ASHBURN, Va. (DC News Now) — The pads were on for the first time in training camp for the Washington Commanders, which means one thing, the regular season is right around the corner.

For Washington, their first preseason game is August 13 against the Carolina Panthers, and strapping on the pads, makes it feel real.

“That’s when the real football starts,” said linebacker Cole Holcomb. “I was super excited, maybe a little too excited, jumping the gun, and lunging a bit, but it felt good to get them back on.”

“The biggest thing, obviously, is the intensity gets ramped up, and we just want to make sure as we ramp this intensity up, that we are doing things the right way,” said head coach Ron Rivera. “We don’t want to lose our focus and our intent, in terms of developing, learning and growing just because we got the pads on. So, we got to play within ourselves. A lot of good things on tape that we are looking forward to watching as a coaching staff.”

One player that Rivera and the team are hoping have a big jump in year two is linebacker Jamin Davis. The former 2021 first round pick had a tough rookie campaign, but has moved back to Will linebacker for the upcoming year. So far through camp, Rivera is impressed with the growth of Davis.

“You see a lot of good, positive things from Jamin right now,” said Rivera. “He is much more comfortable in what we are doing and how we are doing it. He’s picked up the ways we do things in terms of reads and drops, and he’s done a nice job with that.”

The Commanders continue with training camp in Ashburn until Friday. On Saturday, the team will practice at Fedex Field.