3 reasons to be optimistic about the Commanders in 2024

Optimism is growing around the Commanders.
Dan Quinn
Dan Quinn / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages
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Commanders' defensive improvements

Big things were expected of the Washington Commanders' defense during the 2023 season. It was a unit loaded with first-round picks along the defensive front and plenty of intriguing playmakers across all three levels. They never got close to reaching these lofty heights during another woeful campaign.

Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio was fired in-season thanks to this extreme failure. Ron Rivera didn't fare much better when installing himself into the play-calling position. Very few covered themselves in glory and the head coach paid the price with his job.

Things look a lot different now. Dan Quinn's supreme background on defense represents an immediate upgrade. He molded a staff capable of putting his ambitious plans into action. Adam Peters did his part by improving the playing personnel to make this group stronger.

Washington's edge rushing room received a much-needed boost following the team's decision to trade Montez Sweat and Chase Young before the 2023 deadline. The linebacking options are unrecognizable thanks to some notable additions. Bobby Wagner and Frankie Luvu are tone-setting enforcers at the defensive second level. There's also a lot to like about Jordan Magee's chances of immediate involvement after his surprisingly smooth transition.

The Commanders' safety room looks like an area of strength despite not offering Kamren Curl a new deal. Jeremy Chinn is a ready-made replacement who looks perfect for Quinn's expansive system. Darrick Forrest's return from injury only raises optimism on the backend.

There are concerns about the outside cornerback options, but the acquisition of second-round pick Mike Sainristil should shore up the interior. Washington has the right blend of youthful exuberance and experienced figures to get this defense back to respectability quickly.

The pieces are in place. They just need the right direction - something that Quinn and defensive coordinator Joe Whitt Jr. can provide given their proven credentials and strong reputation in league circles.