to perform at a high level.