Commanders talent development and explosive plays
Benjamin St-Juste was a third-round draft pick in 2021. This season, the cornerback has become the target of a lot of fan vitriol because he has been beaten on several key plays and committed a couple of crushing penalties.
Despite this, I still believe St-Juste is a good player. He has the physical attributes you want in the boundary corner. He has the attitude you want.
Even though he's had troubles this season, there have been plenty of plays on which you can see how good he can be. With little pressure on the opposing quarterback, St-Juste has often stuck with his man for up to five seconds, eventually causing a throw-away.
St-Juste’s problem is more organizational. The Washington Commanders' coverage schemes - especially when they play zone - are very sloppy.
Linebackers do not move well enough to get into underneath lanes. Even since Darrick Forest went out with an injury, the Commanders have not had a legitimate deep safety who can provide reliable support over the top.
There have been far too many big plays in which opposing receivers are running free due to blown assignments. When that kind of thing keeps happening, the fault lies with Washington's coaches.
Del Rio and his team didn't find effective ways of communicating coverage schemes to their players. It is not surprising that defensive backs coach Brent Vieselmeyer was also relieved of his duties.
St-Juste represents one major failing during the Del Rio years. Good players rarely got better under his coaching. Often, they have actually regressed. Jamin Davis is another story - one that is even more maddening.