Commanders upstairs decisions
One of the reasons you may want to lock up a few position coaches early is timing. The Washington Commanders will likely have an entirely new regime in place for 2024. From the general manager on down. And building that big a structure takes time.
That means you are likely to miss out on some of your targets because other teams may move faster. This is particularly true if you are targeting a coach who makes a deep playoff run.
But one thing Josh Harris can do is begin looking seriously at management. He has already moved on that front by bringing in Eugene Chen to handle analytics. If he decides to rebuild the entire front office, he should be making calls as of yesterday.
NFL rules prohibit teams from interviewing general manager candidates currently under contract to other teams without getting prior approval. Given the absence of uniform job titles/responsibilities, it can be difficult to determine what constitutes a promotion in the front office. But Harris needs to be doing his due diligence on a variety of candidates – even if he cannot do a formal interview.
For now, I want to throw out one name.
Thomas Dimitroff was general manager of the Atlanta Falcons for a dozen years. If you ask a fan of the NFC South team today, they will laugh at the thought of giving him control because by the time he was fired in 2020, they were struggling.
But earlier in his tenure, he built a very good roster - one that came one second-half collapse away from winning a Super Bowl. He has been heavily involved in analytics over the last few years and offers a wealth of experience in running an NFL franchise.
Unlike most of the potential candidates for the job, Dimitroff is available today. And he fits the profile of what Harris has done with his other professional sports teams.
I suspect Harris may be willing to take a flier on a young up-and-coming coach. But I also think he will be looking for a little more experience from his front-office leader.
Dimitroff may not be the right fit, but he does fit that profile. And this management position - more than anything on the field or the sidelines - requires immediate attention.
The clock is ticking.