3 severe overreactions from the Commanders' 2024 offseason

Let's not get too carried away.
Dan Quinn
Dan Quinn / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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Commanders defense will become a top-tier unit

The Washington Commanders' defense was a complete abomination last season. Most analysts believed this unit could be among the league's most dominant thanks to the personnel available. They forgot to account for Jack Del Rio's uninventive schematic concepts and inability to maximize the athletic gifts at his disposal.

Del Rio paid the price with his job in-season, but it was too late to salvage anything. Ron Rivera assumed play-calling strategies and the same complications emerged. The Commanders failed to generate consistent pressure, were suspect against the run, and also gave up countless big plays in coverage during a dismal campaign.

Adam Peters set about rectifying this as a matter of urgency. Dan Quinn's appointment to the head coaching role comes with immediate upgrades to the system. Defensive coordinator Joe Whitt Jr.'s no-nonsense approach is getting a positive response from his players. The personnel looks much improved following a flurry of activity during free agency and the 2024 NFL Draft.

These are positive developments. Some are starting to wonder whether the Commanders' defense can re-establish itself among the NFL's elite once again. That's a best-case scenario for all involved. It's also a major overreaction based on how things stand.

The Commanders have plenty of questions to answer defensively. Can veteran Jonathan Allen return to his old form? How will the team's new-look edge rushing options fare? Will their outside cornerback options become a weak link once again?

That's not taking into account the team's safety dynamic, Jamin Davis' reported role change, and the need to mesh a plethora of fresh faces into a cohesive unit in double-quick time. The talent is there, it's how they came together that represents the biggest stumbling block.

It would be a bitter disappointment if the Commanders' defense didn't show signs of life under Quinn and Whitt's guidance. At the same time, asking them to go from one of the league's worst to among the best is unrealistic.