'A style thing': Why some Commanders wear, but don't actually use, mouthpieces
Why some Commanders wear mouthpieces but don't actually use them originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The list of items an NFL player will use to make a fashion statement knows no bounds. Visors, sleeves, gloves, jersey numbers, facemasks and custom cleats represent a mere sampling of options guys like to deploy to stand out from their peers.
But at least a couple of Commanders have veered from those choices and found yet another way to add to their on-field looks, NBC Sports Washington learned during the team's training camp thanks to an intense investigation.
Receivers Jahan Dotson and Dyami Brown have both been spotted in Ashburn this month sporting mouthpieces on their helmet that they don't actually use.
Instead, they simply attach them to their facemasks and... well, yeah, that's pretty much it.
"It's kind of just a style thing," Dotson said during a recent press conference. "I just have it there, just dangling."
"It's a little swag thing," Brown said in an interview on Thursday. "Just let the mouthpiece hang."
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(Note: Both Dotson and Brown were very polite when this topic, which very well could be the stupidest line of questioning they ever face in their respective careers, came up. Their kindness is deeply appreciated.)
For Dotson, it's something he's done since Penn State. He feels like "it's been a trend lately" as he's watched others in the league he's now a part of make it a part of their ensembles — the Rams' Jalen Ramsey may be the most notable pro who's made it a staple — and he's "gonna keep going with it" in Washington.
In fact, he hardly even notices the mouthpiece at all at this point.
"I've been doing it for so long," Dotson said, "I don't even feel it there. It's kind of just there. You guys see, but I don't even see it."
Brown, meanwhile, has lately introduced a ski mask-type head covering to his lineup of gear and it covers his mouth, meaning he couldn't even use the mouthpiece if he wanted to. That isn't stopping him from matching Dotson, though.
Now, not everyone with the Commanders completely ignores the layer of extra protection that a mouthpiece provides.
Linebacker De'Jon "Scoota" Harris, for example, only allows his to be loose when the action is as well.
"I might let it dangle and hang during individuals," Harris said Thursday. "But in team periods, anytime it's go-time, I just try to make it a habit to keep it in there."
Don't for a second think that Harris is out there rocking the first mouthpiece he could find, however. While he doesn't own one solely for the sake of appearances, he did prioritize acquiring a gold one that flows with Washington's wardrobe.
"Found the gold mouthpiece, I was like, 'This is going to stand out with the colors on the helmet, for sure,'" Harris said.