Biggest offseason storyline will make or break Commanders' resurgence

This could make a huge difference.
Dan Quinn
Dan Quinn / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Nobody is tipping the Washington Commanders to hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy at season's end. However, there's a growing belief among the fanbase that something special is building under the new regime.

Adam Peters laid the groundwork with his roster revamp. Dan Quinn and his accomplished coaches are raising standards on the playing side of things. Josh Harris' ownership group harbors lofty ambitions to ensure the Commanders become an industry leader away from the gridiron. There is a significant amount of hard work ahead, but all signs are pointing up following decades of dismay.

Early workouts - including Washington's mandatory minicamp - are in the books. This is a good chance for those in power to take stock of how things have unfolded so far. Their assessments will also include whether more is needed at certain position groups to give Quinn a boost in pursuit of genuine on-field progress.

Commanders success is predicated on Jayden Daniels' development

Ryan Fowler from The Bleacher Report highlighted one big offseason storyline for every NFL team. He acknowledged that the enthusiasm regarding the Commanders is a sign of encouragement. That said, the analyst believes their fate will be hinged on Jayden Daniels' quest to become a legitimate franchise quarterback.

"It's an exciting time for Washington Commanders fans. Washington spent the No. 2 overall pick on the reigning Heisman Trophy winner [Jayden Daniels], who should be their most talented signal-caller in more than a decade. The Commanders also added potential high-impact rookies in corner Mike Sainristil, tight end Ben Sinnott, tackle/guard Brandon Coleman and wideout Luke McCaffrey. [Adam] Peters also added impact veterans in free agency, including linebacker Bobby Wagner, offensive lineman Tyler Biadasz and running back Austin Ekeler. The longtime Los Angeles Chargers tailback should complement Brian Robinson Jr. well. The Commanders' ceiling (and floor) this fall will rely on Daniels' development under center. They'll enter the season as an unknown with so many new pieces, but the future looks bright for an organization with only five winning seasons since 2000."

Ryan Fowler, Bleacher Report

The Commanders are convinced that Daniels can spearhead this ambitious project effectively. They were highly impressed with the player during pre-draft assessments. His smooth transition into a professional environment only raised expectations further about what the former LSU star might be capable of.

Daniels cannot do it alone, but he plays football's most important position and this is a quarterback-driven league. It sounds cliche, but it's an absolute fact at the same time.

Washington did a good job of guaranteeing Daniels walks into a sound environment for growth. This typically has a huge impact on a rookie's hopes of hitting the ground running. One only has to use Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud's respective situations and how they fared as a warning of what can happen if the supporting cast isn't up to the required standards.

Fowler is right. The Commanders are an unknown quantity heading into the 2024 campaign. That's something Quinn can use to his advantage.

If the momentum built over early workouts continues to gather pace, the Commanders might be a surprise most teams don't see coming. That would be a dream come true for the team and its re-energized fanbase.