Commanders fans will hate Ron Rivera’s rationale for re-signing Jon Bostic
By Jerry Trotta
Once the Carson Wentz trade happened, linebacker is the position fans turned their attention to next in terms of one that needed improvement. Nobody was asking the Washington Commanders to overhaul the position, however.
Cole Holcomb and Jamin Davis are a nice nucleus, but Holcomb could only do so much last campaign to overcome Davis’ slow-moving development.
Long story short, Davis was lost as a rookie. He was too aggressive defending the run and was out of his element in coverage. Part of that, of course, is on the Commanders for entrusting him with the middle linebacker role in the first place.
Let’s not go down that rabbit hole, though. The important thing is Davis is markedly more confident heading into a big sophomore year.
The main gripe Commanders fans have with the LB room is the depth behind Holcomb and Davis, which is exactly the same as it was last season after the team re-signed David Mayo, who was initially released, and Jonathan Bostic.
Both of these moves set off a firestorm on Commanders Twitter and Ron Rivera poured gasoline on the flames with his rational for re-signing Bostic.
Ron Rivera’s explanation for re-signing Jon Bostic will infuriate Commanders fans.
"“He’s a guy that when he’s been on the field for us, he’s done a really nice job commanding the defense,” Rivera said, via NBC Sports Washington.“I think a guy like that can help as far as the development of a Jamin Davis,” the coach continued. “I think that’ll be really good for Jamin to see a guy like that out there working, preparing, getting himself ready to go.”"
Let’s start by playing devil’s advocate.
We appreciate what Bostic brings to the Commanders. There’s something to be said that he’s familiar with the system and language. If Holcomb suffered an injury, Bostic’s presence would allow Davis to continue in his weakside role. And despite how most fans feel about Bostic, he’s not as bad as he’s made out to be.
Having said that, what’s wrong with expanding your horizons? Why not sign a potential backup earlier in the offseason who’s more well-rounded? Give them training camp and preseason to adapt to the system. While Bostic brings leadership and physicality in the run game, he’s not equipped to playing in coverage.
Last time we checked, the NFL is a quarterback-driven league. Might be smart to have multiple linebackers who can cover.
It just feels like Rivera and the front office were waiting all along for Bostic to become available. If that really was the plan, it’s certainly not a good one. Did Rivera and Co. not watch how the team’s linebackers sans Holcomb played last year? What’s the problem with bringing in a fresh face to the rotation?
But hey, at least Rivera watched Bostic’s preseason film with the Saints.
"“You get a chance to watch his tape from New Orleans, there’s a lot of good things. We’re pretty excited about it,” Rivera told reporters."
The sample size was 50 snaps over Weeks 2 and 3, so how much did he even play against first-stringers? Whatever the case, we get the sense Washington was just waiting to see if Bostic looked healthy following his pectoral injury that ended his 2021 season after just four games.
Anyone have any other theories?