Commanders run defense
I have already written about this. More than I want to, in all honesty.
The Washington Commanders linebackers are not good run-stoppers. This flaw – more than the quarterback or the offensive line – will cause the team to lose games in 2023.
Cody Barton is an active linebacker, but far too often he gets caught up in the wash. If he does tackle the ball carrier, it is coming five, six, or seven yards downfield.
This doesn’t happen every time - both he and Jamin Davis will occasionally step up into the hole and make a good stop. They just don’t do it consistently enough.
The Commanders do have some linebackers who can do this more effectively. I have written about David Mayo in this role. And I believe De’Jon Harris does this fairly well too.
These are more classic interior linebackers. The problem is they are not nearly as athletic as Davis and Barton. They can be exposed in pass coverage, or when asked to cover a lot of ground.
If the Commanders don't find another linebacker, their scheme and probability will be crucial this season. Playing a fifth lineman will help on obvious running downs, as will getting the stoppers on the field at the proper times.
Washington will also be asking a lot of their cornerbacks, as they cheat safeties forward to help out.