3 Commanders players who must unlock their potential in 2024

These Commanders players must unlock their potential in 2024.
Jahan Dotson
Jahan Dotson / Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
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If the Washington Commanders want to stand any chance of meeting increased expectations, they must have everyone pulling together. Too many lacked motivation and were looking out for themselves during the final days of Ron Rivera's tenure. That cannot happen again if this historic franchise wants to return to competitiveness in 2024 and beyond.

There's an improved atmosphere around the building under Dan Quinn and his staff. Players have fully bought in and are helping each other through this pivotal early transition. Hopefully, it's a sign of things to come as the Commanders emerge from the wilderness and back to respectability.

Unleashing some hidden potential within those who've failed to meet targets previously would help them along the way. Washington has a lot of promising players. Perhaps a fresh set of ideas and improved schematic concepts will make all the difference, but there's just no telling for sure.

With this in mind, here are three Commanders players who must unlock their true potential in 2024.

Phidarian Mathis - Commanders DL

Year 3 is normally the time when NFL teams get a broad indication of what a player could be or will become. The Washington Commanders have no idea about the future aspirations of Phidarian Mathis after his first two seasons in the league. Something that has to change as a matter of urgency this summer.

Mathis' rookie campaign ended before it began thanks to injury. Health issues impacted his chances of hitting the ground running in 2023. Even when he was on the field, the former second-round pick out of Alabama looked lackluster as another campaign spiraled into oblivion.

With the Commanders selecting Johnny Newton at No. 36 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft, the pressure on Mathis reached critical status. Anything less than progress and dominant performance levels throughout the preparation period could see his time with the franchise conclude swiftly.

If there was ever a time for Mathis to prove why the Commanders thought so highly of him, it's now. Whether the interior defensive lineman is capable of reaching these targets hasn't been determined. But it won't take long to find out for sure.