Kam Curl is not a guy who is going to yell on the sidelines or constantly belittle his opponents. He hasn’t acted that way in his great NFL career.

But, entering 2022 as a surefire starter as one of Washington’s safeties, Curl is beginning to find his voice as a leader in the secondary, much to the delight of himself, his teammates and his coaches.

“I’ve always been a guy who leads by example, but I feel like we need to take everything to the next level,” Curl told NBC Sports Washington at the end of Wednesday’s OTA session. “Now I’m a beginner, so everyone needs to hear my voice more so they can feel comfortable with me.”

Curl wasn’t the only one to note that given his increased presence on the court, his vocal leadership has increased significantly ahead of his third professional season. Last week, Ron Rivera noted specifically that Curl is “a guy who’s kind of starting to find his voice” and that the unit as a whole has seen better communication.

But, as Curl made sure to note first and foremost, he is a player leading by example. This is easily seen during OTAs, as you can often see Curl kneeling next to one of his fellow defensive backs on the touchline.

Curl’s story mirrors that of two of the Commanders newcomers – Percy Butler and Christian Holmes. All three are late-round DBs who had to prove their worth during the all-important rookie offseason. During Wednesday’s OTAs, Curl was often spotted chatting with one of the pair for much of the on-court training.

“It’s just about teaching them and staying on the playbook and taking special teams seriously because that’s how you’re going to make the team, really, as a rookie,” Curl said. . “So I’m just trying to give them this advice that I used for myself my rookie year.”

Last year Curl was on the other end of the learning spectrum, taking notes from the now deceased Landon Collins. Soaking up all the information he could get his hands on helped transform Curl, who burst onto the scene as a jack-of-all-trades rookie with a huge upside, into one of the toughest side pieces, versatile and important Washington.

“It’s easy because when you’re a starter they’re automatically going to look up to you,” Curl said. “By doing the right thing, showing them, doing the right thing every day on and off the pitch. I hope they will follow me.

Curl’s intangibles aren’t the only reason he’s cemented his place as a mainstay of commanders’ defenses, of course. Last season, though he wasn’t able to replicate the numbers he enjoyed in his rookie year — when he posted three stellar interceptions, including a pick-six with two sacks — he is evident during practices and games that the coaching staff gave him a vote of confidence.

Curl easily covers huge ground in the secondary. His off-season routine has helped him with his ball hawk mentality.

“I did a lot of ball drills, worked on my feet, studied the tape — just to try to gain advantages over our opponents,” Curl said.

Bobby McCain might be Washington’s most apparent high school leader, having signed a two-year extension in the offseason after his best pro year yet. But he too was impressed by the considerable progress his young comrade has made this offseason, both in terms of his technique on the pitch and his leadership qualities.

“He’s growing man, it’s his third year. People tend to forget he’s young,” McCain said. “So he just plays the way he plays and does what he did so early in his career, it’s really good for him. Now he’s able to sit down and things are slow, and you can tell that he’s become more of a leader and he’s become more vocal, and that’s really important to us and really important to him.”