“That is the place I’m imagined to be: the overall supervisor of the Washington Commanders,” Peters stated Tuesday as he sat subsequent to Harris. “I simply can’t inform you guys how excited I’m to be right here. … This is among the cornerstone franchises within the NFL, [one of the] pillars of the Nationwide Soccer League.”
The humorous factor? Nobody needed to muffle laughter.
The ability hasn’t shifted within the NFC East, however the first weekend of the playoffs actually shook its basis. Division champ Dallas received embarrassed at residence by seventh-seeded Inexperienced Bay, falling behind 27-0 in an unpleasant 48-32 loss that’s trigger for soul-searching. Defending NFC champ Philadelphia accomplished an epic collapse with a noncompetitive 32-9 shellacking at Tampa Bay that was its sixth loss in seven video games, a slide that had Coach Nick Sirianni deflecting questions on his future after the sport.
Ouch. In two markets the place dissecting the NFL group is a year-round sport, cue the existential questions.
Peters doesn’t but know who his first coach with the Commanders shall be. “We’re searching for the most effective chief for the Washington Commanders,” he stated Tuesday, including that he values a shared perception system greater than whether or not the brand new man coaches offense or protection.
However in serving to Harris choose that coach — from amongst a bunch that features offensive coordinators Ben Johnson of Detroit and Bobby Slowik of Houston in addition to defensive coordinators Mike Macdonald of Baltimore and Raheem Morris of the Los Angeles Rams — Peters is working in a decidedly totally different atmosphere than has been in that constructing for many years. He’s aligned with possession. He desires to rent an individual who will assist him consider each the present roster and the most effective match for the second choose within the draft. The group has draft capital, wage cap house and thorough, process-oriented individuals answerable for find out how to use each.
When, precisely, has Washington had essentially the most optimistic outlook within the division?
Now that is all relative, as a result of it’s not as if Peters flipped the roster this week and the Commanders abruptly have extra expertise than the Eagles or Cowboys. They don’t.
“There’s just a few cornerstone items on this roster,” Peters stated. “I imagine we have now a number of work to do.”
Translation: We’d like gamers. A number of them.
The optimism, although, is a vibe. Harris’s dismissal of Ron Rivera as coach and de facto GM; his subsequent acknowledgment and understanding that coach and basic supervisor ought to be totally different jobs; his decisiveness on Peters and Peters’s solutions Tuesday — that’s an all-but-unprecedented run of competence in Ashburn. These males haven’t completed something with their new group, they usually know that. However there’s a way they’re sensible individuals who will rent extra sensible individuals. No ensures, but it surely ought to be enjoyable to observe play out.
In Dallas and Philadelphia? This week, there’s solely automotive wreck voyeurism occurring. Two units of householders, coaches and quarterbacks with professional Tremendous Bowl aspirations have been de-pantsed in such a vogue that some degree of franchise overhaul isn’t out of the query.
Begin with the Cowboys, as a result of they went down first. Dallas this season ranked fifth in yards allowed (299.7) and factors allowed (18.5) per recreation and ninth in yards allowed per play (5.0). Sunday night at AT&T Stadium — the place they’d gained their previous 16 video games — they allowed Jordan Love, making his first playoff begin, to direct the Packers to 415 yards at 7.7 per play.
Quarterback Dak Prescott, coming off his finest season — through which he had been picked off a number of occasions in a recreation simply as soon as — threw two egregious interceptions, one among which was returned for a landing. CeeDee Lamb, coming off a record-setting season at large receiver, had two catches for 18 yards within the first half, by which period the rating was 27-7. This was organizational-wide humiliation.
So after a 12-5 season that was imagined to nonetheless be alive in Dallas, all the things would appear to be on the desk. Mike McCarthy again for a fifth season as coach? Who likes his odds, what with proprietor Jerry Jones being 81, not an age for staying affected person? Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is interviewing for teaching jobs across the league, however even when he returns, the egg laid in his most up-to-date efficiency is liable to outweigh the physique of labor that preceded it among the many Cowboys devoted.
All this as Invoice Belichick looms as a possible substitute for McCarthy.
Now, as Belichick would possibly say, “On to Philadelphia.”
Whew, the Eagles. How might a Tremendous Bowl group from the earlier season begin the subsequent marketing campaign 10-1 and find yourself as a downright … mess?
“It was virtually like we couldn’t get out of the rut we have been in,” Sirianni stated after the debacle in Tampa. “And that’s all of us.”
Effectively, it begins with Sirianni. The third-year coach was heralded as a rising star when he took the Eagles to final 12 months’s Tremendous Bowl. However 2023 was such a battle that he changed defensive coordinators midstream, then watched as his group allowed a mean of 31 factors over its closing eight video games, together with the sleepwalk towards the Bucs. Quarterback Jalen Hurts, whom the group is now paying $51 million yearly, was both damage or regressed or each; he threw 15 interceptions, as many as he had coughed up within the earlier two seasons mixed.
Oh, and don’t neglect the New York Giants. A 12 months in the past, Coach Brian Daboll was heralded for salvaging inconsistent quarterback Daniel Jones and main the Giants to the playoffs — the place they gained a recreation. However Jones lasted solely 5 begins this season earlier than he was injured. The truth that the Giants performed higher with journeyman Tyrod Taylor and rookie Tommy DeVito means the offseason once more reverts to “Is Jones actually the man?” — besides now he has a $160 million contract. Let’s get to the cellphone traces. Lou in Yonkers, you’re up.
The Commanders aren’t the most effective group within the NFC East simply because a radical, orderly course of introduced Adam Peters aboard to steer a whole rebuild. However after a 4-13 debacle, they sit in an honest spot. Optimism doesn’t win soccer video games. Nevertheless it does colour an offseason, and provided that the Commanders don’t play for 9 months, it’s more healthy when the mind-set is extra “Let’s construct this up” somewhat than “Do we have now to tear all of it down?”