4 Commanders who must excel for potential playoff push in 2024

These players will help the Commanders make the playoffs...
Emmanuel Forbes
Emmanuel Forbes / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Emmanuel Forbes - Commanders CB

Emmanuel Forbes got benched last year. That much we know. What we don't know is if this was truly his fault.

Some have speculated that placing Forbes on the sideline was just another cheap ploy of Ron Rivera. Was he attempting to cast the blame somewhere other than himself and try to stay afloat during his last chance to be the head coach of an NFL team? We'll never know for sure.

Forbes did get torched on occasion. This was evident in full when he was tasked with guarding Philadelphia Eagles' star wide receiver A.J. Brown, who went for 305 receiving yards and four touchdowns against the Washington Commanders over two games. Absurd numbers that came mostly when guarded by the outmatched rookie.

But this could be a good thing. The new coaching staff can soon find out if Forbes has what it takes to use such experiences to build upon and become the type of player many thought, and still think, that he could be.

Maybe Forbes can return to his previous state of confidence and showcase what he did throughout college, and even in spurts throughout his rookie campaign. If so, the Commanders' defense will be better for it.

With the loss of veteran cornerback Kendal Fuller, the former first-round pick out of Mississippi State is going to have to step up. In an ideal world, Forbes would be so good that he becomes the No. 1 cornerback for the next five seasons. With him on the outside and Mike Sainristil on the inside, the Commanders could be set for many seasons to come.

That said, the jury is still out. If Rivera and company were right and Forbes plays as he did at points last year, then the Commanders' secondary could once more be in for a long and difficult campaign.

Something tells me Joe Whitt Jr. will know what to do with the young guy. The Commanders better hope so.