DON’T ostracize your best Commanders players
How would the Washington Commanders line look right now with future Pro Football Hall of Famer Trent Williams at left tackle and perennial Pro Bowler Brandon Scherff at right guard?
Both were drafted by Washington. Both had messy departures, with the Commanders getting very little value in return. Hopefully, this will be one of the many issues that will be addressed by the change in ownership.
DO hire an OL coach who can develop young Commanders players
This is a two-parter. As we recently pointed out, the Commanders have yet to formally fill the vacant offensive line coach position. Whether it ultimately will be long-time assistant Travelle Wharton or some mystery candidate, it is crucial that this coach have a track record with developmental players.
This is something the previous coach John Matsko simply couldn’t seem to do. I’m not necessarily blaming him for this. The problem has a lot to do with scouting and offensive philosophy.
If the Commanders are not going to spend high draft capital on linemen, then coaching becomes even more important. The trail of tears with Austin Reiter, Arie Kouandjio, Geron Christian, Ross Pierschbacher, and Wes Martin still haunts this team.
They all predated the current coaching regime. But Saahdiq Charles and Sam Cosmi have underachieved so far, thus continuing this trend.
At least two of the recent mid-round picks must develop into quality starters for this offense to have a chance. Maybe the whiff that has hurt the most was Keith Ismael.
He was taken in the fifth round in 2020 and Washington thought it was getting a steal. He had strength, mobility, and reliability. Coming out of San Diego State, Ismael would need some development, but he was expected to eventually be a starter at center or guard.
Didn’t happen. The reason this matters so much is the final piece of advice.