What burning questions must the Washington Commanders' defense answer during the team's upcoming training camp before the 2023 season?
Most of the factors that could jeopardize the Washington Commanders' postseason chances in 2023 don't center on the defensive side of the football. This unit is expected to be among the league's best under Jack Del Rio next season, with many projecting them to potentially reach No. 1 across the board statistically if everyone stays clear of injuries.
While the offense has some problematic weak links, the Commanders can relax safe in the knowledge their defense will keep them in the majority of contests. If quarterback Sam Howell manages to come through in clutch situations, then Ron Rivera's men might just surprise a few with new owners watching closely.
Washington has invested a significant amount financially and via draft capital in their defensive firepower over recent years. Things are now coming together effectively enough, but it'll be interesting how Del Rio integrates various newcomers in the coming weeks at camp before they take the field in Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals.
With this in mind, here are three burning questions the Commanders' defense must answer in Ashburn throughout camp.
Commanders LB dynamic
Considering Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio are former prolific NFL linebackers, they don't exactly hold much value to the defensive second-level based on their moves this offseason. The Washington Commanders didn't invest a great deal in bolstering the unit, with only Cody Barton coming in as a legitimate starting option to replace Cole Holcomb, who departed for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Hopes are high that Jamin Davis can continue his encouraging progression after notching a 100-tackle campaign in 2022. Khaleke Hudson's emergence throughout early workouts might indicate an increased role next time around after securing his first career start in Week 18 against the Dallas Cowboys.
Del Rio also likes to deploy a lot of two-linebacker sets depending on the situation. This could continue given the additions made to Washington's secondary, but we'll likely find out more throughout training camp.