5 primary factors behind the Commanders offensive line's demise in 2023

The downward trend has some mitigating factors attached.
Nick Gates
Nick Gates / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages
3 of 6

Commanders have developed poorly

I suppose that lack of investment could work if the Washington Commanders had a recent track record of coaching up prospects. But that record is also abysmal and a damning indictment on Ron Rivera's staff.

Back in 2020, when I was praising offensive line coach John Matsko for cobbling together a respectable unit, I did note one troubling fact. He was mostly doing it with veterans and free agents that had come from other organizations.

Washington still had homegrown talent like Morgan Moses, Brandon Scherff, and Chase Roullier. But they had all been with the team for at least five seasons. There were no younger players ready to pick up the mantle.

The book is still out on Sam Cosmi – the highest-drafted lineman Washington has had since Scherff in 2015. But until he clearly establishes himself, it is correct to say that the Commanders have not drafted and developed a reliable starter on their suspect protection since Roullier, who was released before the 2023 season.

The names float by like ghosts in a Poe story and it'll take a monumental effort to turn this around. The current crop of unknowns - Chris Paul, Ricky Stromberg, Braeden Daniels - need to emerge, but given the recent track record, how confident can you be?